I love stripes and particularly love using them in the summer. There is something so appealing about them, so energetically sporty and preppy. To me, they denote playfulness and orderliness at the same time. But did you know that they have a dark side? Did you know that stripes were associated with the devil during the Middle Ages? In the book, The Devil's Cloth, Michel Pastoureau describes the colorful history of the stripe. He tells us that during the Middle Ages, the outcasts were clothed in striped cloth which warned people to watch out! Prisoners, clowns, jugglers, prostitutes, the hangman and even the disloyal knight of the round table wore stripes. During the Renaissance, there came to be "good" stripes. Stripes that denoted celebrations, exoticism or freedom. Interestingly, while the medieval stripe was the cause of disorder and transgression, the modern stripe symbolizes orderliness and also freedom. The stripes in the American flag are a case in point. Whether to connote good or bad, the stripe is more striking and visually arresting than any other print because it compels us to look at it and refuses to fade into the background.
I love navy and white stripes, black and white stripes, red and white, orange and white and just about every color with white. On rugs, umbrellas, chairs, pillows, pool towels, walls, shirts, dresses and espadrilles! Stripes and summer just seem to belong together. Here are some of my favorite striped things for summer:
These bamboo directors chairs are outdoor safe and a great price at $99 a pair.
Striped rugs look fabulous on a porch or deck:
A striped bag is so right for the beach or shopping:
Striped pillows are great outdoors in this Sunbrella fabric from Pottery Barn:
Stripes in black and white, either vertical or horizontal add a punch of graphic energy to a room.
Or how about an awning in black and white stripes? So classic!
Striped panels on a porch also give the affect and just seem so effortlessly elegant and chic, don't they?
Nothing spells effortlessly cool better than throwing on a Meridian sailor shirt by Saint James:
You can even wear stripes on your feet. These espadrilles from Tory Burch are super cute:
Kate Spade's Carolyn dress was a big hit and was worn by a character in the TV show The Hart of Dixie as well as by Taylor Swift to an awards show. I'd love to get my hands on one of these to wear to a summer wedding...
Do you love stripes as much as I do? I'd love to hear about your favorite striped things...