Stripes are often touted as ‘style perennials’ and ‘wardrobe must-haves’, and made a big statement at the SS17 fashion weeks. But how should you actually be wearing them this summer?

We’ve headed back to basics with a guide to stripes that’ll see you swapping the banker look for nautical flair, just in time for a trip to the beach this weekend.

Classic & Cool

The classic Breton stripe shirt looks good on pretty much every man, providing it’s worn in a way that only gently nods to the piece’s nautical heritage. Even if off to the French Riviera, don’t be tempted to also throw on boat shoes (or, worse, a boat neck).

Ditch the gimmicks and opt for a classic, crew neck T-shirt with long sleeves in a high-quality cotton. By pairing this with navy tailored shorts and clean white sneakers when it’s hot, or under a bomber with dark jeans when it’s not, you’ll get the Gallic cool without the Sailor Jerry jibes from your mates.

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Pick ’n’ Mix

Mastered the mariner and looking for the next challenge? The runways were awash with clashing this season, and luckily the rules are pretty lax when it comes to what cuts the mustard in 2017.

Stripes on stripes is one of the easiest ways to take on the mix and match trend, and there are just a few simple rules to consider. Firstly, the lines should be going in different directions – i.e. horizontal on one piece, vertical on another.

Secondly, bear in mind the size of the stripe. They should be recognisably different from a distance, such as a thinner nautical stripe with a chunkier block motif.

Thirdly, whether you’re rocking a classic Breton or something a little louder, the palette still needs to be complementary. If colour wheel theory leaves you yawning, opt for muted tones – the clashing of the prints will create enough of a statement.

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Short Odds

Striped trousers are a solid style statement for spring/summer, but are not always suitable for the average trip down to the beer garden. Instead, opt for something with a smaller surface area to get your on-trend fix.

Striped shorts make for a refreshing alternative to colour-blocked chino options. Just keep them on the tailored side, as anything that borders on athleisure will have you looking like a member of Kurupt FM on holiday in Kos.

Look for smarter designs and team with a well-fitting pique polo or neat tailored shirt for an on-point BBQ look.

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Smarten Up

Long ties, air ties, bow-ties… tongue-tied? When up to your neck with the variety of throat appendages available, swap the shirt and Scout knot for a simple French mariner stripe tee.

Pick one up in a classic navy and cream palette and it’ll sit effortlessly under a neutral deconstructed blazer. The jacket and T-shirt should both be slim fitting, as anything too baggy will look untidy and too casual.

Stick to simple colours and combine with either a neat, slim-leg pair of jeans or matching suit trousers. Then, finish off with some crisp white sneakers for a smart summer look that’ll work pretty much everywhere. Et voila.

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Accessory Stripes

If wearing stripes is a little too adventurous, striped accessories are a great way to ease in and nod to the trend without banding your body.

Striped watch straps are big news this season, as are knitted, webbing-style striped belts – both of which add some Ivy League preppiness to an outfit without the need for penny loafers. A striped tote will work just as well on the commute as it will on the beach, and a pair of good quality navy and white socks do well to add a slither of interest to a cropped leg.

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