The comfortable and casual look of a wide striped fabric instantly gives any suit, vest or pants a graphic yet relaxed appearance. The gold standard when it comes to the summer stripped suit is of course the seersucker. With its thin, all cotton fabric it is the perfect alternative to a wool suit and it is even socially, and stylistically, acceptable to wear it while wrinkled. Now what man doesn’t like the sound of that?
Often seersucker pieces come in the much more modest pinstripe style. But being “on trend” this summer means only something in a large pajama-like stripe will do. Shoppers need look no further than the two Fs – Ferre and Ferragamo for the best interpretations of this style. At Gianfranco Ferre the designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi cut their summer suits with a lot of give. Double breasted jacket barely skimmed the torso and pants in powder tones pooled at the ankles. The Salvatore Ferragamo show had a slight 1920s feel and the stripes got bolder with navy blue on a white blazer or lines of gray down a flat front pair of pants. Striped trousers were a favorite of designer Massimiliano Giornetti who also sent them down the catwalk in both white and navy and brown and white variations.
But wearing a bold stripe should come with a sartorial warning label. The stripe has to be just right. A perfect example is the Lanvin collection designed by Lucas Ossendrijver. The usually pitch perfect designer sent out a black on white striped vest that landed just this side of looking like part of a very stylish jail house uniform. While his fitted stripped pants resembled a court jester rather than a cool hipster. This was also the downfall for Alexis Mabille whose skin tight pants were trying way too hard to be different.
Perhaps the best way to test drive this trend is to take it back to its roots.At Dolce & Gabbana the designer duo kept the pajama stripes limited to their loungewear. And hot young menswear designer Umit Benan stayed true a more historical stripe, that of the knee length Greek caftan. Or there is always the Yohji Yamamoto way, which somehow is able to make a zip front, pointy hemmed high collared striped shirt look both debonair and daring.