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Wednesday 31 July 2013

Plus Size Picks: Yes you can wear stripes!

I've touched briefly on the stripe myth before. Horizontal stripes get a bad rap. Fashion rules dictate that stripes make you look bigger, but for every study that shows this to be true, there's one that proves it false. Really, how much difference can one print make? Plenty of plus size brands make striped styles, so obviously they don't believe they're the devil in polyester form. To help bring you over to the dark side, I've picked some of my favourite striped pieces from some of the usual suspects. There are odd stripes, diagonal stripes, wide stripes...and especially for those who just can't get those annoying rules out of their heads, a few vertical stripes thrown in!

The easiest way to try stripes if you're worried is in wide panels, and a simple shape. This mexican-inspired skirt from Debenhams' 'Gorgeous' range (sizes 16 - 26) is totally risk-free, and has the added bonus of working for summer with sandals or for autumn with tights and boots. It's also in the sale, yours for £17.50. It's worth noting the customer reviews suggest sizing up because it comes up small on the waist.

The twinset gets a striped overhaul courtesy of blogger fave Carmakoma, who've put graduating humbug stripes on their Stint cardigan (£47.74) and Melika jumper (£45). The detail on the back is brilliant - both pieces have black spines running down the centre. Spines are awesome.

Very's ever-reliable So Fabulous range has put an evening spin on things with this ruched maxi skirt. You're going to have to believe me that despite the photo, this one does come in larger sizes (14-28 to be exact, for a very purse-friendly £15). I like the idea of wearing this on holiday with a black vest and flat sandals for a change from the dated cropped trousers and tiered maxi skirts that every plus size brand insists on flogging this time of year.

I promised vertical stripes, and here they are. Lovedrobe's oversize dipped-back shirt (£38, sizes 16 - 26) was made to be worn with skinny jeans / leggings. Brave souls can keep it buttoned up right to the top for androgynous glam. Those of us prone to shelf boob will probably want to undo a few buttons and let the girls breathe.

Finally, a graphic striped number from the folks at ASOS Curve (£36, sizes 18 - 28). A word about the midi skirt - it's a bit of a scary length that you might fear will look frumpy (especially if you're petite). But if you keep the print bold and youthful (or, in this case, a bit 70s nafftastic) it will look great. I do think this is a skirt length that looks better with heels though - or at least wedges for a bit of lift!

If you're still unsure whether stripes are for you, remember this - your body is your body, regardless of whether it's swathed in florals, stripes, polka dots, pug print, neon or 'slimming' black. Avoiding stripes narrows your options (which can already be limited by the sparse offerings in larger sizes) so why not give the forbidden print a go?

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