|A model presents a creation during the Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2013 collection show at New York Fashion Week September 12, 2012. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
What will you find at the intersection of trendy and classic? Interestingly enough, it's parallel lines.
Big, bold black-and-white stripes are back in a big way — though you could argue they never really went away.
"Not only is it a must-try trend for 2013, I feel that it is a classic pattern that can easily transition into spring and summer," says Vancouver-based style expert and makeup artist Nadia Albano (Nadiaalbano.com)
They popped up all over the runways in spring/summer 2013 collections: Thick lines adorned mod mini dresses at Marc Jacobs, stripes of all different weights came together on Michael Kors' garments, and Balmain sent striped pants that were half-pirate, half-rock star down the runway.
Simple stripes, however, have already been the uniform of the subtly stylish for decades. The Breton striped T-shirt, once a part of the French navy's uniform, was co-opted by Coco Chanel for a 1917 collection, borrowed by '50s and '60s beatniks and worn while off-duty by starlets like Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and Jean Seberg.
However, Albano also believes the style is also subtly Canadian: "Our cold Canadian winters ... bring with them a lot of black ice and white-capped mountains."
It's a perfect pattern on its own, but bolder dressers can easily mix it up. "Whether you sprinkle in into your wardrobe or go all out by mixing it up with floral patterns; you can’t go wrong," Albano says.
When diving into this nautical trend, Albano urges you to remember her chief "style sacrament," Shop According to your Style And Silhouette (just remember: SASS). "Keep in mind that horizontal lines are known to create width, vertical lines elongate the body and create a slimming effect, and diagonal lines help to soften curves by creating flattering V-shapes. Wear horizontal stripes in areas you want to accentuate and vertical or diagonal stripes in areas you want to elongate or minimize," she says.
For example, a horizontal-striped top can enhance a smaller bust, while vertical or diagonal lines are more slimming and minimizing.
Ready to walk the line? Albano has a few tips for fashion fans of all ages who want to work this trend:
20s – Express yourself!
- This is the time to play with patterns. "Stars with stripes and floral prints work; as long as the colors are complementary," she says. If mixing's your thing, try a black-and-white striped pant like these Paige jeans with "a bold floral print blouse, a neutral coloured blazer and leopard print ballet flats," Albano says.
- If you're handy with a needle and thread, swapping out buttons is a quick and easy DIY that will let you capture a trend and revamp an old basic in the process. Grab some black-and-white striped buttons and stitch them onto a blazer, coat or blouse.
30s – Define who you are!
- Streamlined and showstopping, this H&M dress will make definite waves. "It's a perfect example of using stripes to maximize your shape — check out the multi line pattern," Albano says. "Wear it alone or with solid basics, to make it the star of the show. Or jazz it up by adding a neon coloured, studded belt, a polka-dot clutch and a fun floral print pump."
- The allure of this Kate Spade diaper bag is undeniable, even for non-parents; Albano dubs it "the perfect baby shower/push gift."
40s – Refine your look!
- Go all-over with a Banana Republic striped trench. "I love the look of a solid tone-on-tone outfit, and incorporating a print like stripes to create that 'wow' factor," Albano says.
50s+ – Celebrate your style!
- If all-over stripes are not your thing, go with a classic striped tee, like this boxy-fit thermal from Splendid.
Follow Nadia on Twitter @nadiaalbano for more style tips.
Change your stripes with these on-trend beauty ideas
Black and white stripes go hand in hand perfectly with the recent rise of nail art.
To give nails a perfectly uniform stripe, paint your nails white, block out stripes with thin strips of Scotch tape, coat the whole nail with a layer of black polish, and carefully peel off the tape before the paint dries. If you've got steady hands, grab a Sally Hansen nail art pen and stripe up a nail freehand. If you don't want to mess with polish at all, pick up Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail strips in Tribal It On, a geometric black-and-white print, or the zebra-striped Wild Child.
For a dramatic effect that will get its share of double-takes, try a graphic striped eye. At John Galliano's spring/summer 2013 runway show, CoverGirl makeup artist Pat McGrath paired black-and-white liner with nude lips for a bold — yet totally wearable — look. To try it at home, Albano says, apply a layer of white liquid liner along the lash line (she suggests MAC's Nocturnal), then top it with a thinner layer of black liquid liner (MAC's On The Hunt) and some black mascara.