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Article: Next in Line: What about Stripes?

Next in Line: What about Stripes? - Assemble Singapore

Next in Line: What about Stripes?

Stripes are a group of lines which are parallel to each other and never cross path. I am sure all of you have at least one or two striped shirts in your clothing collection. This pattern is one of the most minimal and versatile, which you can wear anywhere and anytime you want. From professional to casual occasions, as long as you choose the right colours, stripes will never go wrong and you will still look put together. 

history of stripes black and white prisoner french sailor coco chanel breton shirt

(History of Stripes)

A little fun fact, have you ever looked at a bold black and white horizontally striped shirt, and immediately associated it with prisoners? This is due to the practice of forcing social outsiders, such as criminals, prostitutes, servants and court jesters, to wear striped clothing during the medieval era. This “social outcast” turned around during the mid-nineteenth century when French sailors wore, what we know as, the nautical fashion. Popularised by Coco Chanel’s Breton shirts in the twentieth century, stripes are no longer an icon of rejection.

chalk stripe grey pant double monk brown leather shoes

Stripes are probably just stripes to most of you, but there are actually many variables of thickness and texture, and width between the stripes. In the context of shirt and suit fabrics, the stripe patterns are mostly vertical. It is therefore popular among shorter and larger gents, as vertical stripe pattern helps to elongate the look of their physiques. With our experiences with several clients, we found out that pinstripes and chalk stripes are the most popular stripe patterns.

grey blue pinstripe chalk stripe fabrics suit pant

(Top 2: Pinstripe; Bottom 4: Chalk stripe)


chalk suits grey blue

Pinstripe can be recognised when the width of the lines resembles the thickness of a pinhead. The width of pinstripes is usually not thicker than 1/18 inch, formed by one or two yarns, and each stripe is separated by a distance of about 1/10 to 1 inch. Also known as banker’s stripes, pinstripe suits are traditionally widely worn by bankers or businessmen. Those suits are frequently in dark colours (e.g. black, dark navy or grey) with light-coloured, usually white, stripes. Such colour combination portrays a more professional image.

coloured lines on dark fabrics suit pant

(Coloured lines on dark fabrics)

On the other hand, light-coloured fabrics with dark lines would be better suited when you attend your friend’s wedding or social events. Brightly coloured lines can also change up the dull dark fabrics to suit lighter occasions. Still a staple but not restricted to the business world, pinstripe is also now one of the most used patterns, as these stripes add a little more style to your clothes without being overwhelming.

Chalk Stripe

man standing blue chalk stripe suit white shirt

Chalk stripes, again as the name suggests, imitate the texture of a tailor’s chalk when drawn on fabrics. Multiple threads are used to create the not-so-defined lines which are thicker than pinstripes, hence making the fabric more wearable due to the less distinct lines. Since it has thicker lines, chalk stripes are slightly bolder and more informal. Chalk stripes are also spaced out wider as compared to pinstripes. Of which, larger gents should take note that they are advised to avoid stripes with wider spacing, as it would only accentuate their large physiques.

man standing grey chalk stripe suit

This stripe pattern only appears on suit fabrics, not on shirt fabrics. Furthermore, we recommend chalk-striped suits to be worn as a whole, and not jacket or pant as its own. Since it is a laid-back counterpart of pinstripe suit, switch out the shirts and ties into a T-shirt, or sweaters and turtle necks during colder weathers.


seersucker stripe fabrics

No, seersucker is not a pattern, but it is a type of fabric which is traditionally in stripes. Seersucker is a Hindi word shirshaker, derived from Persian shirushaka which means milk and sugar. This fabric is characterised by its crumply texture. The texture is a result of a weaving technique, where some threads are pulled tighter than the rest, giving the fabric a soft but bumpy touch (just like milk and sugar). Commonly used on summer suits, seersucker is a very lightweight and breathable fabric. Due to the puckers on the fabric, it leaves a space between the fabric and your skin, hence allowing better air circulation. Sounds great for the weather in Singapore, right? You know what’s better? Seersucker doesn’t need ironing! A lightweight, breathable and hassle-free fabric is definitely a perfect choice as a summer jacket.

assemble singapore lyn seersucker suit

As seen on our co-founder, Lyn, seersucker suit is a perfect choice for a smart casual look without feeling irked by your clothes sticking on your sweaty self. And you are right, Assemble is going to have a baby sister, Accent, soon! It is not going to be just another women’s tailoring brand. It’s going to be much more, empowering women, to tell stories. Ladies, keep yourself updated by following Accent on Instagram!

Ultimately, it is never easy to identify the different stripes apart as there are always several variations and combinations of patterns, unless it is very distinct like seersucker. Your priority should be finding your favourite patterns, and wearing them with confidence! The Rolling Stones says that they’ve got a seersucker suit (Song: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man), what about you?

Do drop us an email at to book an appointment or if you have any enquiries!

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