What’s the Smartest Way to Wear a Pinstripe Suit Without Appearing Dated?

Pinstripe suits are a timeless and classic piece in men’s fashion, synonymous with sophistication and sharpness. However, in this era of fast-changing fashion trends, how can you ensure that your man doesn’t appear outdated while wearing a pinstripe suit? This meticulous guide explores the smartest way to wear a pinstripe suit without looking like a relic from a bygone era. We delve into the best shirts, ties, and colors to match with your suit, as well as explore the significance of fit and style in projecting a contemporary look.

Choosing the Right Shirt

The shirt is the foundation of a suit, and when it comes to pinstripe suits, the choice of shirt can make or break the overall look. Opting for the right shirt not only complements the suit but also adds a touch of modernity to the attire.

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Most men make the mistake of choosing overly bright or patterned shirts, which can clash with the pinstripes and yield an outdated look. The smartest way to wear a pinstripe suit is to pair it with a solid color shirt.

White is the most versatile and timeless option. A crisp white shirt lends a clean, classic look, allowing the pinstripes to stand out without overshadowing them. It’s a foolproof choice that will never make you appear dated.

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If white feels too formal or predictable, opt for light blue or navy. These shades harmonize well with the pinstripes and add a touch of contemporary style. Remember, the key is to keep the shirt simple and let the pinstripes be the star of the ensemble.

Selecting the Perfect Tie

The tie is not simply an accessory, but the centerpiece that brings the entire suit together. Therefore, selecting the right tie to match a pinstripe suit is crucial to maintaining a modern and stylish appearance.

Instead of sticking with the traditional silk ties in monochromatic shades, consider diversifying the texture. Knit or woolen ties, for instance, add a modern twist to the classic suit. They provide a contrast in texture, which can make your man’s attire stand out in a crowd.

As for the color, a solid black or navy tie can never go wrong with a pinstripe suit. These colors provide a neat contrast with the white or light blue shirt, creating a balanced and polished look. As a rule of thumb, the color of the tie should be darker than the shirt.

Adding a Stylish Jacket

The jacket is the defining piece of the suit and what most people notice first. Therefore, the choice of jacket can significantly impact the overall style and appearance.

A navy blue or black jacket is ideal for pairing with a pinstripe suit. These colors provide a sleek and sophisticated look that never goes out of style. The key to keeping this look modern is to opt for a jacket with a slim fit. A well-fitted jacket enhances the silhouette, making the look appear more contemporary.

Also, consider the pattern of the pinstripes. Thin, subtle stripes convey a modern look compared to thicker, more noticeable ones. The less conspicuous the stripes, the more modern the suit will appear.

Balancing Casual and Work Wear

Pinstripe suits are not just for the office. With the right style and accessories, they can be worn for casual occasions without appearing too formal or out of place.

For a more casual look, pair the pinstripe suit with a simple crew-neck shirt. This combination strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal, making it suitable for a relaxed business meeting or a casual dinner date.

Alternatively, consider wearing the suit without a tie. This simple trick instantly transforms the formal suit into a stylish casual outfit. However, ensure the collar of the shirt is well-structured to maintain a polished look even without the tie.

The Significance of Fit and Style

No matter how well the suit, shirt, and accessories are paired, if the suit is not the right fit, the whole look can appear dated. A well-fitted pinstripe suit is a sign of a man who understands and appreciates style.

Ensure the suit jacket and trousers are the right length and size. The jacket should just cover the base of the thumbs while the hands are at rest, and the trousers should rest lightly on the shoes without billowing.

As for style, opting for a two-button suit jacket instead of three can give a more modern look. Furthermore, the lapels should be moderate in width — too wide and it might appear outdated, too narrow and it can look overly trendy.

In a nutshell, wearing a pinstripe suit doesn’t have to make your man look out of touch with current fashion trends. By choosing the right shirt, tie, and jacket, striking a balance between casual and work wear, and prioritizing the fit and style, he can pull off a pinstripe suit that is both classic and modern.

Incorporating Essential Accessories

In any suit ensemble, accessories play a vital role in enhancing the overall look. When it comes to wearing a pinstripe suit, the selection of the right accessories can help update the look and steer it clear from appearing dated.

A pocket square can lend an elegant and refined touch to your suit. It’s worth noting that the color of the pocket square does not necessarily have to match the tie. Instead, it should complement the overall color scheme of the outfit. For example, with a white shirt, black lapel, and navy blue tie, a subtly patterned pocket square in shades of blue, black, or even grey can work wonders.

While it may sound traditional, cufflinks are an accessory that adds polish and sophistication to the suit. Go for simple, understated designs that don’t divert attention from the pinstripes.

The choice of footwear is also key to maintaining a modern look. Leather shoes, such as oxfords or brogues, are a classic match with a pinstripe suit. Stick to traditional colors like black or dark brown to keep the focus on the suit.

If you decide to wear the suit without a tie, then the collar pin can be a smart addition. By keeping the collar tips in place, a collar pin can help maintain a crisp, clean, and put-together look, even without a tie.


In conclusion, while a pinstripe suit may be considered a classic menswear item, it doesn’t mean your look has to be staid or outdated. By carefully choosing the right dress shirt, opting for a suit vest or jacket in navy blue, and picking the perfect accessories, you can wear this iconic suit without appearing dated.

Keeping the important elements in mind such as the fit of the suit jacket and trousers, the choice of tie or the decision to go without one, and the careful selection of a pocket square, you can seamlessly transition your pinstripe suit from classic to contemporary.

Remember, fashion is not just about following trends but also about making a statement of personal style. With these tips in hand, you can confidently wear a pinstripe suit, whether at work or for a casual outing, and project a look that is both timeless and current.

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