Stand out Stripes: History of Stripes in Fashion

Stripes have been a fashion favorite for centuries. Dating back to the earliest days of fashion, stripes are a timeless and versatile trend beloved by designers and fashion lovers alike. The use of this pattern can be traced back to ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, who used striped linen garments for ceremonial and religious purposes. Similarly, the Greeks and Romans incorporated stripes into their clothing, often using them to denote social status or military rank.

In the early part of the century, stripes were often used in men's fashion, particularly in the form of the Breton shirt, which became popular in the 1920s. This classic shirt was originally worn by sailors and fishermen in Brittany, France, and was later popularized by artists and intellectuals.

By the 19th century, stripes became more commonly associated with women's clothing, particularly in the form of the striped shirtwaist. These shirts, which were typically made of cotton or linen, were a popular choice for middle-class women and were often worn with long skirts or bloomers.

It was during the 20th century that we saw the rise in stripes in a variety of fashion styles, from the epic sighting of American track-and-field star Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, wearing Adidas shoes that were reportedly a gift from Adi Dassler himself to bold and colorful stripes. The acclaimed apparel company not only innovated the stripe scene with shoes but is attributed to popularizing this pattern when introducing the tracksuit to their product line. In 1967, Adidas expanded its product line and introduced the tracksuit featuring its signature three stripes down the arms and legs, hitting the masses with a modern take on stripes, which has grown to become a worldly wardrobe staple.

Influential designers such as Mary Quant and André Courrèges incorporated stripes into their collections, using them to create a sense of movement and energy in their designs. While Coco Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler embraced stripes by creating a range of looks, from casual to avant-garde, becoming a staple of high fashion.

The history of stripes spans centuries, cultures, and styles, from the Egyptians to the modern day, from classic pinstripes to bold, multicolored stripes; this pattern holds a classic appeal that continues to endure in modern fashion. There are many different stripe types, and stripes can be your style ally, creating a sense of movement or depth in your look or simply adding a pop of color or texture to an outfit. Experiment with different types of stripes and add some interest and movement to your wardrobe.