Stripes, in terms of menswear, always seem to be there. They can be found everywhere, across all styles and dress codes. Stripes have been a pattern used in men’s clothing for hundreds of years, with the first striped garment appearing in Medieval times.
Here’s my short guide to stripes and how to wear them without looking like a deckchair:
As with a suit, your blazer should be well-fitted but allow enough room for ease of movement. For warm weather wear, allow a little more room, but not so much that you stray into sports jacket territory. Blazers may be single or double vented, and the perfect length is mid crotch.
A stripe is basically a line. More often than not, it differs in colour from its background, though it’s entirely possible for men’s clothing to utilize “self-coloured” stripes, which are stripes that are the same colour as their background.
Stripes can be of any width or thickness, and the spacing between them can range from infinitesimally small to quite broad. Furthermore, there are theoretically no limitations on the colours of the stripes or the background on which they reside. They are typically set vertically, but are sometimes set an an angle or horizontally, depending on the garment.
Speaking of boating jackets (my cover photo) – the trend for bold bright stripes made famous by boating clubs like the Tideway Scullers – continues to this day. But just because you’re not into boating doesn’t mean you can’t sport a stylish summer blazer.
Wear your striped summer jacket two ways. Make it the focal point of your strikingly smart ensemble for your yacht club dinner, picnic at the races, or favourite tennis tournaments. Alternatively, wear it as part of a flamboyant casual outfit – with plain jeans and deck shoes. Accessorise with a boater or Panama hat for outdoor events.
Short men benefit greatly from stripes. Though wearing stripes won’t necessarily make you look taller, they will make you appear less short. Short, thin men look best in tightly spaced pinstripes, whereas heavier guys who are short can wear more widely spaced stripes if they so choose, which will help fill out their frame.
Consider pairing a vertical striped blazer with beige chinos for a clean-cut polished ensemble. Complete this outfit with brown loafers to instantly kick up the fashion factor of this look or swing into something effortlessly refined and contemporary in a vertical striped blazer and white chinos.
A vertical striped blazer and navy print jeans are a good outfit formula to have in your menswear collection. If you feel like stepping it up a bit, complete your getup with a pair of white suede derby shoes.