The return of the pinstripe suit
Why you should own one and how to wear it
Only a decade ago, pinstripe might have still called memories of Hollywood gangsters or of 90s Wall Street wolves. But thanks to contemporary stylish men, these days pinstripes are getting a new fame – as a go-to style for the modern man.
The origin story
The origins of the pinstripes are disputed. Some say that it was British bankers who gave birth to it in the 19th century. Back then each bank had their own stripe, varying in shade and weight, so you could easily identify which bank a banker worked for. Others say it stems from adapting sporting attire into everyday wear, starting with the boating uniforms in the 1800s.
Whoever started it, it was gangsters who took it to the next level, going for the full stripe suits. From there, it wasn’t long until movie stars like Clark Gable or Cary Grant, keen to project an outlaw aesthetic, embraced the pinstripe.
From these glamour early days, the pinstripe came to be a kind of uniform for certain professions, particularly men working in the financial sector.
It’s fair to say that this association didn’t bring them many fans outside that world.
Until now, that is…
Who brought the pinstripes back?
Now that we’ve had a break from pinstripe suits and its associations, we may be ready to give them a new meaning. This has been in the making over the past few years. Icons of modern style, like David Beckham and Ryan Gossling, have had a hand in clearing the slate for the pinstripe’s suit next coming.
The modern pinstripe suit has a slimmer fit, a shorter jacket – none of that exaggerated chest, narrow waist that bankers sported. Even better, try the unstructured, Italian style jacket with a soft shoulder, for a radical departure from traditional pinstripe.
Wear your stripes like it’s 2020
You can never go wrong with getting your direction from the likes of Savile Row tailors, and adding some extra modern-day flair borrowed from red carpet royalties, like Beckham.
Avoid contrast-collar shirts, and you’ll find pinstriped suits pretty easy to wear.
Here’s how to wear your pinstripe suit to look sharp:
Think differently – The pinstriped navy suit is a classic, and a classic stands the test of history’s caprices. Play with the fit, and try a different shade of stripe, or add an unexpected linen tie. If you’re one for clashing stripes and shirt prints, go for it, but make sure there is music in that clash.
Make your own rules – Originally, only the trousers were pinstriped. But since then, the pinstripe suit has not seen many separate days. If you’re game for it, break the rule with the rest of your outfit, so it feels consistent and intentional. Skip the classic shoes, maybe even swa the shirt for a knit or a polo.
Think like a minimalist – Pinstripes spoke the language of power, specifically the in-your-face powerful. Every single accessory worked hard to make you stand out, and maybe not in a good way. Go the subtle direction. A plan shirt or T-shirt, a tonal pinstripe of grey tailoring will spell out minimalist elegance.
If you’re ready to add some pinstripe style to your wardrobe, book an appointment, and we can give you a helping hand.
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