10 Apr 2015

The rope-stripe suit

I read an interesting article once about the origins of the striped suit; traditionally thought of as a wardrobe staple of conservatively dressed bankers and business men.
But Susan North - at that time a deputy curator of Textiles and Dress at Victoria and Albert's Museum in London - explains that "when the striped suit arrived on the scene it wasn't staid or respectable at all - it was flashy!". The pinstripe was a fashion of the 1920s, when there was a lot more variety in both fabrics and patterns and North believes it (the pinstripe suit) was inspired by the boating suit of the 1890s, which had a thin, dark stripe on a white or cream background.*
Watching events like Pitti Uomo it is evident that the striped suits are in fashion once more - with the usual fashionable take of narrow, short trousers and jacket.

My three-piece rope stripe suit is a small jewel in my office wardrobe. The suit is well-made by bespoke tailors George Watson & Son, London, in 1985.
Good attention has been paid to details like hand-made button holes and stitching of excessive fabric in sleeves and legs.
And a thing I always look for in a bespoke suit: a boutonnière stem loop on the back of the lapel.

The jacket is single breasted with three buttons and notch lapels. Double vented.
The trousers are high-waisted with brace buttons - just like I prefer - and the fit on hips and waist is perfect. No cuffs.
The charcoal fabric is of medium weight.
This suit is for me a timeless classic rather than a contemporary fling.

Dressed fairly conservatively in my three-piece charcoal rope-stripe suit, a blue classic collar Stenström´s shirt,a sky-blue tie, a white pocket square and a white boutonnière flower. Black Oxford captoe shoes.
A white shirt and a printed silk tie would have been a tad more classic City of London

A beautiful pattern

High-waisted trousers with brace buttons and side-adjusters

The finishing touches - the clothes brush is handmade by brushmaker Lars Guldbrantsen at "Bornholmer-børsten"

About ready to put on the jacket

Double vented back

Photo shot after 10 hours at the office and in the car. White shirt with detachable round collar; green vintage silk un-tipped tie; wine paisley wool-silk pocket square; oxblood oxford captoe shoes from (Herring Drake) 

George Watson & Son, Royal Exchange London, 1985

Royal Exchange London

*Source: http://www.departures.com/fashion/dress-code/day-life-pinstripe-suit


  1. I say old chap, that's a rather splendid wine paisley wool-silk pocket square - where is it from?
    Anders K

    1. Indeed a favourite of mine; it is from Drake's London - see previous post http://haethaenstat.blogspot.dk/2014/01/pocket-square-and-grenadine-tie.html?m=1