There’s a new stripe in town!

Mariana Cassou On: São Paulo Fashion Week | The Tory Blog

The striped shirt has been a beloved institution in fashion since March, 1858 when it became the uniform of the French navy after Napoleon’s victories. It became known as the Breton shirt, named after the Breton workers who increased its popularity throughout the later half of the nineteenth century.

In the early 1900?s, Coco Chanel took a trip to the French Riviera. There she saw the workers in the marina wearing their knit navy and white striped shirts and the inspiration for a new nautical collection was born. Paired with her wide- leg pants and high waisted belt, Coco Chanel was a vision of casual, seaside sportswear.

And guess what? It’s back for us to wear this Spring/Summer. Stripes this season come either horizontal or vertical. The key thing is they are BOLD, often with thicker lines contrasting with a third skinnier stripe. Think posh school boys in preppy blazers.

Wear vertical stripes to elongate your body – they get extra points there from me, at a mere 5ft 2in, I need all the help I can get with looking taller and therefore slimmer.

Currently they are around in monochrome, as the new season hits the shops we will see everything in stripes from shirts to knee length pleats coming in candy stripes and bright hues.

Even though we may want to follow fashion and embrace the stripe, we need to know our body shape before deciding how to wear it. See my tips below, before you invest.

Busty and curvy

Horizontal lines contribute to the feeling of width as the eye is drawn across the fabric – so not ideal. Why not wear a cardigan or jacket over the striped top so you see a pop of the stripe rather than the whole expanse and team with plain bottoms?


With your great figure you can go horizontal or vertical. Tight horizontal lines and thin stripes across the hips and bust will create shape and give the illusion of movement, accentuating what little curves there may be.

Alternate black and white blocks for instance will exaggerate where areas start and finish giving the impression of someone more voluptuous.


Hurrah you can draw attention to your top half. If you are also smaller in the bust, wear horizontal stripes on your top to draw the eye away from the challenging area of your bottom half. Choosing plain skirts and trousers will also deflect attention.

Stripes will also broaden shoulders to balance out your hips.


The size of stripe you wear should ideally work with your scale (this is decided by your shoe size). You would be known as petite scale if you have a shoe size of 4 (37) or under.

You need to achieve harmony with your scale when you are wearing a stripe so don’t go too large or you will look overwhelmed and all we will see is the stripes and not you looking gorgeous.

So if you are not sure how to tackle the mesmerizing array of prints this year – take a graphic approach – stripes are one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the trend – think Coco Chanel, think St Tropez and the French Riviera!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

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Photo credited: Mariana Cassou On: São Paulo Fashion Week | The Tory Blog


Baby Blue Slouchy Silk Jumpsuit | With Love From Kat

This is the time of year I particularly love about my job. I take lots of my clients on personal shopping trips. Their ages range from 20-something to two lovely ladies I took last week that were in their 70s. It is so rewarding and enjoyable, though hard work and like most shopping trips very hard on the feet. My clients say things like ‘I would have walked straight past that’ or when we are in the changing room trying on the garments I have picked, their smiles say it all.

One particular client of mine who is in her 40s, shops twice a year with me and is a walking advert for my services, telling everyone who asks her why she looks so great! So this week it was time to get her Spring/Summer Wardrobe for 2015.

Lucy, is a tallish size 12 with long legs and a fabulous silver bob, she looks great in blues, pinks and purples. Her brief this year was casual weekend items as she had enough clothes for work.

Having seen jumpsuits in the shops I had one in mind for Lucy and yes I was right they look amazing! This recurring 1970s fashion ‘throw-and-go’ wonder buy can be dressed up or down and worn at any age.

I am sure many of us remember it the first time around – in fact, I had a denim one and thought I looked the ‘bees knees’ in mine. But then I was only a size 8 and 16 years old. Now with the ‘’one dress size gained’ every 10 years theory coming into practice and me being a definite size 14, (with short legs), the jump suit is not for me.

However, it is for Lucy! There are all sorts in the shops and I chose a navy, white and pink floral one for her to try on. It shows off all her assets and after a bit of convincing she bought it – she has texted me since to say she can’t wait to wear it. I am sure she is going to get loads of compliments whenever she does and above all she will be comfortable and stylish.

So who can wear jump suits other than Lucy? They look good on anyone with a neat hourglass figure or straighter body shape. If you are full hourglass or triangle I would ensure that the fabric is really fluid.

My one piece of advice to Lucy though is – this is a garment where you shouldn’t consider the practicalities. Why worry about what happens when you experience a call of nature? Just make sure you choose warm loos so your upper body doesn’t get frozen and you always have someone around to help with any buttoning at the back. Enjoy wearing them Lucy – I will be just a little envious!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

To find out a personal shopping experience just for you to ensure you buy exactly what suits you, contact one of our consultants for a personal shopping experience. Click here and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly lot!

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