Get striped without sabotaging your figure -- or bank account

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The very savvy Christina Binkley at the Wall Street Journal has thrown down the first fashion declaration of 2010: for spring, it's all about stripes.

Specifically, it's all about the mariniere -- better known stateside as the basic striped boatneck top that once graced the frames of Hepburn and Chanel and continues to dominate catwalks today. Thanks to a battleship's worth of nautical looks at the Paris shows, a retail explosion of stripes is on the horizon.

Which is all well and good if you're reed-thin and don't mind the illusionary pounds rings all around can add to your silhouette. But if you're not: here are a few ways to stripe it up without filling out (and, of course, without breaking the bank).



Get yourself a mariniere.
It may seem counterintuitive, but these all-striped classic tops are actually very flattering. The boatneck draws attention to the neck and shoulders and the three-quarter length sleeves found on many play up your wrists -- basically, your skinniest parts are exposed and everything else is covered up. Try this essential shirt from Forever 21 ($11.50).

Pick a dress -- but steer clear of dangerous waters.

Striped dresses are uniformly adorable -- but some, when you get them on, are ruthless figure saboteurs. If a dress is tight, slinky and also striped, back away immediately. Instead, go for frocks with more comfortable shapes -- like this empire-waisted number from Old Navy ($15) -- or ones that isolate stripes to above the waistline, like this mixed-media dress from Alloy ($19.99).

Accesorize, bandit-style.
Free yourself from figure worries altogether by choosing accessories in bands of black and white. Such as: Urban Outfitters' ridiculously cheap slip-on sneaks ($16 or 2 for $30), Torrid's irresistible sunglasses ($15) or this Pink Studio clutch (around $22). Just don't wear them all at once -- we can't be held responsible for your friends developing vertigo.
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