The need to know: All Types of Stripes December 10 2013

Today's lesson will be on: the not insubstantial topic: stripes. In particular; le breton stripe.

I'll have you know the Breton stripe came about by French Law in 1858 to locate overboard sailors.[1] It was a ¾ sleeve knit with 21 stripes each for one of Napoleons victories. It was not until Coco Chanel’s 1917 nautical collection that the navy stripe sweater became synonymous with haute couture and acceptable for bourgeois women to wear as casualwear and with wide leg pants no less.

So fast forward past all the cinematic success this sweater has had, (see below), to how to wear it today without looking like the duchess. (cough, gag!)

(Subtitles: totally redundant. Everyone knows those films. Quick! have a test with you co-workers now!)

What you must remember is this: stripes do NOT make you look fat. (And black is not slimming.) That is a horrible old wives tale probably spun by a little old witch that didn’t want her enemies wearing lovely stripes or bright colours, because she knew they would probably look excellent in them.

As we know stripes are essential to the nautical look this season. But must contain within a note of caution: tread carefully for classic can soon become preppy which can then deteriorate into smug and into Donald Trump, P Diddy ghastliness. But never fear for if you follow my instructions you will be safe. (See below.)

 fig 1.

Caution! This is getting dangerously preppy! (Preppy is only acceptable if one is wearing it ironically.)

This is an example of non ironic preppy= borderline racist.


fig 2.


 fig 3.

Partially correct (How does Alexa manage to date this look: 2010?! It's supposed to be timeless woman!)


fig 4. Fail

Wrong! Prince Phillip levels of arrogance. Fake smile: Miss America level: through the roof!

(I keep expecting her teeth to shatter like a cartoon character, from all that fake smiling.)

Royalists send your death threats to me at :

Enjoy wearing stripes everyone.


[1] apparently safety orange wasn't their color probably clashes with their complexion)