By nature, spring/summer represents the time of the year where colour and pattern is widely accepted as part of your everyday wardrobe and designers move away from the muted tones of grey, black and navy traditionally associated with the colder months.

This season, although bright colours are again proving to be a popular choice, fashion designers and high street retailers alike have made pattern much more of a focal point within their collections. And one of the biggest pattern trends proving to be extremely popular for SS13 is the return of stripes.

Although the Breton stripe and nautical inspired pieces continue to remain a popular choice amongst fashion-conscious men, this season stripes are being adopted in more varied ways – from Breton to pinstripe to Regatta to humbug.

Some designers have even adopted the use of bright, often clashing colours and incorporated this colour-blocking effect into their striped patterns – creating a striking visual impact.

Stripes: On The Runways

Turning our attention to the designer collections from the various SS13 global fashion weeks, we start at the more sober, traditional end of the stripe spectrum. Collections by Gucci and Diesel Black Gold both featured classic pinstripe suiting in orthodox black and grey hues, which came in sleek, well-tailored styles.

The pinstripe tailoring from Gucci was particularly striking as a vivid red pinstripe was applied to traditional black 3-piece suits. Diesel Black Gold also showed support for the popular bomber jacket trend with silk bombers featuring subtle monotone stripe patterns.

Similarly, Salvatore Ferragamo, although not prolific in their use of stripes, included a selection of striped pieces in bold colours – the tangerine striped knitwear and multi-tone double-breasted tailoring in vivid lilacs and purples were particular highlights:

Key Show: Jean Paul Gaultier

Another supporter of the stripe pattern was Jean Paul Gaultier. It is common knowledge that the sailor stripe is a house signature at Gaultier (just look at the bottle for their iconic fragrance ‘Le Male’), so it should come as no surprise that the collection featured heavy use of the Breton stripe.

Breton stripes in black and red were applied to scoop neck sweaters, polo shirts and long sleeved dress shirts, creating a perfectly wearable set of clothing that would work particularly well as separates rather than paired together.

Looks showcased played on this underlying nautical theme but were given an ethnic twist via the bearded, turban-wearing models.

At the slightly more extravagant end of the collection were trousers and blazers featuring wide stripe patterns in humbug, black and white styles – they even included a sleeveless biker gilet complete with wide humbug stripes in black, red and white:

Adventurous Collections: Nicole Farhi & Acne

Other designer collections featuring more adventurous use of striping included Nicole Farhi and Acne.

The inspiration behind Nicole Farhi’s collection came from the UK seaside town of Brighton and the collection included deckchair style stripes in bold colours applied to shorts and blazers.

Similarly, Acne included wide-striped shirts and matching shorts with an almost pyjama-like feel. These wide stripes were also applied to oversized suits, sleeveless shirts and wide-legged trousers:

High Street & Designer Campaigns

Looking at some of the current advertising campaigns for the major high fashion houses, stripes are again used prolifically. In one of the shots for the SS13 Dolce and Gabbana collection the same striped pattern in red, white and blue is featured on a series of knits, shirts and tees worn by both men and children.

Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger’s SS13 campaign features their stereotypical family setting with different generations of men and women on board a yacht. The nautical theme is carried through to the models’ clothing, with Breton stripes incorporated on polo shirts, knitwear and shorts – proving just how popular the stripe trend is proving to be:

D&G SS13 Campaign (Top) & Tommy Hilfiger SS13 Campaign (Bottom)

Current Lookbook Inspiration

Below you will see how the high street and mid-priced designers have chosen to incorporate and style stripes in their latest collections, including the likes of H&M, AllSaints and LBM 1911:

h&m ss13 lbm 1911 ss13 h&m ss13 casual styles tommy hilfiger sportswear ss13 allsaints ss13 tommy hilfiger denim ss13 h&m ss13 ben sherman el burgues ss13

Current Pieces

When browsing the high street collections currently available, stripes are prevalent at all major retailers. Brands such as Topman, River Island and ASOS are already selling a plethora of striped garments – from classic Breton tees to more adventurous bright, bold coloured striped pieces.

At the more expensive end of the market, designer versions are available from the likes of Mr. Porter and Oki Ni. Paul Smith’s typical multi-coloured logo and signature stripe applies perfectly to this trend and features on messenger bags and scarves, proving that the pattern works well on accessories too.

Furthermore, Mr. Porter is currently stocking a double-breasted, micro-stripe blazer by Junya Watanabe which comes in a perfectly apt white and blue tone for spring/summer. There is also a selection of silk ties by Etro that feature an interesting striped pattern in various bold colours:

  • Allsaints Powder Crew T-shirt
  • Reiss Chingley Short Sleeve Stripe Crew Rose
  • Allsaints Form Crew T-shirt
  • Gant Rugger Striped Cotton Polo Shirt
  • Farah Vintage Shirt With Horizontal Stripe
  • Topman Blue Dash Stripe Shirt
  • Bellerose Horizontal Striped Shirt
  • Saturdays Surf Nyc Crosby Slim-fit Striped Cotton-poplin Shirt
  • Nn.07 Men’s Cain Long Sleeve T-shirt
  • Dolce & Gabbana Striped Cotton-blend Sweater
  • Esprit Stripe Jumper
  • Topman Vito Corfix Stripe Blazer
  • Junya Watanabe Slim-fit Cotton-blend Blazer
  • Allsaints Catamaran Swim Shorts
  • He By Mango Striped Foulard
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Striped Woven Scarf
  • Etro Striped Knitted Silk Tie
  • Dolce & Gabbana Stripe Canvas Trainers 146506

So there we have it, one of the biggest pattern trends to feature this upcoming season is the return of the humble stripe.

Personally, I feel the traditional Breton stripe is a classic style that will never fall out of favour and will add a touch of French Riviera chic to any summer outfit.

I can understand there may be some wariness towards wearing stripes from head-to-toe, as featured in some of the high fashion designer looks, so would instead recommend pairing bold striped garments with your current collection of neutral wardrobe staples in order to ‘anchor’ them and allow the stripes to make the statement.

But what do you think? Are stripes something you already tend to utilise during the spring/summer months? Will you be looking to branch away from traditional Breton stripes this year and go for something more striking?

As always, we welcome your thoughts and musings below…