Get striped without sabotaging your figure -- or bank account

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.
Read Full Story

Can't get enough personal finance tips?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from consumer news to money tricks delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.