More Shopping & Style

Shopportunities: Styles of All Stripes

Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month.

BY April 2, 2013

Dear Cheryl,

I see a lot of striped clothing this season—but I’m confused as to which direction the stripes should run to be most flattering.

—Andrea, Ft. Myers

Designers love stripes—as witnessed by their frequent appearance in spring and summer collections. Nonetheless, striped garments have given many of us pause for thought, with those horizontal bands of contrasting color requiring careful placement so as not to create visual width. Then everything got turned on its head a few years ago when a British psychologist stunned the fashion world with his announcement that vertical stripes are the ones to be treated with caution. After much additional research and experimentation, it transpires it’s simply not as linear as that, and the truth (or our perception) is somewhere in between.

I’m still of the view that vertical stripes elongate and lengthen and horizontals generally have the opposite effect. What does make a differencein terms of their ability to flatteris the width of the stripes and their level of contrast. So, use broader bands of higher contrasting colors only on areas to which you want to draw attention, teamed with a solid color where you don’t.

WHAT TO WEAR: A Beach Wedding

There is no better location for a beach wedding than Southwest Florida. We have it all blue skies, crystal clear waters and glorious stretches of sand. No wonder that many brides use those wonderful elements to set the style for their dress, as well as attire for the wedding party and guests.

As a female guest, one of your most important considerations is what you will be standing on. Even if there is a paved area for the ceremony, you may find yourself picking across shimmering sands to get there—not an easy task in sky-high heels. Gorgeous ballet flats or a pair of bejeweled flat sandals look as pretty with a short, fitted dress as with a longer, flowing skirt, so have a pair ready for the shore, and save your heels for the dance floor.

If you have been informed that “casual” is the order of the day (however well-meaning the suggestion), a wedding is still a serious undertaking. Regardless of how joyful and relaxed the wedding may be, as a guest, you’re playing your part in creating a sense of occasion, so choose your outfit with that in mind.

Have a question for Cheryl? Send it to



Related Images: