Black and White Stripes and Not Being a Real Fashionista

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm not a REAL fashionista. For example, when I saw Marc Jacob's Spring 2013 collection on last September's runways, I immediately disliked the whole graphic collection. But Marc was deemed a creative genius and that particular collection was so well received that the next thing we knew, every celebrity and her fashion loving fan was vying to wear checkerboards and wide stripes. Wide stripes? Really? Everyone knows they are the most unflattering graphic for any silhouette other than a waifish model. 

So I've been fashion about running to wear the next big thing that designers tell us we must, or is it about expressing our individuality through beautiful clothing that makes us look and feel better. I always thought the latter. And that's why I admit it here and now; I am not a REAL fashionista. And I'm ok with that.

That being said, we've all 'been there done that' with the wide stripe thing at some point. It's been in and out of vogue since forever. And the powerful graphic effect of it can be fabulous when used in decorating or accessories.  Let's see where B&W stripes work and where they don't.  Here's my take:

Yes: Olivia pulls it off grandly here. These stripes are not too wide.

 No: This whimsical decor is a bit much for a powder room.

Yes: Stripes paired with a bright color for a tablescape can be fabulous.

Maybe: This nail art can be fun in the right circumstances...Purim anyone?

Yes: These striped chairs are anchored by the richness of the wood table and look amazing against the bold orange wall.

 No: This Dolce & Gabanna look is all the rage this season but would you seriously walk out of your house like this?

 Yes: These shoes are simply adorable. A little stripe goes a long way.

Yes: Again, in decor, a black and white stripe always looks great with a pop of color. One wall of stripes is enough though.
No: Unless you're really tiny, wide stripes will only widen your look and make you appear like you work at a circus.

Absolutely: I just want to be there right now, no more explanation necessary.
And the biggest NO to remember?  Life is never just black and white. It's not one extreme or the other. Be flexible in your thoughts and ideas, and big problems will melt away into solvable challenges. 

What's your take on black and white stripes? How do you think they work best?

Here's to a very balanced and productive week!



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  1. I love black and white and think it looks elegant on it's own, but it especially shines when a pop of colour makes it stand out.
    Delicate stripes are more forgiving than the wide stripes that can look whimsical at times. I do love black and white stripes for wallpaper and think it's a natural on the patio.

  2. You are too funny and right(: Sharon! I happen to love the Jacob show and the dolce outfit would be surely what I would wear right away! Because I am skinny and boobless((((: and it would be fun with pearls(((: but I know and agree with you that it is not for everyone ... Or most.
    Big hug z

  3. Actually darling, stripes can totally be flattering if the fit is right;) It's all about the fit!

  4. I happen to love the D&G one! But you definitely have to have the right figure for it....

  5. I had more thoughts but now I am distracted by the fabulousness of that last image. How amazing it would be to sit there, just watching the water!


  6. The ONLY way I can get away with wearing stripes is as a pull/t-shirt. Then on the bottom half, I have to wear a flaired black skirt to BALANCE it off, because if not...well, you probably know! Stripes are lovely but too much IS too much. I have been seeing striped dresses at the mall on pencil thin mannequins, but really, what woman really looks like that?


  7. I agree with you that fashion is more about expressing your own individuality. I think stripes can be nice if they're not overdone, you know - all things in moderation!

  8. I think style is expressing who you are. I think of fashion as coming from the top down, people dictating what you should wear, how you should wear it, and when you should wear it. I like "fashion", but I'm a bigger fan of style.

    I've always thought that I could NOT wear stripes (I'm both top and bottom heavy), and my mom made sure to remind me NOT to wear a-line skirts or pleats. As I've gotten older I've learned to defy "fashion rules" and wear things that are flattering and things that I love.

    I'm no fashionista or style maven. I wear what I like and I like what I wear.

    More Modern Modesty

  9. Sharon,
    LOVE this post! I was just reading British Vogue, realizing that I'm not that thrilled with the coming fashions and that deep down I am a classic dresser that likes a little bit of special touches to make it my own.

    And, as far as black and white...I like it in the right doses! Not thrilled about it for Spring, as I'd prefer some Easter egg colors, but at least it's already in my closet!! :)
    xoxo Elizabeth

  10. COMPLETELY agree with your choices - you have such wonderful taste! And I think you articulated the difference between a fashionista and a fashion-isha like yourself. Liberated, refined, beautiful, brave, and not a slave :)

  11. COMPLETELY agree with your choices - you have such wonderful taste! And I think you articulated the difference between a fashionista and a fashion-isha like yourself. Liberated, refined, beautiful, brave, and not a slave :)

  12. Well stated Sharon!!!!!
    I love the photo of Olivia too!!!!
    My favorites have always been striped boatneck tops....
    Like Edie Sedgwick.... :-)
    I think fashion and style is wearing what you feel true to yourself in- not what a designer or fashion magazine dictates.
    Hope you're having a fabulous week!!!!!
    Shannon :-)

  13. i love stripes but you definitely have to use them in a very smart way!

  14. I'm with you 100% I am all for others taking the risks they want to take, but to thine ownself be true, which you are (but you are a fashionista nothwithstanding). These days I'm obsessed with thin diagnonal stripes!! Love the inspirational home/decorating ideas! Just because I won't wear it doesn't mean I won't decorate with it.

  15. Ah yes...stripes...I discourage horizontal stripes when they are large. I am tiny...sorry ladies, it is what it is...but even I stear clear of them. However...vertically on a skirt or pant they are wonderful because they extend you making you appear taller. :) Always a good thing.

    Thanks for the food for thought Sharon. And you are a beautiful and stylish fashionista. :)

  16. Great! Love it. Really enjoyed your blog.=D

  17. First of all, the tablescape with the stripes and the yellow followers is to die for.

    As a plus sized woman, I don't understand the designers that keep telling us that we can handle the horizontal stripes; We can't and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.