Is it the slightly artsy beatnik flair of black and white stripes? Is it the slick pairing of stripes that matches everything without being too over the top? Is it the contrasting colors in parallel lines that are classic and never go out of style? Is it that it’s a print without really being a print? Is it looking like being in the French navy? I would have to say YES to all of the above!
Hello, my name is Julie Ann and I have a stripe addiction. For some of you it’s leopard, for others it's polka dots, but for me it’s stripes.
My introduction to wearing stripes started when I was about 18 with a single top. It was a navy blue and white striped boat neck with 3/4 length sleeves. I wore it with jeans, skirts, under T shirts, over tank tops, and with shorts. I loved it so much I bought it in three other color combinations.
Where did this fashion originate? Well, it comes from the French navy uniform. It made its first appearance just after the 1858 Act of France. Originally the uniform had 21 stripes for each of Napoleon’s victories, a “boatneck” collar, and was called the Breton.
The Breton became a mainstream clothing staple when Coco Chanel introduced it in her 1917 nautical clothing line. Thank you Coco!
Coco Chanel and her dog Rinko the Great Dane.
Stripes are found just about everywhere on young and old, famous and not so famous. Stripes are just so wearable. Here’s some stripey top eye candy for you…
Jean Seberg and Audrey Hepburn.
Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol.
Kurt Cobain and Madonna.
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd. (Black and white stripes reprise their roles in almost every Tim Burton film.)
The Von Drats from Toronto have even made stripes their uniform.
Don’t limit your stripe wearing to just tops! Now that I’m older, stripes in all forms are part of my closet staples. Here are some options to help you build your stripey wardrobe…
You'll feel great twirling around town in this Beach Umbrella Isabella Skirt! It is VERY FULL, has pockets, and a back center zipper. The print is tan with red, pink, black and white striped umbrellas throughout. Don't limit yourself to just black and white!
Looking for that classic pinup top? This red and white striped off the shoulder top goes with everything. Pair with high waisted skirts, jeans, or shorts!
Or you can start your stripe collection small. These Leg Avenue pantyhose are a subtle take on stripes.
If you are following Cats Like Us on Pinterest, you may have noticed a lot of black and white striped celebrity pictures. I just can't help myself!
And finally the commercial my mom sang to me as a child. (The Jack-o-lantern at the end is the best!)
Your stripe addict,