Who doesn’t love a stripe? For many of us, just seeing a thick Cabana stripe will teleport us, in mind if not body, straight into a Slim Aarons photograph. Or picture Tuscany’s iconic Il Pellicano resort, with its yellow-and-white striped decor, or the jaunty pink-and-green candy striped ceilings of the Beverly Hills Hotel. This crisply chic look—which can be traced to the blue-and-white Breton marinière knit shirts worn by French sailors—can be summoned with the addition of one or two simple pieces, like a smart dhurrie rug or classic canvas beach umbrella.
But stripes weren’t always an illustrious standard bearer of the good life. In the rather drab Middle Ages, wearing stripes, now a runway mainstay, marked you as a socially maligned denizen of Social Siberia along with heretics, criminals, and court jesters. Even zebras, whose likeness has become a global exemplar of intrepid chic, were condemned as members of “Satan’s Bestiary.”
Today, of course, stripes are not only socially acceptable, they’re beloved—but never boring. Take a scroll through your social media feeds and it won’t be long before you discover some parallel lines. Stripes, the perennial It-girl of design, have a Zelig-like ability to absorb the moment, cut through the algorithm, and still pack a visual punch you’ll remember.
Shop the full curation of sensational striped pieces from the latest issue of our print publication, Magazinish. To read all of Magazinish, click here.