How To Wear Stripes for Women Over 50: Best Ways To Style Them

Stripes, once again, made a big appearance on the spring runways at Balmain, Victoria Beckham, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani and Valentino, to name just a few. Thankfully this linear print is a classic. If you invest in a striped dress, striped pants or a striped top, you can wear it now and for years to come. You may love stripes and have already incorporated them into your wardrobe. But if you tend to shy away from wearing stripes, it may be because you may think they are not flattering or you are uncertain about how to wear them. So here’s how to wear stripes for women over 50 as well as styling options to get you excited about wearing the trend.

How to Wear Stripes for Women Over 50

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Polo Ralph Lauren Stripe Cotton Button-Up Shirt, $168

Thin Stripes and Pinstripes

When you are over 50, or at any age, you may think stripes draw too much attention. To ease into the trend, consider smaller stripes or pinstripes. You may already own a menswear-inspired pin stripe shirt! You can wear it multiple ways with jeans or pants, under a blazer or cardigan, as a beach cover up, or even mixed with a floral or paisley print skirt. Pinstripes on button down shirts are usually vertical, which always creates a longer line.

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Vineyard Vines Simple Stripe V-Neck T-Shirt, $39.50

But don’t shy away from horizontal pinstripes. They may not make you look bigger (if that is your fear) because a thin stripe pattern is very subtle. In fact, black and white thin stripes almost look like a solid grey from a distance. Or try light colors like tan with white or tonal colors like navy with another shade of blue for a subtle take on the stripes trend.


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Tory Sport Striped piqué wide-leg pants, $228

Thick and Bold Stripes

Bold stripes do not go unnoticed, but don’t avoid them for that reason! They can also be quite flattering. There is no right or wrong way to wear bold stripes. I suggest to actually try on the clothing to see how it looks on you.

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Reiss Frazer Side Stripe Recycled Polyester Blend Drawstring Pants, $225
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ASOS DESIGN wrap midi dress with collar in multi stripe print, Now $33

As a general rule, bold vertical stripes on pants and tuxedo stripes down the sides can make you look taller and slimmer. However, if the vertical stripe pattern is repeated too much, it can have the opposite effect and make you look bigger. Thick diagonal stripes are flattering on a dress or skirt as they lead the viewer’s eye in multiple directions, creating a sort of camouflage effect.

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Balenciaga Mixed-Print Reversible Oversized Blouse, $1,590


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Badgley Mischa Collection Mix Print Long Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress, $660

Mixed Prints with Stripes

Some designers create fabrics or put together fabrics which include a mix of prints and stripes that you can purchase. Or you can get creative and mix your own prints. Consider wearing a pinstriped shirt or top with a bold floral or another geometric pattern skirt or pants. Or try a vertical stripe pair of pants with a patterned blouse. Just be sure that one of the stripe colors is in the pattern. And when you mix prints another general rule to make it work is to use one smaller pattern with one larger pattern. That’s why pinstripes are so easy to mix with larger patterns. On the other hand, large bold stripes will mix best with other smaller patterns, such as a smaller floral, check or dot print. Stripes will mix well with any organic pattern, since stripes are a geometric pattern. Opposites often work best when it comes to mixing prints.

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Bienen Davis Large Lynx Stripe Handle Bag, $895
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Love and Liberty Break Free Stripe Wedge Slide Sandal, $69.95
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Kate Spade New York Orchard Stripe Oblong Scarf, $88

Striped Accessories

The last option for wearing stripes is with your accessories. You can go a little bolder this way if you are timid, and you can add a lot of color to a simple outfit. Also keep in mind you now know you can wear stripes with prints! So a striped pair of shoes, handbag or scarf can be worn multiple ways and with many pieces in your wardrobe. Give stripes a try and have fun wearing stripes all year long.

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Vince Cameo Amalfi Stripe Crossover Blouse, $57.85

Balance Your Body Shape with Stripes

Stripes can create wonderful visual effects and make you feel confident wearing them. Here are ways to wear them to balance your own figure-type:

  1. If you have a pear shaped figure, wear horizontal stripes at the top with a darker solid bottom to create more volume or a stronger-shouldered look. Or wear vertical striped pants or a skirt with a lighter colored top to minimize your bottom half and draw attention up to your top.
  2. If you have a straight figure or want to conceal your midsection, try wearing diagonal stripes.
  3. If you are larger busted and slimmer through the hips, wear a bold vertical or horizontal stripe skirt with a darker solid colored top. You may also be surprised that horizontal stripes will work for you at the top, especially if they are thinner. Larger or bold stripes can work as a pop of pattern when worn under a blazer or cardigan.

Do you like the stripes trend? How do you like to wear them?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read 9 Of The Best Spring 2022 Fashion Trends for Women Over 40 and How To Wear Summer Tops for Women Over 50.

Sources: Vogue, Harpers Bazaar

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4 thoughts on “How To Wear Stripes for Women Over 50: Best Ways To Style Them”

  1. All my life I was heavy and avoided stripes at all cost, but now that I’m 75 lbs lighter it might be time to give them a try! I’ve only recently gotten out of the black, gray, and blue style I had gotten used to and adding some bright colors!


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