How to wear a pinstripe suit

04 June 2016

How to wear a pinstripe suit

Once the reserve of bankers and businessmen, the pinstripe suit has been slowly making its way into mainstream formal wear over the last decade. At one time, a sartorially aware gent would never dream of wearing his pinstripe three-piece business suit to a wedding but thankfully those days are numbered.

Having said that, a little advice is never a bad thing. So to that end we’ve had a chat at the office, answered some questions, and come up with a few tips to wearing what could become this year’s biggest style.


Who can wear a pinstripe suit?

The truth is that anyone can wear anything they feel comfortable in but with vertical patterns such as stripes the elongating effect is something to be aware of. Being tall might not feel like an encumbrance but a very tall man wearing a strong pinstripe pattern might be overly imposing, something that might hinder his chances at work.

pinstripe suit


Does it suit every occasion?

As we said earlier, the pinstripe is no longer exclusively associated with the world of business. In fact, at times it seems even more popular than other styles. However, there are those that will argue, that the pinstripe suit cannot be worn in a casual setting or at an ultra-formal event. We can agree with this in sentiment but, (yes there’s more buts in this article than a news editor’s ashtray) who’s to say you can’t wear your pinstripe pants or pinstripe waistcoat as part of a dressed down outfit. It’s most definitely different, and it’s absolutely fashion forward.


How to wear a pinstripe suit?

Less is more – Of the three key components of your outfit only two should be of a similar pattern. So if your suit and tie are striped, then your shirt should be a block colour. However, if you feel your styling skill is at expert level……

Stripe up – Yes, wearing stripes in every aspect of your look is entirely possible but it’s a little harder to achieve the right balance. The key here would be to ensure that the striped pattern in each of your items is of a different width even if it’s only the slightest of differences. Check out our post on matching patterns for a few more ideas.

Match the shirt – A nice tip that not many men are aware of is to match the colour of the pinstripes to your shirt. It adds cohesion to your overall look but is subtle enough that the majority of people won’t even notice. As with many other aspects of life, it’s quite often the little things that make the difference.

Accessorize – The pocket square is the most obvious choice but what about the cufflinks and the watch? Cufflinks with French cuffs add a touch of formality to a pinstripe suit, but your choice of watch can also play a subtle yet important role in enhancing your look. By choosing a stainless steel wristband to match lighter coloured pinstripes, you are complementing your suit in the most understated of ways.