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There was a day in 2009 when I swore off stripes. Just like that, I walked away. The way I swore off eating Hostess SnoBalls for breakfast or the way I swore off eating all the pecans out of the butter pecan ice cream carton.
Vertical, horizontal, diagonal – it didn’t matter – I was moving, and I decided these bold bands of color couldn’t come with. There was no room for them in my life…or in my new apartment.
But recently an inexplicable pull towards stripes has been growing within me. And so I set out to find stripes here in Oak Park. Take a peek at the photo gallery for a few irresistable choices from some of our neighborhood retailers:
Sanem's 134 N. Oak Park Avenue
Muse 106 N. Marion Street
Chameleon 130 N. Oak Park Avenue
During my search, I found out how divided people are when it comes to stripes. Julie Menzies of Oak Park isn’t a fan of stripes: “They remind me of little boy clothes,” she shares, scrunching up her nose as if stripes had a distinct odor she was recalling – a scent that was as unsavory as the sight.
But many women, like Muse customer Nora Fitzgerald, gravitate towards stripes. She fingered sophisticated designs by Eva Franco, a beautiful asymmetrical skirt in heather gray and steel blue stripes: “I love it!” I heard her proclaim with gusto.
I myself found chemistry with an infinitely comfortable, black and ivory slouchy number from Sanem’s Women’s Boutique. Feels like this cotton was spun out of clouds; it’s that soft. Long enough to wear with leggings, short enough to tuck and layer with a blazer. I love a top that multitasks! For fun, ask Sanem how many different ways you can wear this piece. My bet is the options are endless!
Chameleon Clothing has amped up the cool factor by pairing their nautical stripes with hip, white skinny jeans, a striped, rimmed cloche hat with a band, gold statement earrings, and a whiskey colored hobo bag. Oh, Spring, we’ve been waiting for you so patiently. This oh-so-chic ensemble makes me a little less patient.
Muse Boutique has a plethora of pretty options that are likely to convert the staunchest anti-stripist. (Yes, I made that word up. Hey, if Louis Carroll could do it, so can I.) My favorite! A red and white striped cotton knit tee with a subtle shoulder bow in navy that adds interest and a touch of feminity. Another choice: a midnight blue and white lightweight cashmere sweater is perfect to take you from chilly days to warmer weather. A great piece as we transition into spring. You’ll also find stylish seersucker jackets and sweet dresses in traditional shades of white and cornflower blue–you’ve not seen seersucker like this before.
I was thoroughly pleased at the selection of sunny stripes, subdued stripes, and even seersucker stripes here in town. I like to wear mine with a pair of skinny cargos in army green, layered under a combed wool, gray boyfriend blazer. Come warmer weather (and I have hope that it will come - sooner than later!), I’ll be wearing mine with a pair of skinny white denims and strappy sandals. Peruse the photo gallery to see how fashion icons (and one surly artist) have worn stripes throughout history.
Are you a fan of stripes? If so, how do you wear your stripes? If you've found the perfect stripes at a local, independent retailer, tell us about it here! Other than diminutive stripes, I have to wonder how men feel about wearing bold stripes?