THE PIN CODE

Get­ting on the straight and nar­row has never been eas­ier (in fash­ion, that is)

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

Think pin­stripe or chalk stripe; think fat cats with a pen­chant for red braces and boozy lunches on ex­penses. Right? The fact is the fi­nance sec­tor pretty much in­vented pin­stripe tai­lor­ing. Back in the early 1800s, when top hats and tails were de rigueur in Lon­don’s Square Mile, the stripe on your trousers de­noted which bank you worked for. The mo­tif re­mained at the for­mal end of the spec­trum in the UK, but our US pals quickly trans­lated the stripes onto more ca­sual navy two-pieces, “coun­try” brown three-pieces and West Egg pas­tel get-ups in a way only Lindy-Hop­ping Long Is­lan­ders could.

Shortly af­ter, mob­sters such as Al Capone adopted the look, and from then on, the pin­stripe was as­so­ci­ated with grisly Chicago mas­sacres and tommy-gun tur­moil. Decades later though, in the mas­ter-of-the-uni­verse days of the Eight­ies, it found its way back into the heady world of fi­nance, as mir­rored in film by Gor­don Gekko, Pa­trick Bate­man and Leonardo

Di Caprio’s Jor­dan Belfort. In 2017, pin­stripe

(and ver­ti­cal stripes in gen­eral) are well and truly back and be­ing used in more in­ter­est­ing ways then ever seen be­fore (none of which make you look like a fi­nancier and/or se­rial killer).

“Pin­stripes im­me­di­ately con­vey a tai­lor­ing and menswear mes­sage,” says Ja­son Bas­ma­jian, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Cer­ruti 1881. “They are pow­er­ful, clean and clas­sic. This sea­son, I liked mix­ing up the scales and di­men­sions, as well as us­ing new fabri­ca­tions: linen, cot­ton blends, wool-silk, which give a more re­laxed mood to tra­di­tional pin­stripes. They feel right at the mo­ment, when fash­ion is ex­plor­ing and rein­vent­ing the codes.”

ON-POINT OUT­ER­WEAR

Black/white striped wool-silk coat, £695, by Mack­in­tosh.

Ecru ca­ble-knit wool roll-neck, £195; ecru ca­ble-knit wool scarf, £95, both by Daks. Dark grey wool cropped trousers, £250, by Kent & Cur­wen. Black leather boots, £660, by Canali

LOW-KEY WEEK­END

Tan shear­ling dou­ble-breasted jacket, £1,480; white leather train­ers, £240, both by San­dro. White cot­ton T-shirt, £75; black pin­stripe wool cropped trousers, £265, both by Ami. White cot­ton socks, £12, by Lon­don Sock Com­pany

DOU­BLE STRIPE

Mus­tard wool-cash­mere great­coat, £800, by Ami. Blue/white striped cot­ton shirt, £155, by San­dro. Grey/white striped wool trousers, £225, by En­list. White leather train­ers, £200, by Tiger of Swe­den

CON­TEM­PO­RARY CLAS­SIC

Black/white chalk-stripe wool suit, £3,070, by Pal Zileri. Black light­weight wool roll-neck, £160, by Daks. Black leather shoes, £410, by Crock­ett & Jones

Stars in stripes: Jack Ni­chol­son in Chi­na­town (1974) and, in­set, Chris­tian Bale in Amer­i­can Psy­cho (2000)

Pho­to­graphs by KAT PISIOLEK

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