In 1310, a cobbler (shoe maker) was sentenced to death for wearing stripes. Yes, DEATH! He was a member of the local clergy and wearing stripes was seen as a major crime.
Thank goodness that the passage of time changed the view of stripes because then we wouldn't be able to wear them today!
It was around the 18th century, during the American and French Revolutions, that stripes became a home decor option. As opposed to the horizontal stripes in the Middle Ages, most stripes during this time were vertical, which may have had something to do with society's view of them. Stripes were now considered "chic."
In 1846, Queen Victoria dressed her four-year-old son, Albert Edward, in a sailor suit to board the Royal Yacht. Ever since then society fell in love with a child in stripes.
Stripes were also popularized by Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s painting in 1847 showing a boy wearing striped marine jacket. No one knew that the sea-to-land look would be a mainstream trend that would span more than 150 years.
From there, swimmers also adopted the style, wearing navy blue and white striped bathing suits.
The striped shirt became popular in the mid 19th century. A navy blue and white shirt with 21 stripes, symbolizing each of Napoleon’s victories, became the uniform for all French navy men.
There was no question about it after that: Stripes were in. Everyone began wearing them, even celebrities from Audrey Hepburn to John Lennon to Kurt Cobain.
So, what's your favorite kind of stripe form the chart above?
"When Fashion Decreed Stripes a Capital Crime," NY Times
"A Brief History of Stripes in Fashion," Harper & Lewis Vintage