How to Match a Pinstripe Suit with other Pinstriped Clothing

At some point in time, all of us have wondered about pinstripes. When do you wear pinstripes and how do you match them with other clothing? Thanks to Rudy Albetti from Toronto, Canada for bringing up this great question…

First and foremost, this is a great question since we are actually selling a very nice Sean John Pinstripe suit this week

Pinstripes can do two things for you: a) make you look taller b) make you look thinner.

In terms of wearing pinstripes, you generally want to follow the 2 out of 3 rule. This basically means that from your suit, tie, and shirt, at least one should be a solid color (i.e. without stripes).

With respect to matching items of clothing with each other, make sure that the stripes for two items of clothing are not exactly the same width or the exact same shade in coloring. You generally don’t want your stripes clashing with each other. In order to prevent this, your suit could have stripes that are wider or narrower than those on your shirt. Alternatively, you could make sure that the stripes on your suit are either more or less visible than the stripes on your shirt (i.e. they shouldn’t be the same).

Marco Raynault
SuitUpp.com Customer Evangelist

10 Comments

  1. 1

    careerfashion

    August 30, 2008

    5:36 pm

    I think this is really good advice. And most of it applies to women’s business suits also.

  2. 2

    federico

    September 3, 2008

    3:03 am

    Within the 2 out 3 rule and width difference, can one choose different colored stripes? Say, red thin pinstripes over black with thin white pinstripes over a dark gray.

  3. 3

    aym35

    September 3, 2008

    2:21 pm

    Federico,
    regardless of color, the same rules apply…

  4. 4

    smartpeopleiknow

    January 14, 2009

    4:03 am

    Great post. I would add that you *can* do three sets of stripes if you were to do a suit say with chalk stripes about an inch apart, a shirt with subtle stripes close together, and a tie with wide and diagonal stripes. It’s tricky, but if you can pull it off, it looks really sharp.

    That said, the 2 out of 3 rule works best, though if the suit and the shirt are striped, you could also go with a patterned tie (e.g. paisely, floral) instead os solid.

    Ok, nuff said. :)

  5. 5

    Fred

    October 11, 2009

    1:35 pm

    Can you match non-pinstripe to pinstripe, between the jacket and pants? If my pinstripe pants don’t fit (and can’t be altered to fit), what other pants can I wear with my pinstripe jacket that still fits?

  6. 6

    aym35

    October 14, 2009

    11:55 pm

    Yes, definitely can be done. Just make sure that the color of your pants match, as closely as possible, the solid background color of your suit jacket. Whatever you do, don’t try and find another pair of pinstriped pants to match your pinstriped jacket… while pulling that off isn’t out of the realm of possibility, it is close enough to the impossible that you might as well avoid the effort. If you send us a picture of your suit jacket, we’ll be able to give you some more tips (if that doesn’t work, describing you suit jacket to us would also work). By the way, if this is not a formal thing, you could also wear jeans with the jacket depending on the jacket :)

  7. 7

    Mary

    November 12, 2009

    4:51 am

    Can you wear pinstripe pants with a solid shirt and a tie with pattern? or should the tie stay solid?

  8. 8

    aym35

    November 14, 2009

    9:19 pm

    Hi Mary,

    You can definitely do this… it fits the 2 out of 3 rule perfectly! :)

  9. 9

    Jeff

    December 15, 2009

    7:49 pm

    Ok, so if I already have a nice, pin stripe jacket and want to match pin stripe slacks with it, do the stripes need to be both the same width and the same width apart?

  10. 10

    Person

    February 13, 2012

    5:19 pm

    If I have a black blazer with brown pinstripes. What colored pants and shirt would go with it?

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