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How do you style a striped shirt? I ask 6 Australian creatives for their tips

WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

Where’s Wally could never.

Ahh, the striped button-up shirt. A wardrobe essential for businessmen and sailors (I assume). Turns out, this humble, unassuming garment is slowly becoming a ubiquitous fashion favourite.

I asked an editor, fashion brand owner, digital content head, sexologist and home cook to all weigh in with how they style theirs. They’ve showed us some dressy, 9 to 5 options as well laidback, Sunday market run looks. That range, that versatility!


See you in our Fashion section. It’s style tip central over there.


With so many ways to wear them (buttoned or unbuttoned, cuffed sleeves or rolled up, tied or tucked in), you’re bound to get multiple outfit options with just the one shirt. How’s that for cost per wear?

Jameen Zalfen, Dyspnea Co-founder and Director

I’m pretty obsessed with oversized cotton button-up shirts at the moment. My boyfriend and I were staying at a farm in Heyfield a few weeks ago and he suggested we try the op shops. I found this absolute gem for $5 that I knew was going to match with these jeans my friend gave me! The shirt is now a treasured piece and a fun pop of colour in my wardrobe. The more variety of tones of the same colour, the better.

@jamjii_dyspnea

Mahalia Chang, Vogue Australia Head of Digital Content 

The return from WFH to full-time office life has meant my outfits have to be very comfortable and unrestrictive, which my striped shirts are perfect for. I wear them about two times a week, making them definite staple status. I wear mine loosely buttoned and untucked over black straight-leg trousers (I have Helmut Lang and Totême pairs on rotation), with either sandals or sneakers. But they’re also perfect unbuttoned over tanks, or tucked into jean shorts for the weekend. Weirdly, I have two favourites, a red and a blue one, that are the exact same shape and stripe, but from two different op-shops? One’s from the Blue Mountains and the other is from Coogee. I guess old men’s shirts are dime-a-dozen, but to me, they’re priceless.

@mahaliachang

Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal Digital Editor

I’ve always been incredibly fond of a striped shirt. To me, it evokes imagery of European summers and French films from the ’60s and ’70s. It’s timeless and classic – I honestly don’t think there is anyone out there who wouldn’t suit it and benefit from having one in their wardrobe. My style has evolved a lot over the years, but striped shirts have always remained on high rotation. I’m particularly partial to a stripey shirt with an interesting detail – an unexpected colour combo, oversized sleeves or cuffs – and my favourite at the moment is this one from Blanca, the Selma Shirt. It’s a classic pinstripe blue and has a very crisp feel to it, so I instantly feel like I have my shit together when I put it on (spoiler: I don’t have my shit together). It’s very oversized, which at first I was wary of, but I’ve come to really love the almost dress-like look it can have, especially over a pair of black pants. J’adore.

@caitemmaburke

Laura Miano, sexologist

This look was inspired by a ’90s New York Carrie Bradshaw and of course, my Mumma – it’s her shirt after all. An outfit that enables me to express myself and feel sexually empowered, which I refer to a lot in my work, is important to me. This one totally reflects that. I’ve styled it with a Miu Miu skirt, Stories boots and a Bichon bag. I love exploring with contrasts in my style. Here, my light cotton shirt and nylon skirt are juxtaposed with the heavy leather boots. It’s a little unconventional but totally consistent with my personality. Conventionality is not for me.

@lauramianosexology

Jessica Nguyen, home cook

My blue and white striped linen shirt is from J.Crew. I bought it probably nearly eight years ago and it’s a staple in my wardrobe. Next to a white linen shirt, everyone needs a striped shirt in their wardrobe. Big vertical stripes in blue and white are always flattering on anyone and so versatile, plus a linen fabric is breathable and soft, meaning it’s a transeasonal piece you can wear any day of the week, month or year.

I normally French tuck my shirt into some jeans for an effortless day look and pair it with either loafers, boots or sneakers, depending on the vibe. If it’s cold, I’ll throw a sweater over the top showing just the collar and bottom and maybe a coat on top. If it’s hot, I’ll wear it on its own or with the buttons open with some bathers. Every time I travel, it’s always in my suitcase.

@jessica_nguyen_

Kristy Wu, digital creator

Shirts are such a staple piece in any wardrobe because there are just so many ways that you can style them. I’m a sucker for a white shirt, but I have a couple blue striped shirts that I reach for on a regular basis when I want my outfit to be more laid-back, as a white shirt can look more formal. I love styling striped shirts with a solid black trouser and sneakers, blue or white jeans for a more casual look, with a matching pair of bottoms or over bike shorts.

I usually like my shirts oversized and I either button it two thirds of the way, only button the top button (reminds me of Alexander Wang’s iconic 2014 Spring collection) or my favourite way is to wear the striped shirt open with a basic white or black crop underneath.

@kristywho

Striped shirts are in, just ask these celebrities.

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