Welcome back to suit patterns

Timothy Barber
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THE pin stripe is the classic pattern of the City – the iconic way of adding charisma and boldness to a dark suit, and one that’s forever going to be associated with bankers. That’s also one reason why it hasn’t been seen around very much in the last couple of years. The City’s humbling during the credit crunch led to a more subtle, less strident way of dressing, and the high-contrast pinstripe was discarded as a reminder of the cocky attitudes the Square Mile community’s been keen to shrug off.

But the time has come for the City boys to step out of the sartorial shadows again. Stripes have been creeping up in prominence, while the dalliance with understatement is seeing other, subtler distinguishing patterns come into play. Checks in particular are appearing, whether in the smart cross-hatching of a Prince of Wales pattern or sparser checks in softer tones.

The message being: don’t be afraid to let a bit of expression through pattern mark you out as someone with serious business to be done.