classic style · fashion · my favorites

The Classic Print I Always Reach For: Stripes

This morning as I was picking my outfit for the day and reaching for my favorite navy and white striped boatneck tee, I glanced at the clothes hamper and what did I see? At least 3 other striped items. There was a pajama set and two different tee shirts. Meanwhile, my J. Crew shopping cart has two striped items sitting in it. (My gosh, I’m sitting on a striped chair in my family room right now, they’re everywhere!)

Why do I gravitate towards stripes? Let me tell you three reasons you need some stripes in your wardrobe.

“Plays Well with Others”

I won’t lie, I am very picky about patterns because I always want to own things that can easily pair with others in my wardrobe. Stripes always “plays well with others”. One of my go to outfits is this J. Crew boatneck tee. You can easily throw on any jacket, scarf, jewelry, or hat to dress down or up. Skirt, shorts, jeans, pants, name your preferred bottoms of the day and it will work!


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I will say, there are many striped boatneck tees out there and my advice is to find the perfect one for you. I like this one above because it’s mid-weight cotton, breathable, slightly shorter but not at all cropped, and has a two inch side slit. I would prefer a printed stripe versus a woven stripe. (Think silk-screened or graphic print, if you know your printing methods) I also have this one below in a printed red stripe and the cotton has a flat finish aka no pilling. Unfortunately, it’s no longer carried by J. Crew but if you scour the resale market you may be able to find one, the item number is C7396, and yes I have that memorized.

Elevates Your Outfit

The right additions with your stripes being the “base” of the outfit can immediately take it up a notch. Here’s one of my favorite combinations, Silk scarf and stripe shirt.

Can you say classy?! This photo is from my trip to the Monet exhibit in San Francisco, March of this year. I felt very French chic.

This next combo was worn having dinner on a rooftop in town. Paired with a blush colored sweater blazer draped over my shoulders, I felt proper & put together.


Unlike floral or geometrical patterns, it’s easier to pick a stripe pattern that will translate well into any style. Also, when you pick the right stripe it can stay timeless and not age year to year like so many patterns do!

If you’re jumping into stripes for the first time, here are my two suggestions. If you have more classic style, try a traditional boatneck tee. You cannot go wrong with this French marina style top. I suggest trying one of these Joules Harbour Jersey Tops in one of the navy stripe combinations:


Or here’s this lightweight versions the reviews say are a little more fitted and comfortable over the bust, Harbour Lightweigh Jersey Top in Navy with cream stripes.


If your style is more modern/trendy, start with a v neck tee or play on colors. Then layer up your accessories and go! I love these Madewell options.

classic style, modern take on classic, stripes, risk free patterns,
Madewell Ex-Boyfriend Tee in Bridgeport Stripe, $45
madewell, stripes, classic pattern, classic styles, risk free patterns, flutter sleeve tops, modern take on classic,
Madewell Flutter-Sleeve Tee in Yorktown Stripe, $39.50

Whatever stripes you choose, remember you can go with a classic take or modern edge, then dress down or up depending on what you pair.

Do you avoid pattern? Or do you find yourself like me, a specific pattern obsessed person? Let me know in the comments.

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