The Pinstripe Suit: Colouring Outside the Lines

What’s something pro sports, reverends, mobsters and business men all have in common? The pinstripe.

The contrasting piece of thread that is woven into the warp of the fabric. It can either be thick or thin, single or double. Regardless of your preference, it remains as a sign of respect, perhaps due to its origin as a banker’s uniform in Britain. Though the reason why this was standard uniform remains unclear, it was the outfitting of a trusted man.By the time “the stripe” made its way across the pond, namely the United States, around the 20s, the Prohibition Era was in full swing. Made extremely famous by mobsters and bootleggers, this era put into motion the pinstripe signifying more than just respect but also power. Seen in mostly the hot beds of bootlegging activity, such as New York and Chicago, many young men emulated mobsters for their glamorous lifestyles.

Pro tip:
The pinstripe adds the perception of length and height, which is important for a mobster. Al Capone was 5’ 10”. Despite being a very average height, he had names like “Big Al” and “The Big Fella”.

Al Capone (credit: TIME)


Though the reputation of being exclusively worn by bankers and mobsters has since vanished, the tradition of dominance has remained the same, namely in professional sports.  There have been various NBA and MLB franchises that have donned the stripes, such as the Chicago Bulls during their ’95 run, which catalyzed their second triad of championships. As much as each example showed dominance in its own respective field, the pinstripe is part of what made each moment memorable. Sure you may add the lean of Al Capone’s hat or a heavy canvas bank bag but at the end of the day, the results were the same; they earned their stripes and it added to their air of confidence.  We have seen a resurgence lately on the runway by the likes of McQueen, D&G, and Cucinelli, and in cinema such as Wolf of Wall Street, propping this power suit to become the statement piece du jour.

While the styles and cuts may have changed, so has the quality of the materials. By sourcing exclusively the finest textiles from all over the world, the team at Eric Sana bring you the best of the past with the innovation of the future.  All of us may not be able to win an NBA championship but we can definitely look like we did!

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