The pinstripe suit is a classic piece of business attire with mainstream appeal. We see them on everyone from bankers and traders to movie stars and sportsmen. They can look sharp and powerful when worn well, and this is no surprise considering their history.
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The Origins And History Of The Pinstripe Suit.
There are a couple of different theories about the true origins of the pinstripe suit. One thing we know for sure is that this was popular in 19th-century England before becoming a more global hit in the 20th century. The most popular theory is that it began with the banking industry, which makes sense given its current association with the financial world. The simple stripes on the fabric helped differentiate bankers from other professionals, with different institutions having their own form of uniform.
Beyond that, there is the notion that the pattern evolved from the striped suits worn when boating. Either way, it came from an upper-class pursuit and was a clear status symbol.
How To Wear A Pinstripe Suit.
The stripes and sharp cut of a good pinstripe suit immediately suggest that any wearer has great style and influence. So, it is best to keep things clean and simple. Pattern-matching with striped shirts and bold ties is tricky but perfect for those with the confidence to pull it off. Otherwise, it is best to opt for a plain dress shirt and let the pinstripes do all the talking. If you really want to show off, try a three-piece suit with a matching tie and pocket square.
The Popularity Of The Pinstripe Suit Grew Throughout The 20th Century.
Not long after pinstripes become fashionable in English business attire, the trend crossed the Atlantic to America. They were a bold new option that could help all kinds of influential people stand out. On one side, you had the sharply-dressed movie stars o the West Coast. On the other were the gangsters in the East. Soon, fashion-conscious businessmen would take the look into consumer culture as they emulated their idols.
The Pinstripe Suit Remains A Symbol Of Power And Authority.
Today, the pinstripe suit remains a symbol of power within the world of finance. Bankers continue to wear them for status, although this may be thanks to the Hollywood influence more than Victorian predecessors.
However, it is not the symbol of masculinity it once was. All genders that want to cement their place in business can turn to the pinstripe pattern while breaking through glass ceilings. It is a subtle way to say “I belong here too”. There is also a growing trend to adapt the stripes and wear alternative patterns to make more of a political statement.
The Future Of The Pinstripe Suit.
The evolution of the pinstripe suit is interesting as we see the strong ties to the early days of banking, but also a shift away from just elite male wearers. Anyone can wear a pinstripe suit or an adaptation of the theme, and designers are sure to take the pattern in many more creative directions in the 21st century.