Demystifying the Pinstripe Suit: What You Should Know

Demystifying the Pinstripe Suit: What You Should Know

If you're tired of wearing the same solid suits day after day, you should consider investing in a pinstripe suit. Pinstripe suits aren't solid. Rather, they feature a pattern consisting of two or more colors. They were popularized in the 19th century, during which they were worn by bankers and other white-collared workers. Since then, pinstripe suits have become synonymous with men's formalwear. With that said, there are several things you should know about pinstripe suits before investing in one.

What Is a Pinstripe Suit?

A pinstripe suit is a formal outfit consisting of a suit jacket and trousers in a pinstripe pattern. All pinstripe patterns have vertical stripes. A typical pinstripe pattern has vertical stripes measuring about an 1/8th of an inch wide. These vertical stripes are a different color than the rest of the suit. In some cases, they may be a color that contrasts with the rest of the suit. In other cases, the vertical stripes may be a color that complements the rest of the suit.

When pinstripe suits were originally invented and worn in the 19th century, the colors of the vertical stripes represented the different banking houses. Bankers and other workers in the financial industry would wear pinstripe suits. The colors of the vertical stripes in their suits represented the banking houses for which they worked. Over time, pinstripes suits made their way into other industries. You can now find workers in all types of industries wearing them.

Some of the most popular vertical stripe colors for pinstripe suits include the following:

  • Light blue
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Red
  • White
  • Gray
  • Maroon

Reasons to Choose a Pinstripe Suit

You might be wondering what benefits, if any, pinstripe suits offer over traditional single- and solid-colored suits. You can always see the benefits for yourself by investing in a pinstripe suit. Nonetheless, there are several reasons to choose a pinstripe suit over a single- and solid-colored suit.

Since they feature multiple colors, pinstripe suits are more versatile. All pinstripe suits feature two or more colors. Most of them have a primary color and a secondary color. The secondary color consists of vertical stripes that, as previously mentioned, measure about an 1/8th of an inch wide.

With two colors, you'll have more freedom when wearing a pinstripe suit. You can choose accessories that flow cohesively with either the primary color or the secondary color. Single- and solid-colored suits don't offer this same level of freedom. They only feature a single color, meaning you'll have to choose accessories that match the color presented in them.

Pinstripe suits are also formal. They offer a clean, dressy appearance that's perfect for nearly all formal occasions. Single- and solid-colored suits are formal as well. Rather than only wearing solid-colored suits for formal occasions, though, you can switch up your outfits by wearing a pinstripe suit.

Pinstripe Suit Breast Styles

Like most other suits, pinstripe suits are available in two primary breast styles. There are single-breasted pinstripe suits, and there are double-breasted pinstripe suits.

Both single-breasted and double-breasted pinstripe suits feature vertical stripes or "pinstripes." The difference lies in their buttons. Single-breasted pinstripe suits have one column of buttons in the front. Double-breasted pinstripe suits have two columns of buttons on the front. Aside from the buttons, single-breasted and double-breasted pinstripe suits are pretty much the same.

Accessories for a Pinstripe Suit

Accessories are an important part of all suit outfits -- and pinstripe suits are no exception. If you're going to wear a pinstripe suit, you should accessorize it. The right accessories will enhance your pinstripe suit while helping you create a more complete and formal outfit in the process. What type of accessories should you wear with a pinstripe suit exactly? 

A tie is an essential accessory for a pinstripe suit. If you're going to wear a pinstripe suit, you should accessorize it with a tie. You can choose either a necktie or a bow tie. Neckties are more common, but bow ties are a touch more formal than their counterparts. 

You can accessorize your pinstripe suit with a pocket square as well. Pocket squares are pieces of cloth that are designed to be tucked into the breast pocket of a suit jacket. Because they are colored, pocket squares will inject a new visual element into your pinstripe suit.

Another accessory for a pinstripe suit is a vest. You can accessorize just about any suit outfit with a vest. Also known as a waistcoat, it's used to create a three-piece suit. Most suits only consist of a jacket and a pair of matching trousers. To convert a two-piece suit into a three-piece suit, you just need to add a vest to your outfit. Accessorizing a pinstripe suit with a vest will create a three-piece suit.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pinstripe Suit

If you're going to buy a pinstripe suit, there are several things you should consider. One of the most important things to consider is the color combination. All pinstripe suits feature multiple colors. If a pinstripe suit features two or more colors that clash with other, you should look elsewhere. Instead, choose a pinstripe suit in an attractive color combination.

Pinstripe suits are available in different materials. Not surprisingly, cotton is a common material in which they are made. When shopping for a pinstripe suit, you may encounter 100% cotton suits. They are soft, lightweight, breathable and easy to maintain. Other common materials in which pinstripe suits are made include linen, corduroy and wool. Each material offers its own benefits.

The size matters when choosing a pinstripe suit. If it's too big, it will look baggy and unflattering. If it's too small, conversely, it will constrict your body. How do you know whether a pinstripe suit fits? If you're shopping in person, you can always try it on. If you're looking to buy a pinstripe suit online, you can opt for custom sizing at StudioSuits. Custom sizing means that the pinstripe suit will be designed using your own body measurements, resulting in the perfect fit.