I'm currently seeking to expand my business wardrobe beyond the standard solid navy and charcoal, and I'm wondering as to the appropriateness of chalk stripes in particular and more generally what I should consider branching out into. I work in the inter-governmental/IR field, and while I do not get the sense that there are the same kind of unspoken strictures about who is entitled to wear what like those that exist in law and finance, business attire is de rigeur, perhaps to a greater degree than those industries. There are definitely certain kinds of clothes that I can imagine would draw (undesired) attention to someone below a certain rank within the organization. So where is the line drawn, exactly?
I started out with two LRL suits bought at Century 21-- one charcoal, one navy. Having read all about the intricacies of tailoring: canvassing vs fusing, the relative (in)formality of patch pockets and hacking pockets, the difference between a 3-roll-2 and a 3-roll-2.5 (the latter to which I am quite partial yet remains well out of my reach...), etc., etc, there were about a thousand things I could find wrong with them, but as someone with no money and no proper suits, they did the job well enough considering the price. Still, there were obviously better options out there, and so once I was able, I bought two BB 1818 line suits to add to my rotation-- again, solid navy and solid charcoal, two button, Regent fit.
I could replace the LRL two, sure, but they remain perfectly serviceable, having not yet started to fall apart. So at this point I'm eager to branch out and try something different. I've set my eyes on this BB 1818 three-piece, which they describe as a "double track stripe" but looks more like a chalk stripe to me. Which brings me to my first question-- would this be appropriate in the case of a relatively junior person such as myself? I am aware that stripes of all kinds are generally considered a no-no in such cases, but these seem subtle enough to preventing from becoming the target of unwelcome attention. As for the vest, I wouldn't plan on wearing it to work, but would appreciate the flexibility of having one to wear if I so desired.
More generally, where does one go after the basics are taken care of? Windowpanes? Herringbone? Sharkskin? Aside from the basic blazer, I have a few sports jackets that already provide "excitement"-- a linen, a couple of checks, and a tweed I've not had a chance to wear for years--but what suiting options are there to add some texture while staying within the conservative bounds of business attire?