Summer Lovin': Deckchair Stripes

There’s something so cheerful and uplifting about deckchair stripes – they are the epitome of summer, whether you’re thinking of a beach in the Hamptons, Whitstable or Sicily
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There’s something so cheerful and uplifting about deckchair stripes – they are the epitome of summer, whether you’re thinking of a beach in the Hamptons, Whitstable or Sicily

I don’t mean thin little Breton stripes (for once) but big, bold, chunky, brightly coloured bands that make a statement all by themselves, requiring the simplest of accessories (flat leather sandals, a plain white tee) to finish off an outfit. This is 'pattern' without looking too girlie – crisp, graphic, confident.

Ancient and beloved Laura Ashley deckchair stripe shift dress

Ancient and beloved Laura Ashley deckchair stripe shift dress

There’s something so cheerful and uplifting about deckchair stripes – they are the epitome of summer, whether you’re thinking of a beach in the Hamptons, Whitstable or Sicily. And I’ve never given two hoots about whether horizontal stripes make you look ‘bigger’ – who cares? If you like them, wear them. Deckchair stripes go both ways.

When I think of deckchair stripes, Dolce & Gabbana’s SS/13 collection immediately springs to mind - those cool Sicilian dames soaking up the sun in their bold deckchair stripes - la dolce vita indeed. I want a piece of that bold, retro-infused style.

Dolce & Gabbana's stripealicious SS/13 campaign

Dolce & Gabbana's stripealicious SS/13 campaign

Deckchair stripes on the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana SS/13

Deckchair stripes on the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana SS/13

This Levi's Made and Crafted sundress has the perfect deckchair stripe for me - but they're selling out in the sale so if you like it, buy it!

Levi's Made and Crafted Wanderlust rainbow maxi dress, £135, atterleyroad.com

Levi's Made and Crafted Wanderlust rainbow maxi dress, £135, atterleyroad.com

Petit Bateau's stripy t-shirt dress has a cool, nautical feel to it.

Petit Bateau striped dress, £30, atterleyroad.com

Petit Bateau striped dress, £30, atterleyroad.com

The washed bands of colour on this A-line skirt from Jaeger look like a sunbleached deckchair that's seen several summers' use - I'd love it with a white t-shirt and canvas pumps.

Jaeger deckchair stripe skirt, £60, jaeger.co.uk

Jaeger deckchair stripe skirt, £60, jaeger.co.uk

I love the length of this Zara skirt – it hits just below the knee, the most flattering point - while the trousers are just mega-jazzy.

Gap's stripy cotton drawstring dresses are ideal for holidays - just roll them up and stuff them in your suitcase, any creases will be camouflaged by the pattern!

Zara striped trousers, £17.99 and striped sheath skirt, £29.99, zara.com

Zara striped trousers, £17.99 and striped sheath skirt, £29.99, zara.com

Gap striped tank dress, £29.99 and printed pocket drawstring dress, £29.99, gap.co.uk

Gap striped tank dress, £29.99 and printed pocket drawstring dress, £29.99, gap.co.uk

I wish J Crew would hurry up and open their London store. Anyway, these stripy pumps are the perfect partner for rolled-up boyfriend jeans.

JCrew collection bow pumps, £245, jcrew.com

JCrew collection bow pumps, £245, jcrew.com

And a more affordable footwear option in the deckchair stripe vein is this pair of espadrilles from... deckchairstripes.com!

Striped espadrilles, £20, deckchairstripes.com

Striped espadrilles, £20, deckchairstripes.com

Which go rather nicely with this matching canvas tote...

Striped tote, £18.50, deckchairstripes.com

Striped tote, £18.50, deckchairstripes.com

But it's Topshop Boutique who has come up with the most interesting twist on the deckchair stripe for me - really unusual colour combinations of burgundy, peach, olive and navy have been used on this strappy silk camisole (perfect with white bermuda shorts), a beautiful silk cocoon dress and other chic pieces. Bravo Topshop!

Topshop silk stripe cami by Boutique, £48, topshop,com

Topshop silk stripe cami by Boutique, £48, topshop,com