A bit of a suit theme emerging this week.
Pin-striped suits are iconic business wear in Britain. This despite the article run by the BBC a few years ago which argued that pin striped suits were in decline because of its particular association with bankers.
Bank has become a ‘four letter word’ in Britain so the desire not to be perceived as a banker is understandable. Moreover, if you are still receiving a large bonus in a time of economic hardship it is probably wise not to draw attention to that fact.
If it is indeed true that the pin-striped suit is in decline I can only hope that it is not permanent. As someone who did not grow up in Britain the pin stripe suit is not culturally linked with banking for me. I simply think that a striped suit is incredibly dapper.
In addition, vertical stripes help to elongate the body and to draw the eye vertically. The result is that we look slightly slimmer and taller. If you are already tall and skinny then perhaps you need to think carefully about whether you should wear one.
The stripes have far greater significance than creating optical illusions. The stripes add the impression of texture to the suit and it is a bolder design than a plain suit.
Stripes combined with the most common suit colours of grey or navy stripes simply make the suit more interesting.
Rules have relaxed so that the striped suit is no longer the sole preserve of the business place. It has a wider application and can be worn in less formal contexts. However, bear in mind that for very formal occasions a striped suit is not appropriate. A plain suit is de rigeur.
Stripes come in a variety of widths. Very narrow stripes are less formal whilst wider stripes are more so.
Ideally, the striped suit should be combined with a plain shirt and plain or spotted tie, as above. The suit/shirt/tie combination should not be too busy. However, if you know what you are doing it is perfectly possible to combine a striped tie with striped suit as demonstrated below.
Quite what is the origin of the pin striped suit, and its connection with business, may never be fully known. Whatever the connection, the pin stripe is great if you want to stand out from the crowd a little and wish to suggest some element of authority. It is the ultimate sharp suit. If you don’t have a striped suit, you know you want to….