How to wear a pinstripe suit

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The pure new wool, tailored fit, two button pin stripe suit from Marks & Spencer

I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to suits. I haven’t owned an off the peg suit for years, preferring instead to buy tailor or custom made suits which have a better fit.

As much as I love my tailor-made suits, I was facing the realsiation that the first one I ever bought was nearing the end of its days having faithfully served me for a decade. I’d noted a few good suits on the high street so decided to replace it with a blue pinstripe suit from Marks & Spencer. I hope you’ll agree I made a good choice.

The suit was designed by Richard James and has a tailored fit. It doesn’t quite have the fit of a genuinely tailored article, but the fabric is far superior to what I could afford if buying something similar from a tailor and so there is a pay-off. The fabric is a worsted cloth from Alfred Brown. It’s a superb mix of merino wool, cashmere and mohair.

But what would you wear with such an item? In my opinion, pinstripe suits make quite a bold statement. You don’t want to mix it with a colourful shirt or tie or else you’ll simply end up looking garish.

In this image I have worn the suit with the ‘tailored Oxford’ shirt from the Oxford Shirt Company. As the name suggests, it has a tailored-fit with a very subtle blue and white stripe. The tie is an old dark blue one from my collection.

M&S, Marks and Spenscer, Marks & Spencer, suit, pinstripe suit, men's fashion
M&S pin stripe suit work with ‘tailored Oxford’ shirt from the Oxford Shirt Company plus plain blue tie.

In this next picture I am wearing a plain white shirt (one from a previous Marks & Spencer Autograph collection). I have twinned it with a silver and dark blue tie.

men's shirts, men's ties, tie, M&S, Marks and SPencer, Marks & Spencer
Same suit but with a different shirt and tie.

When it comes to shoes, I would generally only pair a suit like this with black shoes. These Chukka-style boots are from Walker and Gunn and happen to be the shoes I wore on the day Mrs Adams and I got married.

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Black Chukka-style boots from Walker and Gunn paired with M&S pinstripe suit.

Although I generally live by the adage that a “gentleman should never wear brown in town,” I have, for fun, put on a pair of dark brown boots in this image. There’s an interesting story behind these boots.

men's style, men's fashion, men's suits, men's boots, men's style
A pair of boots custom made for rock star Peter Gabriel (…yes, really) worn with M&S pinstripe suit.

Along with several other near-identical pairs, they were custom made, I believe in Hong Kong, for none other than Peter Gabriel. They were used during the filming for the video of his 1992 hit Digging in the Dirt. If you’re familiar with the video, Gabriel is seen lying on the ground as plants grow over him. Needless to say, this took weeks to recreate as the plants slowly grew and Gabriel didn’t spend that time lying in a studio! Instead several dummies and pairs of boots were used to give the impression that he was there throughout. They came into my possession via an aquiantance who was involved in filming the video.

As they have such an interesting background I very rarely wear them. When I saw this suit, however, I thought they’d make a fantastic match, even if it breaks the rule about wearing brown shoes.

As for accessories, I am pictured here with the London watch from Smart Turnout on my wrist. Smart Turnout prides itself on representing the best of British styling so mixing it with a quintessentially British M&S suit seemed ideal.

watch, men's accessories, men's style, suits, pinstripe suits, M&S, Marks and Spencer
The London Watch from Smart Turnout goes very well with this suit.

The suit featured here is presently in M&S’s sale. You could buy jacket and trousers for £239 (usually £399), although they are available seperately.

Those are my ideas for mixing and matching this particular suit. Tell me, do you like my ideas? What would you pair it with? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disclosure: I was provided with a suit for review purposes by Marks & Spencer. Views and opinions are entirely my own.

Papa Style update 2015

13 thoughts on “How to wear a pinstripe suit”

  1. I must show my daddy this post! He’s always been too scared to wear a pinstripe suit for fear of looking like the Mafia. He sticks to Navy and Grey suits. Great dad fashion post! #PoCoLo x

    1. Glad you liked it! I have previously stuck away from pin stripes but I reallt like htis suit. It has converted me. Hope daddy is inspired. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I have never heard about the brown shoe rule (I shall tell the husband) but like you say, with a story like that, why not? Going to look up the video! Thanks for linking #PoCoLo

  3. Seriously can I just give you money and you go shopping for me? Love your style and taste and have to admit I have a but of man envy 😉 thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week.

    1. Ha ha, I like this; the ‘Dadbloguk Personal Shopper Service!!’ Maybe you can be my first client Martyn? SHall we hit Liberty? The store has some amazing floral print shirts for men??

  4. Pingback: How to dress up like a gentleman » e-Tejaret

  5. A charcoal suit won t fail to look good with a man s blue stripe tie, or a yellow stripe shirt will look fantastic with a navy suit. Many scoff at the idea of wearing a striped shirt with a striped suit, such as a pinstripe suit.

  6. Great article! That pinstripe suit looks fantastic with the striped tie. The colour combinations are also very interesting.

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