Classic Chic: The Perennial Appeal of a Striped Top

There’s just something about stripes. Whether a classic mariniére or something more colorful, a striped top can add a bit of nautical chic to your look. Stripes are as popular as ever this season, so there are lots of great styles to choose from. Here are some of my picks for the best striped tees and sweaters for your spring wardrobe.

Over the years I’ve collected quite a few striped tops. I find them quite versatile and easy to style. When worn on their own, they add visual interest and a focal point to simple outfits. But stripes also “play well with others,” and can be mixed with other patterns.

Susan B. wears a zip-neck striped sweater, navy cargo pants, metallic fisherman sandals, and an ivory crossbody bag.

This striped zip-neck sweater is from Madewell, and part of their newest collection. It’s 100% cotton and a lovely weight for spring. Available in sizes XX-Small to XX-Large. I’m wearing size Small.

Susan B. wears gold starfish earrings, a navy and white striped zip neck sweater, green bead bracelets.

I just love these starfish earrings! They’re a part of a Red Leopard x Tarra Rosenbaum collaboration and are also available in silver. Keep scrolling for more striped tops 👇

Easy-to-wear striped tops


This cotton rollneck sweater is well reviewed, and perfect for those breezy spring days. It’s available three stripe combos, as well as solids. Sizes XX-Small to 3X. (Per reviews runs a little large, suggest sizing down for a more fitted look.)

I don’t think the online images do this sweater justice; it’s really pretty in person. It’s a lightweight cashmere with a relaxed fit, so size down for a more fitted look. Sizes XX-Small to XX-Large.

Susan B. wears a Breton stripe sweater, brown wide leg jeans, off-white sneakers
My sizes: sweater – XS, jeans – 27

I have a couple of these sweaters from La Ligne, and while they’re spendy, I think the quality is excellent. The one I’m wearing here is from a prior season. I’ve worn it pretty regularly and has been washed a few times, and I haven’t noticed much pilling at all. It’s available in sizes XXS-XL, and I’m wearing XS. (While this isn’t a cropped sweater, it is a good length for Petites or those with a short waist.)

If you prefer a v-neck style, this one might be worth a look. It has a relaxed fit, perfect for throwing on over a shirt or tee when it gets chilly. Or tie it over your shoulders for a chic and current look. In Misses and Plus sizes.

Here’s another collared sweater, this one in a cotton-blend (wool-free) cable knit. It’s available in Misses, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite sizes.

The colors in this lightweight (and budget-friendly!) sweater are easy to style (and on-trend this season). Sweater is wool-free and available in sizes XXS-XL.


I first discovered these “Malibu” striped tees a couple of years ago, and love them for the combination of light weight and arm coverage (3/4 sleeve). I find them comfortable even on very warm days. Several color combinations available in sizes XS-XXL (I wear XS).

If you want to try some colorful stripes, a tee shirt can be a lower-investment way to do that. You could get this classic Mariner tee in ivory/navy, but I think this coral color is pretty fun too. In Regular, Petite, and Plus sizes.

If you want the “real deal” when it comes to les mariniéres, then Saint James should be your first stop. If you prefer one that’s less oversized, I like this style, which is available in several color combos and has a 3/4 sleeve. Available in US sizes 4-18.

For summer heat (or a warm-weather vacation destination), here’s a lightweight and budget-friendly v-neck style. In sizes XX-Small to XX-Large.

And if sun protection is a priority, this cute swim tee is UPF 50 rated. Available in Misses, Petite, Long, Plus and Plus long sizes!

A chic striped top effortlessly blends versatility and adds a timeless look to your outfits. Whether you opt for bold, statement-making stripes or subtle, classic designs, these wardrobe staples are sure to elevate your look with their effortless charm.

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  1. It’s so sad that LL Bean no longer sells the fisherman top they had for years ( glad I stocked up!). For a lighter top for warmer weather, Saint James is the absolute best!

  2. I’ve been searching for blue/white stripe. Got the shrunken JCrew cashmere but need something lighter also. I think I’ll try the KULE or St. James 3/4 sleeve tee. Thanks for the research, Susan!

  3. I love stripes but swore them off because I thought they made me look fatter. What design is most flattering on those of us that are apples and not petite?

    1. Hi Cristi, I’ll be doing a post on exactly this topic, but two things I recommend trying are a) look for narrow stripes with more space between and b) wear your striped piece underneath an open cardigan or jacket. It narrows the horizontal effect and creates a “ladder” for the eye to travel up and down.

  4. I am happy to see your inclusion of LLBean Pima cotton striped tops. I have three purchased over the last few years and travel with them, due to the tops looking fresh, being comfortable, and stylish. The coral is my favourite, because I wear with matching loafers and oyster Athleta Endless pants. I have a few other cotton stripe tops from LLBean purchased on-line years ago , so perhaps I have been ahead of this trend!

  5. I totally agree about stripes. I don’t own enough of them. LOVE LOVE your half-zip sweater. I might search for one in the Netherlands (or Europe). What I like about yours is the way they knitted it, with a V-shape at the neck. Smart.

  6. I love and wear stripes. They are a classic pattern. They can be hard to wear. Some closely placed thin stripes appear to vibrate. I look best in low contrast outfits. Anything too bold enters the room before I do.

  7. I am a stripe fan but..not of all these dropped shoulder styles. If you are a triangle shape, it makes your shoulders look even bigger. I just think it’s looks sloppy and lazy sewing. On the other hand you always offer us lots of options. Thanks for all your hard work.

    1. I agree! I have broad shoulders and drop shoulder tops make me look like a linebacker. I’m ready for this style to be over.

  8. Hi Susan,
    I’m constantly decluttering, and an orange and white striped top and two classic striped outer layers just made the chop. But coral and white…now there’s an idea. And the swim top (we say rashie over here!) is a great idea!
    I’ve tried a Saint James but it was too stiff, just didn’t sit right across my collarbone area. Do you think the one above would?
    Many thanks,
    Julie x

  9. I just received my first Saint James catalog and thought of you immediately, wondering if you were aware of them and you are! Great striped tops for women and men. I really can’t wear horizontal stripes – busty and hippy. I need stripes that run vertically.

  10. I live all these tops and sweaters ❤️ I have never met a stripe I didn’t like. So glad navy and white is in right now.