Vertical stripes are considered one of the most effective ways to look thinner, due to the elongating effect that vertical, thin lines should have, but frequently, this is just not the case.
The common wisdom that vertical lines would always elongate your figure—while horizontal stripes would enlarge it—is often a fake. Unexpectedly enough, the truth is quite the opposite. In many cases, garments with vertical lines work nicely mostly for skinny silhouettes, whereas if you have any bulk around your figure (even if almost imperceptible), vertical stripes easily may wind up highlighting it.
Therefore, if you want to wear vertical stripes, it is necessary to pay some attention in order to achieve a chic and slender outcome.
- Items with vertical prints usually assure a lovely outcome only when the stripes remain straight up, which means that they work nicely for soft, wide garments that do not come too close to the body: a wide striped shirt worn open, for instance, is just perfect, and the same goes for a wide sleeveless blouse (as in the picture below).
- You can achieve a nice effect also when vertical stripes are not too visible. If the contrast is minimum (as in the picture below), any possible drawback due to vertical stripes is played down, thus assuring a flattering outcome.
- Conversely, when vertical lines are uninterrupted and used for formfitting garments (or for clothes that come quite close to the body), the effect is exactly the opposite, as in this case vertical lines easily wind up enlarging your body.
For this reason, striped pieces that remain quite tight are suitable only for those who are very thin.
If you have a curvy figure or a nice cleavage, or if you would like to look thinner, then when wearing vertical stripes it’s wiser to opt for styles where the vertical lines remain straight. This will assure a nice outcome, and your silhouette will look thinner.
A very chic alternative is picking out garments where vertical stripes are visually alternated to horizontal stripes. As you can see in the pictures below, this guarantees a flattering effect, harmonizing and boosting your curves instead of amplifying them.
And if you love striped prints, don’t forget that, as explained in detail in a previous post, a striped shirt with horizontal lines, aside from being a stylish and sophisticated piece and a real staple in any chic lady’s wardrobe, is also very flattering, as it can lengthen your silhouette. This is contrary to the common wisdom that horizontal stripes have an enlarging effect, but it works, making your figure look more elongated.
One last tip: when buying striped garments (be they with vertical or horizontal lines), be sure that their cut is impeccable—meaning that the stripes continue on both sides of the seams. If the stripes are visually interrupted, this defect can be seen even from far away, reducing the allure of even the most sought-after look.
(Featured cover image: ASOS DESIGN midi skater sundress in green stripe)