To Stripe or Not to Stripe

Deciding to wear stripes brings you into some very dangerous territory. Vertical or horizontal? Wide or skinny? What colors? Striped clothes are some of the easiest clothes to royally mess up, so take a minute to consider what you will look like before taking the leap to stripes.

Horizontal vs. Vertical

In general, you will want to stay away from horizontal stripes. Again- stay away from horizontal stripes! Stripes produce remarkable optical illusions. Horizontal stripes will make you look wider, younger and heavier....and not to mention goofy. Do you know who wears horizontal stripes? Waldo (of Where's Waldo? fame) and clowns. And prisoners. Not cool. Remember the fourth or fifth Harry Potter film? Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley) had a huge growth spurt before his costars did, making him look much older than Harry and Hermione. To trick the audience into not realizing this, every time he was in "Muggle" clothes, they were designed with huge horizontal stripes. This made him look both younger and shorter than he actually was. Conversely, vertical stripes are where it's at. In fact, they're where it's always been. Vertical stripes are slimming and will make you seem taller. If you're already super tall you should stay away, but everyone else should have a field day with these bad boys. If you design your own t-shirts and your heart is set on stripes, make sure they're vertical.


Be sure to stay away from complementary colors. Colors that are opposite one another, like the Lakers' yellow and purple, will add to the negative effects of stripes (optically), and add nothing positive; that is, unless you're going for the goofy clown look. Also, try to keep them thin. Thicker stripes, whichever direction they are going, have been out for decades, unless you're going for the preppy polo look. However, there is one exception: the bowling style shirt. If you're getting t-shirts or custom hoodies and you're going for that retro look, two wide vertical stripes going down over each breast will have you looking fresh.

When you're designing your own shirts, be sure to take your time with it. Consider whether or not you want to use stripes, and check out our other t-shirt ordering guides to help get you going!