The History of the Pinstripe Suit

The History of the Pinstripe Suit

A hallmark of sophistication, the mens pinstripe suit is a classic formalwear style. Originating in Victorian Britain, this enduring style remains as popular as ever to this day. If you are curious to learn more about this dapper style of suit, perhaps you are thinking of investing in one, or simply want to scrub on your fashion history knowledge, keep on reading as we share a brief history of the revered pinstripe suit.

What is a pinstripe suit?

The classic pinstripe suit is made up of a thin, light-coloured stripe on top of a contrasting dark-coloured fabric such as grey, black or navy. Each individual pinstripe is often at most 0.85mm in width, an intricate detail that, when viewed as part of a complete outfit, adds plenty of clout.

Favoured by both men and women, this detailed style creates a bold, self-assured aesthetic. Available in a classic neutral palette of black or navy, as well as more creative colourways, including burgundy, green and blue, if you’ve never worn a pinstripe suit before, we guarantee there’s a style for you.

Where does the pinstripe suit come from?

It has been suggested that the pinstripe suit was the principal uniform of English bankers towards the end of the 19th century. Employees working within different banking institutions could be easily identified by the thickness of the pinstripes on their trousers. Other schools of thought lean into the theory that pinstripe suits were part of a statement look worn by anyone that enjoyed water sports and boating during the turn of the century.

The pinstripe suit: Favoured by many

During the prohibition era of the 1920s, the pinstripe suit garnered significant popularity in the United States. It became synonymous with American sports teams, notably the New York Yankees, whose iconic kit features a thin navy pinstripe on a base colour of white.

And as the decades rolled by, other sections of society, such as American gangsters, movie stars, British politicians and jazz musicians, all adopted the pinstripe suit as part of their signature style.

If you love a pinstripe suit, you’re in good company. Here are just a few of the

famous faces who have all helped cast the sophisticated style the history books forever more.

The Italian-American gangster Al Capone famously wore a pinstripe suit which conveyed his power and bravado within the mob. Other examples include Winston Churchill and his instantly recognisable siren suit and Cary Grant in the 1957 film ‘An Affair to Remember.’


Where should you wear a pinstripe suit?

Traditionally a pinstripe suit is reserved for formal occasions such as corporate business meetings and weddings. Still, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules regarding when and where you wear a pinstripe suit, depending on your personal style. If you favour the traditional look, pair your suit with smart oxford shoes, dress socks, a silk tie and a collared shirt.

Alternatively, many people choose to experiment with the pinstripe style, swapping out blazers and ties for pinstripe trousers, turtleneck jumpers and trainers for a more contemporary twist on this timeless style.

The pinstripe suit remains as popular as ever, with many people turning to this classic style to add finesse and sophistication to their formalwear wardrobe.

If you’re looking for an excellent quality pinstripe suit, we have a range of styles for all occasions.

Shop now at XPOSED London.