Earn your stripes

Black and white makes a comeback for spring in pop art-inspired monochrome

Marc Jacobs is a decisive kind of fashion designer.

Each season, he sets out his stall of ideas, first in New York for his two self-titled collections, then in Paris, where he presides over the French luxury house, Louis Vuitton. Each show presents a distinct vision, or set of ideas. Spring 2013 chez Marc Jacobs saw a parade of dainty 1960s garb printed with bold black bars including monochrome romper suits, dresses, skirt suits and striped pyjama ensembles with a touch of Beetlejuice about them. Highly qualified experts have debated over the years over whether it is vertical or horizontal stripes that make the wearer appear slimmer – what is true for sure is that finer stripes placed closer together will exaggerate curves like contours on a map, whereas blocky wide stripes can flatten you out somewhat.

Go for fitted rather than clingingly tight when wearing stripes, and if you're trying something new for 2013, why not experiment with trousers, or even matching top and bottoms, in graphic monochrome?