There's nothing more classic than stripes. Ever since Coco Chanel popularised the Breton stripe jumper by adopting it from the fisherman of the time, stripes have gone from strength to strength. However, it's time to turn that horizontal classic on the side and start to focus on something a little more vertical.
Forget stereotypical prison uniforms and pyjamas alike, stripes are a classic staple in the menswear world and this season, they're going vertical. A firm favourite since the 1920s when Coco Chanel herself saw the fisherman sporting striped jumpers when they were working and decided to buy a jumper off of one of them.
Thrusting them into the mainstream and making them a French classic, stripes have since been adopted the world over. However, whilst we may be used to horizontal stripes, it's the vertical's time to shine. A massive trend over the past SS17 and SS18 shows, vertical stripes are fast set to become a menswear mainstay, and this guide will help you on how to style them this season.
Vertical Striped Shirts for Men
The great thing about wearing vertical stripes is that you can really play around and vary up the thickness and colour of the stripe that you're wearing. A more classic version of the vertical stripe it what's called a pinstripe which can be more commonly found on trousers.
Vertical stripes create an illusion on your body; because the eye is focused on the detail of the shirt, it naturally wanders up and down, giving off the illusion that you're taller and slimmer than you actually are. Horizontal, however, does the opposite, it creates the illusion that you're wider and shorter, so I know which one I prefer wearing.
Stripes work perfectly in both formal and casual situations, so you can really vary up how you decide to wear them. For a more summary affair then you can always take a short-sleeved vertical striped shirt, leave it unbuttoned and throw on a plain white T-shirt underneath. This instantly gives off a Cuban-esq vibe without being overtly obvious.
Teamed with a pair of chinos or trousers to stay in Cuban/summer theme and a pair of trainers for a more relaxed feel and you'll be set this season.
Vertical Striped T-shirts for Men
If you're thinking that a shirt is too much then you can always opt for a vertical striped T-shirt for a more casual option. Again, the colour of the T-shirt is completely up to yourself, but really try and vary up the colour and thickness of the stripe that to add a point of difference to your look.
If you're not all that adventurous then I suggest simply opting for a black number with a contrasting stripe to maximise wear and versatility. If you are opting for a more subtle look then keep it tonal and spot a pair of black trousers and shoes. To add a bit of texture to your look then opt for a suede pair of shoes as this creates a slight contrast to your overall look.
Vertical Striped Suit for Men
A definite classic, the pinstripe suit recalls memories of Mr Banks from Mary Poppins with a colourful flower tucked away in his top pocket. Well, we're certainly not in pre-WW1 London anymore, but that doesn't mean we can't channel a little sartorial history through our suit.
The key with pulling off a pinstripe suit is to keep it as classic as possible without looking outdated and fusty. The one thing I always implore onto people is that your suit must fit you like a glove; there's nothing worse than a suit that's either too big or too small, so make sure you get it right. Opt for classic colours such as navy, black or grey and choose your accessories accordingly.
How to Wear Vertical Stripes
- Vary up the thickness and colour of your stripes for a point of difference.
- Vertical stripes work perfectly for both casual and formal occasions.
- When opting for a bold colour, make sure you accessorise accordingly.
- With suits, always keep it classic and don't go too overboard with colour and thickness.
On That Note
Vertical stripes, and striped clothes in general, are here to stay. Their flattering pattern and ease-of-wear is what make them a new wardrobe staple. The trick with this trend is to really push the boat out, don't be afraid to really experiment with colour and thickness as this is what's key to the trend. A great trick is to, for instance, take a vertical striped shirt and team it with a more classic piece such as neutral trousers or a classic pair of jeans.