Life & Style Weekend - - CLOSET - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHER­SON

French fash­ion, sail­ing the sea or ex­otic an­i­mals — stripes gen­er­ate thoughts of far-away lands and ad­ven­ture. The en­dur­ing print has been a style sta­ple for more than 100 years. In the early 20th cen­tury, pris­on­ers were forced to wear stripes for the same rea­son sailors wore it at sea — to be ex­tra vis­i­ble (should they es­cape or fall over­board). No longer com­pul­sory at­tire for sailors or con­victs, stripes have be­come a style stal­wart. Un­like opin­ion-di­vid­ing prints of leop­ard or tar­tan, they’re far reach­ing across cul­tures and cup­boards. Not only that, they are gen­der neu­tral — adorable on a two-year-old boy, clas­sic on an older woman. Fash­ion de­signer So­nia Stra­diotto says she loves us­ing stripes in her col­lec­tions to evoke the essence of Euro­pean beach towns. “I cre­ated pieces in Portofino ear­lier this year, soak­ing up the sun­shine on the Ital­ian coast­line,” So­nia says. “Stripes are here to stay. They are time­less and al­low us to com­bine nau­ti­cal flair with chic de­signs that will never go out of fash­ion. “It can take you from a re­lax­ing day on the wa­ter to din­ner at a glam­orous restau­rant.” To add some stripes to your ex­ist­ing wardrobe, start with a clas­sic black and white block hand­bag or clutch. The neu­tral shades will com­ple­ment the colours of any out­fit. The myth that hor­i­zon­tal lines make you look wider has been de­bunked. In fact, stud­ies have shown hor­i­zon­tal stripes are more slim­ming than ver­ti­cal ones. Black and white mini or maxi striped dresses are clas­si­cally cool and can be dressed up or down with boldly coloured ac­ces­sories or a denim jacket. Coloured stripes in cloth­ing are paci­fied by neat line shapes, so co-or­di­nate with neu­tral or sim­i­lar tones for a smart out­fit. For clas­sic Euro­pean el­e­gance circa 1930, opt for a Bre­ton T-shirt — long sleeved and in a re­laxed fit, it can be paired with black skinny jeans, a pleated skirt, fit­ted cargo pants or shorts. 1. Per­fect Stranger Lit­tle Tie Top, $44.95, and Flounce Pant, $69.95, in rust stripe, uni­ver­sal­store.com 2. So­nia Stra­diotto Cou­ture, POA, phone or­ders 5528 0800 or so­ni­astra­diot­to­cou­ture.com 3. Tren­ery printed striped T-shirt, $59.95, tren­ery.com.au 4. Mavi In­dia short sleeve T-shirt mid­night white stripe, $49.95, mavi.net.au

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