How many of us have ALWAYS been told that pattern in the fashion world is everything? You go to try a striped shirt on and the person you are shopping with says, 'Well, I don't know. I think you'd like a top that doesn't have those stripes going horizontal across it.' and your typical response, no matter what (because we were trained this way) is: 'You're right they make me look wider.'
I thought that very same thing for YEARS. It's the kind of thing that was established years and years ago, and it's been passed down for generations, and unless you are "stick thin", you can't wear stripes. Or any pattern that has any sort of stripe in it whether it's straight across, diagonal, vertical, etc. Of course floral prints and patterns don't really qualify in this discussion. It's all those 'lines.'
Which brings me to pattern vs silhouette. I used to be a bit overweight, so needless to say back in the day, I held on strongly to the fact that patterns just didn't work for me because of what I was taught, and point blank... I just was in a place at the time where I didn't feel the greatest about myself. I lost the weight and got back my sense of self where I felt I needed to be. I am a true believer in loving yourself (no matter shape and size) and whatever it is that makes you feel great- do it. That's when I started my retail journey & the woman who gave me all the styling pointers I needed, put me in a striped shirt. Actually, she handed it to me over the fitting room door and I politely said, 'I don't know about this, it's going to make me look fat.' (This was even after I had lost weight). I still had that trained concept in my head.
The woman said back to me, 'it is not about pattern, it is the style and silhouette of the piece.'
It's like the bells started ringing in my head. She was right.
You see, choosing an item of clothing should not be solely based on any store of pattern (unless you're just not a fan of that pattern style to begin with- some people just HATE flowers, or tribal prints, etc). Making sure something looks good on you comes down to silhouette and color. (Color is for a different day)...However, a horizontally striped top can be absolutely STUNNING in the correct silhouette for your body type. The key is to figure out what category you fit into when it comes to your body type. Once you do that, it's all down hill from there. Your eyes will be open to the patterns and prints in fashion and it'll no longer matter what it is, as long as it suits your body.
I recommend chiffon tops for those who are not wanting something super tight and fully fitted because whether it's a solid top or a pattern top, it usually fits most body types perfectly. Check out the Portofino top from Express. It's light weight, chiffon, flowing, yet creates a nice silhouette on every body type. The best part is that this top in particular goes well with skirts, shorts, leggings and denim. Lots of options!
Another great option for tops with patterns that will create the perfect silhouette on most body types is one of my favorite designer brands, Sweet Pea. Their branded mesh material is great! Very pretty, casual to semi-formal. You can find awesome deals on Sweet Pea clothing at Nordstrom Rack.
The best and most affordable contemporary clothing line in my opinion is definitely Soprano. Their material is weightless, and flows PERFECTLY over almost any body type. I particularly love their dresses (dress fiend right here :). Some of their clothing is form fitting, however they have plenty of skater style and trapeze dresses which fall nicely on the body. A couple of my favorite places to find Soprano clothing is also Nordstrom Rack, as well as TJ Maxx and Von Maur.
Here I am wearing my favorite Soprano dress.... in stripes! : ) It's also fun to pair with a denim jacket or other layering pieces- you can also create a silhouette or illusion at the waist when wearing one of those, making you look smaller in the mid-section! Another great plus when pairing a jacket with pattern.
If you have any questions and would like fashion advice, please contact me above in the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss options! I am open arms. <3