My No-Stripes-Allowed Shopping Trip

A selection of striped breton tees folded against a white background

As I settled down to write this post, I found myself Googling ‘the psychology of why we like striped tops’. You won’t be surprised to learn that I did not find any answers, amazingly no one has studied the matter for their PhD. So it’s up to me to speculate as to why the women of Britain (France, and the world?) have a stripy top habit.

First, they have a classic association with Coco Chanel, and all things French and chic, and who doesn’t want a slice of that? Then, they go with everything, especially jeans, but everything really. And proximity. Everyone wears them, every shop stocks them, so what is the point in trying to resist?

Helen Perry wearing a red Breton tee against a red and white striped wall

One of my collection, a red Breton from Hobbs

I currently have more than half a dozen stripy tops on the go, and can’t imagine a time when I won’t. But just to try and mix it a tiny bit I challenged myself to go on one shopping trip, for tops to wear with jeans, where I was absolutely banned from buying anything stripy. This is what I found.

Swap stripes for slogans

Are slogans the new stripes? They are almost as ubiquitous.

Pink 'Be Mine' and purple bird t-shirts by H&M, flat lay photograph with jeans, denim and tee

These t-shirts by H&M were an absolute steal, just a few quid each, and I would have completely bypassed them if I hadn’t been trying to think outside of the stripy box. I’ll get more like it for the summer. The Be Mine t-shirt is £8.99. I couldn’t find the purple one on the H&M website but it is £9.99 in store. Perhaps they could be layered with a stripy top until it gets a bit warmer? Ha!

Whistles C'est La Vie slogan sweatshirt, red

Apparently, the French don’t really use they phrase c’est la vie, they’ve just let us have it for our slogan jumpers. Whistles £79.

Are lips a bit like a slogan? I think so.

Lips jumper by Mint Velvet, pink and red sweater

I find that Mint Velvet often stock nice simple, lightweight sweaters. And although it’s probably not what they are known for, nice strong colours too. This one is £69.

Swap stripes for flowers

Floral patterns are not my usual thing, but this shopping trip was about looking beyond the stripe, and plain tops are pretty dull. So flowers it is.

H&M green and pink floral blouse with jeans

Green and pink are the everywhere colours at the moment, and this one looks good with denim don’t you think? H&M have a large selection of green blouses but again, don’t seem to offer this particular one online. £17.99 in store.

Ok, bear with me, I have styled this up a la my grandmother…..

red and blue floral blouse from Whistles

This is a lightweight floral blouse by Whistles at £99. I just need to wear it with something underneath until the weather warms up.

Also flowers, also from Whistles.

Navy blue sweatshire with white and yellow flowers from Whistles

Read about the time I spoke to stylist Lauren Jobling about having your ‘colours done’.

Swap stripes for a pretty blouse

I actually bought this one a few weeks ago, and have worn in a couple of times already. It makes a nice girly change for me and has received compliments. A bit of a bargain from Zara at £25.99  and they have got lots more like it in for the summer. Lovely.

White Plumetis Shirt by Zara, pictured with jeans and brown handbag

And a close up of the brooch for no particular reason.

Yellow brooch with white shirt and jeans

Thank you so much for reading. I have enjoyed shopping for something other than my usual uniform and would really recommend it. Tell me what you like and what you don’t.

Tap here for some advice from a group of wonderful women on how to take great selfies.

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What's your View?

2 comments on “My No-Stripes-Allowed Shopping Trip

  1. Juliana on

    I love a stripy breton top and they do go with EVERYTHING which is why they make such a good wardrobe staple, although I don’t think I have as many as you!! I actually went to H&M today and bought a couple of tops in the sale. No breton – but that was only because they didn’t have one in my size. C’est la vie. 😉 LOL!!

  2. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    Ce’est la vie indeed!!! H&M is such a bargain, especially in the sale, so a happy indulgence! Thanks so much for popping by for a read you lovely woman. Hxxx

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