How to Style Striped Shirts — And Striped Outfits You'll Love

how to style striped shirts

Striped shirts used to be meant for sailors as a survival tactic, but now they’re meant for everyone as a fashion choice. In 1858, French sailors wore striped shirts called The Breton Stripe Shirt with 21 blue and white stripes which could be easily identified if they fell overboard at sea. What was once a uniform is now a wardrobe staple for men, women, and kids. If there’s one basic piece you need in your closet, a striped T-shirt would definitely be up there.

As a classic style, striped clothing has gone through many iterations. Now, we see striped t-shirts and long sleeve shirts having a moment, but back in Middle Ages they were actually deemed ‘evil’ and worn by convicts. In another period of time, the mid-19th century, striped wear was very popular among men and women for beachwear. By the early 1900s, Coco Chanel created a nautical-themed collection inspired by the stripes she’d seen on French sailors.

Wherever you get your inspiration from, stripes are versatile and are here to stay. They match so many basic bottoms that you probably already have in your closet and you can bet that they’ll stay trendy through the years.

Striped shirts are a wardrobe staple that can elevate your basic tee game! But it’s not always easy to style this casual look in ways that look modern and trendy. That’s why we created this guide on how to style striped shirts for any occasion—from the office to a night out with friends. Read ahead if you’re looking for striped shirt outfit ideas for fall that go way beyond your basic striped tee.

Which Striped Shirt Fit Is For You?

striped sweater

Shop the Jumper 1234 Striped Sweater Here


Are you looking for a striped tee that fits snugly on your body or an oversized shirt that doesn’t show the silhouette of your body? Oversized shoulders or fitted sleeves that swaddle the arms?

Fitted tees and long sleeve shirts can easily be tucked into skinny jeans or white shorts. On the other hand, an oversized shirt is more trendy and often seen worn over baggy blue jeans as a street-style look.

Now, short sleeve striped tees and long sleeve shirts are not the only striped shirts you’ll see online and on retailer shelves this fall. Striped button-downs and striped sweaters are also very on-trend and can similarly be worn with jeans, denim shorts, or chinos.

The fit for men and women may be different, but the styles are the same. You can totally wear your boyfriend’s blue striped shirt from his closet as an oversized top and no one will notice that it was bought from the men’s department.

Go For the Breton Sailor Look

perfect white tee striped shirt

Shop the Perfect White Tee Striped T-Shirt Here


The Breton striped shirt, originally worn as a uniform by French sailors in 1858, may seem outdated but it’s probably the most classic striped shirt look you can wear. The original design had 21 stripes to symbolize each of Napoleon Bonaparte's victories. Sailors wore white baggy pants with pockets, a white beret hat adorned with a pom-pom, and boat shoes.

The modern-day nautical outfit consists of white skinny jeans or white shorts, a wide-brimmed hat in lieu of a hat, and loafers. Iconic nautical fashion, inspired by the French men of the sea, is also popular with wide-leg jeans, and double-breasted blazers (seen on people in the navy).

Layer Your Striped Shirts

monrow striped cardigan

Shop Monrow Striped Cardigan here.


Layer striped tops over solid-colored bottoms and add a jacket for good measure!

When it comes to fashion, layering is a technique that never goes out of style. By mixing and matching different patterns and colors, you can create a unique and eye-catching outfit that's perfect for any occasion.

If you're looking to switch up your look, consider trying out the trend of layering striped tops over solid-colored bottoms or vice versa. This bold contrast will add a fun and playful element to your wardrobe, and you can mix and match to create endless outfit possibilities. As for jackets, try a blazer, denim jacket, cardigan, or trench coat.

How do you style a striped shirt for men?

Men can pair a horizontal striped long-sleeve shirt or striped sweater with chinos or skinny jeans. They can also don a vertically striped button-down shirt with blue jeans or fancify the look with a suit jacket and matching pants. Dress shoes for fancier outfits and loafers for a more casual look complete the outfit.

What colors should you wear with a striped shirt?

If you’re wearing a basic navy or black striped shirt, then you can get bold with a solid-colored bottom or a colored bottom. However, if you’re wearing a colored striped top, we suggest sporting a solid-colored bottom for contrast. We also love pairing striped shirts with solid-colored jean shorts, skinny jeans, white jeans, or even khakis.

How do you wear a striped shirt casually?

Try wearing an oversized blue striped button-down shirt with baggy khakis or skinny jeans and top it off with casual loafers or white sneakers. This effortless look and wardrobe staple may seem minimal, but it will make a big fashion statement as you walk the streets.

Stripe it up! Styling striped shirts is all about tweaking the outfit to make it look unique and personalized. If you’re looking for something casual, opt for a relaxed-fit top and pair it with your favorite jeans or shorts. For a more formal look, try accessorizing with jewelry or scarves to complete the ensemble. Spark your creativity by finding inspiration from celebrity-style looks so you can experiment with different options until you find the perfect result. Curate the boldest and most stylish wardrobe of stripe-clad apparel when styled just right!