Many people talk about horizontal stripes as the work of the devil. It’s true they can be widening, but some can also be lengthening. It’s all in the detail, the scale and your shape and scale and how you wear them.
The wider the horizontal, the more your eye will slow down and focus on it. Why? Because we’re looking for the horizon – it gives us balance. How often when you see a picture that is crooked do you feel compelled to straighten it up? That’s the effect of horizontal lines on our own perception of balance and what is straight.
The narrower the stripe, the harder it is for our eye to focus on one line, so narrow horizontals actually start working like verticals, moving the eye up and down, rather than side to side.
The longer the garment, the more easy it is to wear stripes, as the garment is a more vertical garment, than a short horizontal one, further made to look broader by the horizontal stripes.
What is your scale? If you’re petite, medium or larger stripes will dwarf you. Look for only narrow stripes. If you’re medium scale, you can choose a more medium stripe as I have in my skirt. Very tall, but naturally slim? Then you can work with the larger scale stripes. Larger scale but curvy? Go for a medium stripe rather than a large one.