Timeless across the decades, stripes can be the distinguished gentleman’s best friend if worn properly. We all know the trick about vertical stripes giving you a sleek, svelte appearance while horizontal stripes lend you breadth. Still, there’s plenty more to consider when you think of how and why they’ve become such a timeless staple of menswear today.
A number of elements, from the thickness of the stripes themselves to the colours you wear, make this trend more versatile than you realise. Of course, there’s also the small subject of what you choose to pair it all with. There’s a reason why pinstripe suits have been a key wardrobe classic for decades, and we recommend the classic striped shirt and block colour tie combo for every man looking to distinguish himself.
Having said that, you want to ensure you’re getting some good solid stripes in rich, bold colours into your ensemble, and luckily those kinds of garments are pretty easily found. Of course, the fact that plenty of people find stripes on guys appealing is always a bonus, but remember the true definition of style – being comfortable in your skin and laid-back in your confidence. It’s all about you.
Thin and Breton Stripes
Over half century after his passing, James Dean remains to be a definitive style icon today. Whether you’re your own rebel without a cause or are simply looking to epitomise downtempo flair, there are a number of ways you can rock that thin Breton-stripe look.
The slim stripe makes for a similarly slimming visual effect whatever your build is, while a crisp white and distinguished navy gives you plenty of options to add your own twist. Smart-casual lunch date? A dark blazer over your slim stripes could work plenty of magic. Getting out into the country with the family in the sunshine? Rustic chinos and, if you’re really feeling the outdoorsman vibe, a flat cap hat will round the look off nicely.
Thick, Bold Stripes
Thicker stripes lend themselves better to chunky knits in earthy tones, although the classic rugby shirt is a fantastic way of showing a sporty side without overdoing things. Broad shoulders carry the look well, yet it’s ultimately an option to pair off with other style elements. Opt for styles like this Tu striped sweatshirt if you’re after something versatile that will work year-round.
Slimmer chaps will do splendidly with a dark blazer or stylish long coat, open for breezes to bluster through. The more robust gentleman can opt for a waistcoat or vest shirt that complements the colour. Mix browns, earthy greens and russet reds in autumn, and creamy pale shades of blue and white come summer.
The Bedrock of Your Style
One reason why stripes have remained such a go-to classic is their ability to provide a good foundation to layer on top of. Striped pieces can easily be adapted to accentuate other favourites in your wardrobe, from your go-to jeans to your new jacket. Whether you’re going all out with a pinstriped suit or are keeping it minimal with smaller accessories, you really can never go too far wrong with stripes.