We have just received our Autumn Winter shirting and there is a big emphasis on stripes. Broad and bold, in an array of colours, they are designed to brighten up the most sombre day. We’ve designed them to work effortlessly with our new Standard Program. As the workplace becomes more casual and ties are being worn less, they're a smart way to bring interest and definition to an outfit.
There are a few nuances to wearing them that will help you look your smartest, whilst building a cohesive wardrobe so when it comes to picking what kind of stripe to wear, there are a few things to consider. As a general rule of thumb the finer and narrower the stripe, the more formal it is, and the wider you go the more casual it becomes.
For business shirting, this means pencil stripes are a great place to begin. Wider than an ultra-fine hairline stripe, pencil stripes are excellent at carrying colour and pattern without overpowering an outfit.
Their slightly wider cousin, the bengal stripe, is another excellent choice, offering a broader base of colour and feeling a touch softer as a result. Often made up in Oxford cloth, if you’re looking for a shirt that to wear both with and without a tie this is one to consider. Button-down bengal stripe shirts are a particular favourite.
Going up in width again from the bengal stripe, awning stripes are wider and pair beautifully with plain tailoring or large scale checks.
Just as important as what stripe to wear is what to wear it with. We frequently get asked questions about how to match patterns, and whilst there are no hard and fast guidelines as to what works, using what’s known as the “rule of two” is a great place to start.
Essentially the idea is that each pattern should be at least twice as big or half as big as the next pattern. So if your shirt featured a fine hairline stripe, for instance, then you could probably pair it with a wider chalk stripe jacket without making the outfit look fussy or cluttered. Once you start seeing this, you’ll start noticing what works and what doesn’t everywhere.
If you have any questions, or want help matching a particular stripe, we’re here to help.