It seems that Dr Peter Thompson, a psychologist at York University, has conducted some research into the effects of wearing horizontal stripes on a woman’s figure.

The small scale study asked around 20 people to assess the relative sizes of different dresses with either horizontal or vertical stripes, and it seems that the results showed that people assessed the size of the horizontal striped dresses as smaller.

It’s a common assumption that vertical stripes are slimming stripes and will cause an optical illusion, making you appear taller and slimmer, but from this research it seems that this is a myth, and we should all be hurling our pinstripes trousers into the bin in favour of horizontal stripes.

Personally I say, if you like it, wear it. If horizontal stripes were never your thing then please don’t go rushing out to buy them just because they might make you look 6% less fat.

However we should all be relieved to know that black really IS slimming, and a black circle on a white background looks smaller than the other way round.