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Suit jacket, fashion suicide?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by sola fide, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. sola fide

    sola fide One of the Regulars

    I see what look like very nice suit jackets, pinstriped, gaberdine solids, etc.. for sale. Is it acceptable to wear a suit jackets such as double breasted pinstripe with solid slacks or is it fashion suicide?
    Thank you
  2. shadowrider

    shadowrider One of the Regulars

    Generally speaking, I think the rule is that pinstriped jackets, or any jacket that looks obviously as part of a two piece suit, does not work with odd trousers.
    Alz and belfastboy like this.
  3. sola fide

    sola fide One of the Regulars

    Kind of what I suspected, like misfits in toy land, beautiful jackets with no pants to match. How sad
  4. I agree. If it looks like it belongs to a suit it won't look right with odd trousers. If it looks like it could have started life as a blazer or sport coat then go for it, but I don't think I've ever seen a pinstripe or chalk stripe jacket that did not look like it was part of a suit. A lot of the glen plaid or POW suit jackets look fine worn with odd trousers as do some of the windowpane patterns.
    sola fide likes this.
  5. On the stripes, there are also some - old - exceptions... There is a very nice Laurence Fellows illustration showing how you could break an apparently flannel chalk stripes grey trousers in a perfectly acceptable manner (at least on the drawing :)

  6. Contemporary fashion "rules" frown on it, but it was very common back in the thirties. Bear inmind that most people then had maybe one good suit that was worn reguarly, and couldn't justify throwing out a perfectly good jacket just because the trousers wore out. If it looks good, do it, though I would personally make sure there is a fair level of contract between jacket and trews so that it looks deliberate rather than a vain attempt to pass it off as a two piece lounge suit.
  7. Wesslyn

    Wesslyn Practically Family

    I often wear patterned suit jackets with solid color pants. As long as the colors don't clash, you oughta be golden.
  8. Why is it that I always find myself echoing Edward's posts? I guess great (sartorial) minds think alike ;)

    I would just add that with non-striped patterns, like checks or prominent weaves, combining with solid trousers is always a good idea, and in the case of especially bold patterns - such as windowpanes, for example - it's even preferable. But the inverse, pattern trousers with solid coats, almost never works.
    Edward likes this.
  9. Based on illustrations like yours, old editions of Apparel Arts and movies from the '30s, the '30s were a time of a lot of creative mixing and matching of patterns, colors and textures. You can feel somewhat of a "lock down" after the '30s as more-conservative rules took hold from the '40s on (there are always exceptions).

    But IMHO, if you like "adventurous" combinations in men's attire - within the modern construct of suit-sport coat-tie etc. that began to coalesce at the end of the '20s - then the '30s is the best decade.

    You'll see some echo of that in Ralph Lauren advertisements and displays today, but not too many people wear those combos even if they buy the individual clothes shown.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Edward likes this.
  10. I buy separates all the time, and I just make sure the particular shade of whichever colour matches by taking the item to be matched along with me. If you don't like to be too matchy, just look to the Ivy League styles--blue blazers and light khakis are a big example.

  11. Perhaps ironic that men's formal daywear involves plain top and patterned (albeit conservatively so) trousers. Or then there's the variation of Highland dress often favoured by military types, which replaces the kilt with tatan trews. Less seen, of course for the most part - which, of course, goes back to the fact htat ghe patterned trousers were most often part of a suit, and wore out first.

    (Which makes me think of one big advantage to the kilt: it doesn't have that round the crotch / between the legs high-wearing spot, which must make it longer lasting, all other things being equal!)
  12. I find it hard to imagine feeling especially girded on the field of battle with such an open, vulnerable spot as a kilt would entail. Not to say that warriors haven't engaged with even less. We know that the Scots got much of their culture from the Irish, but apparently the Eire tradition of going into combat au naturel was a little bit extreme, even for them. "Now, ye'll taeste tha wrath of my Claymore, ye Irish...Oh, for God's saeke, put on a skairt, man!"
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  13. It is odd that the only "official" uses of patterned trousers and solid jackets (that I can think of) are morning wear and Scottish evening wear. I'm not sure where the tradition comes from with morning wear; as for the latter I've always thought the look was inspired by the full dress uniforms of the Highland Light Infantry, and few other lowland regiments who wore trews.

    Here's some HLI officers circa 1932. Bonus points if you can spot Second Lieutenant David Niven!

    PeterGunnLives, Michael A and Edward like this.
  14. It would be interesting to trace the history of the trews. There is a lowland connection, of course: back before the Jacobite rising, the Lowlanders all wore trousers, whle the Highlanders stuck to the Great Kilt. Lowlanders who joined the Jacobite cause adopted the kilt as it became a political symbol of resistance against the Hanoverians. What I'm not clear on is how equestrian the Lowlanders traditionally were. THe Highlanders were not (for obvious reasons). As a rule across the globe, trouser-type garments developed in equestrian cultures, while those which eschewed horseback were mor likely to tend to a loose robe. (General rule, not necessarily universal.) The Romans, for instance, wore the toga - for the most part, they used their horses to pull chariots, not ridden on. I recall reading they didn't care for trousers much, though they made an exception for the sale of awarm underlayer in Winter in Britannia!
  15. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus One of the Regulars

    It can be done, but one must be very careful to not look like a circus manager or a unemployed man from depression era (unless that is the look you want).

    The point is that the overall look depends on the type of stripes and fabric.

    Modern suit coats with sheen-ish fabric and thin, very close pinstripes are a no-go for separates, unless you look exactly for the mismatched, orphaned jacket look (which, in my humble opinion, never looked good). Dotted stripes, in particular, look terrible when worn as separates.

    A coat with a fuzzier fabric, like for instance flannel, together with wide-spaced chalkstripes could work if the trousers have a similar flannel-like fabric and the colours are well constrasting. Also, it helps that the stripes have discreet colour.

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