Go Bold Or Go Home! How To Wear Striking Stripes This Spring

Just like clockwork, every spring the stripe returns to the spotlight, but this season’s play on the motif is bigger and bolder than ever. The look is a sophisticated nod to ‘60s-inspired style, and we’ve noticed several fashionphiles earning their stripes in a way that’s easy to replicate. From Nicole Richie’s graphic dress to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s striking jumpsuit, continue reading to see how these stylish girls wear bold stripes, then shop the look today.

On The Runways
Striped patterns dominated the season’s runways, particularly at Marc Jacobs’ S/S 13 show. The designer’s collection channeled a decidedly mod mood: thick parallel stripes covered everything from a tailored blazer to a slim skirt and the Black And Ivory Silk Jersey Dress ($1900, 212.343.1490), paired with Black Patent Leather Mary Jane Flats ($625, 212.343.1490). Yet the look remained modern and fresh, thanks to the use of varying graduating stripes against a long, lean silhouette.

WHO: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
WHAT: Attending the Chanel and Charles Finch pre-Oscar bash in Beverly Hills.
WEAR: Chanel Cotton Navy & Cream Striped Strapless Jumpsuit ($2755) from the S/S 12 collection.
WHY: Long vertical stripes on a strapless pantsuit elongate and flatter your figure.

WHO: Olivia Wilde
WHAT: At a screening of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at the SXSW festival in Austin last week.
WEAR: Dolce & Gabbana dress from the S/S 13 collection; Sergio Rossi heels.
WHY: Scale back on accessories to allow a bold striped dress to shine.

WHO: Nicole Richie
WHAT: Front row at the Stella McCartney F/W 13 show in Paris earlier this month.
WEAR: Stella McCartney dress from the Pre-Fall 13 collection.
WHY: A minimalistic black and white striped number makes an outsized statement.

WHO: Leaf Greener, ELLE China’s Senior Fashion Editor
WHAT: Snapped on the street in New York.
WEAR: Striped maxi dress; crocodile backpack.
WHY: The in-your-face motif looks fresh and casual on a long-sleeved maxi.

Get The Look
Ready to find a striped piece that suits you? A multitude of styles are available, whether you’re seeking a daytime or evening-appropriate look. For a more laid-back occasion, like a barbecue or weekend lunch date, try a simple striped dress in a casual fabric like cotton or jersey. We suggest ING’s Bold Striped Maxi Dress ($39), ASOS’ Maxi Dress In Graduated Stripe Print ($51), or for a shorter version, Motel’s Penny Smock Dress With Bold Stripes ($76), or Topshop’s Texture Stripe Shift Dress ($76). If you’re after a more formal look, we like the elegant, feminine shape of Nadia Tarr’s Striped Jersey Dress/Skirt ($278) or, as an investment piece, Marc Jacobs’ Striped Scuba-Jersey Maxi Dress ($2500). 

Should a full-on striped look intimidate you, simply introduce a small dose of stripes to your outfit with a few mix and match separates. Team 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s Striped Surplice Blouse ($375) with clean white skinnies, or wear a pair of striped pants, like Topshop’s Moto Stripe Leigh Jeans ($80) or 7 For All Mankind’s Crop Slim Striped Cigarette Jeans ($198), with a simple t-shirt. The bold pattern has also found its way on a number of feminine skirts. We suggest styling a bright top with Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Scooter Striped Satin-Twill Skirt ($260) or ASOS’ Midi Skirt In Bold Stripe ($68) for a pop of colour. Just remember to pare down on accessories—who needs them when you’re wearing such a graphic statement piece?—for a chic and entirely modern look.

Photos of Nicole Richie and Olivia Wilde, courtesy of Getty Images; photo of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, courtesy of Patrick McMullan; photo of Leaf Greener, courtesy of Vanessa Jackman; Marc Jacobs runway photo, courtesy of Marc Jacobs.