Stripes are hardly a new fashion trend, but this summer, striped dresses are all the rage in fresh designs and bold colors. Riding the coattails of the military chic trend of this past fall and winter, many dresses are a nod to the nautical but with a modern twist. Done right, the pattern flatters and elongates your body shape, contrary to popular belief that stripes widen. Even big-box stores have jumped on this designer bandwagon, so no matter your budget, you're sure to find a dress perfect for flaunting this season.
Stripes on a knee-length silhouette are perfect for summer, reminiscent of breezy resortwear. Mango, the urban clothing line out of Spain, attracted a lot of buzz for its Color and Stripes lookbook for spring and summer. Styles that have made the round of fashion magazines and blogs include a colorblocked dress in shades of blue, teal, and white and a vibrant vermillion-striped dress with navy banding and sash. These styles are approximately $50, a shockingly affordable price tag for such an impressive line.
Domestic retail favorites also carry bold striped dresses. J.Crew's Maritime Dress, retailing for $88, features a classic blue and white stripes with a cropped length, long sleeves, and exposed zippers at hem. It would be an ideal piece for cool summer nights and easily transitions to cold weather with leggings or skinny jeans. For a statement look without allover stripes, Anthropologie offers its Readymade Dress by Odille with a red and white striped top and solid navy chambray skirt for $118. Finally, Harper's Bazaar magazine recommends a classic black and white dress from White House Black Market, a favorite store of Michelle Obama. The Striped Ponte Sheath Dress, $148, features flattering horizontal black and white skinny stripes with a crisscross pattern to accent the waistline, complete with a skinny belt. With its scoopneck, cap sleeves, and sheath silhouette, it is the perfect way to stay on trend while still being appropriate for work or formal settings.
Maxi-Length Striped Dresses
Maxi dresses are a summer staple, and a striped version shows you are on top of this season's trend. Opt for budget-friendly pieces that won't break the bank. Target's Mossimo Maxi T-Shirt Tank Dress, $20 (on sale for $15 at press time), is an easy, casual look with knit construction, scoop neck, and thin horizontal stripes. Navy and white, black and red, brown and light brown, and teal and gray are a few of the combinations offered. Forever 21's Striped Maxi Tank Dress is even more affordable at $13.50 (on sale for $10 at press time) and offers a racerback design for an added twist; it is offered in a cool coral and taupe stripe or olive and black stripe. The Striped Knit Maxi Dress, $14.90, offers colorways of navy and cream or olive and cream, and the Electric Hipster Maxi Dress, $24.80, boasts a multicolor, retro-inspired chevron pattern with spaghetti straps. Break the potential monotony of body-length stripes with a waist-cinching belt or a chunky necklace.