Spots or Stripes?

Spots or stripes, or spots and stripes?! We love polka dots, spots, whatever you want to call them. They are retro-chic, and a fab way to embrace pattern.

But then we also love stripes. They’re fresh, summery, cool, smart and casual. Stripes are so versatile and so easy.

You can mix them up, if you dare. Or are you firmly in the spots camp? Or a devoted stripes fan?

spots or stripesLet’s start with spots. Or polka dots. They look fantastic on dresses, brilliant on blouses, and amazing on accessories. If you don’t want to go all dotty at once, then choose something simple – a pair of earrings, or a bag. Or a simple pair of shoes.

spots twoClockwise, from top left: Polka dot ballerina pumps, £14.99, H&M, multi dotty top, £35, White Stuff, beige polka dot dress, £30.40, polka dot round bag, £20, Red Herring @ Debenhams, polka dot earrings, £4.50, Claire’s Accessories

Simple shift dresses, muted event dresses, bikinis, or just a scarf. Spots look fantastic in large or small measures. Mix up your dots too, for maximum impact.

spots threeClockwise, from top left: Overlaid dress, £45, Evans @ BHS, polka and stripe bikini top, £12, matching bottoms, £8, BHS, delicate dot dress, £99, RJR John Rocha @ Debenhams, waist cinching dress, £49, Louche @ JOY, polka scarf, £19.95, White Stuff

Push boundaries with a whole polka dot outfit. But do be careful – it can all get a bit Minnie Mouse, and we don’t really want to look like the Disney mouse, no matter how much we love her!

Spots oneClockwise, from top left: Skirt, £26, JOY, cardigan, £19.99, H&M, red polka headband, £6, Claire’s Accessories, polka Vans, £50, Schuh, polka dot bow earrings, £3.50, Claire’s Accessories.

So, that’s spots done – now for stripes. A simple Breton-style Tee is a must-have in any wardrobe, but you might want to take your stripes love further. How about a dress, or a playsuit?

stripes oneClockwise, from top left: Stripe dress, £45, French Connection, red and white stripe Tee, £35, White Stuff, playsuit, £12.99, H&M, striped sandals, £20, Floozie by FrostFrench @ Debenhams, stripe top, £28, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams

Stripes evoke a nautical theme, and look brilliant in blue and white. And red. But they also look fantastic in other colours. Broad, bright stripes on a top are a statement. Bold striped trousers are a bigger statement.

stripes threeClockwise, from top left: Green and blue top, £29.99, H&M, skirt, £14.99, New Look, trousers, £14.99, H&M, multi stripe top, £35, White Stuff, stripe oversize cardigan, £14.99, New Look

Stripes look brilliant on the beach. Grab a stripy bikini, a big hat, and maybe a stripy necklace just to make sure. Oh yeah, and some stripy shoes too.

stripes twoClockwise, from top left: Hat, £14.99, H&M, necklace, £15, JOY, orange bikini top, £16, bottoms, £14, BHS, espadrilles, £7.99, H&M, crop top bikini top, £12.99, high waist bottoms, £11.99, New Look

So, spots or stripes – which are you?


Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction

Earn Your Fashion Stripes!

Stripes are a perennial fashion trend. But they’re also one that is a bit Marmite – you love or hate them. French Breton-style striped tops are a simple way of adding a classic look to your wardrobe.

Bold stripes on dresses and jackets are a bigger, brighter way to wear the trend. Fashion has all sorts of rules that I don’t adhere to, but do be careful with horizontal stripes or bands on the larger areas of your body. French Connection has a fantastic dress which is striped both ways, enhancing the natural curves, not working in an unflattering way.

Red and blue are always great colours for stripes, give you that playful, nautical look.

Stripes oneClockwise, from left: Blue striped maxi dress, £40, Louche @ JOY, striped cardigan, £25, BHS, red shorts, £35, JOY, bow detail shoes, £35, Schuh, red striped midi skirt, £25, BHS, striped necklace, £15, JOY.

Stripes can also give a retro look to a piece, tying in with that nautical, pin-up girl feel. Try ‘wiggle’ dresses, or skater dresses. BHS’s gorgeous cotton coral mixed stripes dress looks great with espadrilles and a slouchy bag for a summer stripes look.

Stripes fiveClockwise, from top left: red skater dress, £14.99, H&M, mixed stripe dress, £65, French Connection, coral striped dress, £26, BHS, stripe espadrilles, £30, Schuh, bag, £39, JOY

Monochrome works brilliantly in stripes. Black and white are the perfect pairing, and make a bold statement in a dress, a top, or a cheeky pair of hotpants!

stripes twoClockwise, from top left: skater dress, £19.50, BHS, boob tube, £7.99, H&M+, striped backpack, £32, Call It Spring @ Debenhams, off-the-shoulder top, £3.99, striped shorts, £5.99, both H&M

If you feel like mixing it up a bit, combine your stripes with something else – polka dots, logos, florals and stars. Or try a combination of thin and thick stripes for a less uniform look.

stripes threeClockwise, from top left: Spots and stripes skirt, £45, White Stuff, stars and stripes sweater, £44.99, Superdry, floral and striped dress, £14.99, New Look, stripe skirt, £tbc, BHS, Paris logo t-shirt, £12.99, New Look

Of course, stripes can be in bold colours too, and mixed with bright colour pops they can look fantastic for summer. Or try textures, like the fab striped beaded bag from Principles by Ben De Lisi at Debenhams.

Stripes fourClockwise, from top left: Striped maxi, £19.99, New Look, striped T-shirt, £25 (was £32.50), White Stuff, yellow striped platform sandals, £75, Red or Dead @ Schuh, pink and grey striped Tee, £3.99, H&M, beaded striped clutch, £50, Principles by Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams.

Stripes look great for summer, in casual knits, vests, simple shift dresses, and shorts. Try mixing bold black vertical stripes like those on this New Look top, with faded blue horizontal stripes like these shorts from Crew Clothing, and throw  the pink and cream Superdry sweater over your shoulders to complete the look!

stripes sixClockwise, from top left: striped dress, £18, BHS, pink and cream Sedgewick sweater, £49.99, Superdry, thin stripe vest, £30, French Connection, thick black and white stripe top, £17.99, New Look, blue and white striped shorts, £40, Crew Clothing.

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction