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Pinstriped suits...

LabelKing

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Seemingly I notice many upper end pinstriped suits not having the correct line up of the stripes. For example Ralph Lauren Purple Label, et al. Now this person's single breasted peak lapel suit looks very dashing but then the lapels just throw off everything off.
 

Mike C.

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I think it's just fine if the lines in the lapels don't match up. I remember a suit I saw where the lines did match up, and it looked artificial. It made the suit take on a pimp quality.
 

Isak Bengtsbo

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While we are on the subject:
I got a black suit with pinstripes but what kind of shirts are appropriate. For the moment I only use solids.
 

HRHAndrew

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I got a black suit with pinstripes but what kind of shirts are appropriate. For the moment I only use solids.
This is the only time that I will ever say this. Stay with the crisp solid white. Nothing brings out a great black pinstripe suit quite like the traditional white.
 

Alias

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I would really love to have a black suit with purple pinstripes. I'd wear that with a purple herringbone shirts (contrasting collar and cuffs, probably) and a dark purple tie. I dunno, I just can't stop thinking about this. Take a wild guess as to what one of my favorite colors is.

And about the lapels issue: That's one of the more jarring mismatches I've seen, although it's impossible to match the stripes perfectly in that region, thanks to the geometry. I usually look at the collar matching the back, the back panels matching each other on the center seam, and the stripes lining up correctly on the chest darts with the besom pocket and flaps, and if they look ok on the sleeve/shoulder seam.
 

LA Guy

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shoefan

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Alias is correct; except in the very rare circumstance, you cannot make the stripes line up on the collar/lapel seam. There are three reasons for this -- first, assuming you align the collar pattern with the back of the jacket (and you definitely want to do this), then you are unlikely to get the stripes aligned with the lapels, just due to the geometry of the matter -- what you will get is symmetry of the two collar/lapel seams, which is certainly desirable.

Second, even putting aside the matching in the back, imagine matching the fabric up at one of the seams; how likely is it that the other seam would match up, given that the collar is a continuous piece of fabric. Only in the rare circumstance in which the length of the collar fabric happened to be perfect for the given fabric/pattern would the second seam match up. Now, if you made the collar out of two pieces of fabric, joined at the back, then this would be different, but then the pattern wouldn't match the back of the jacket, which would look worse -- given that the back is a large, flat surface, the discontinuity would be readily apparent and look bad.

Third, the only way the fabrics would match across the entire length of the collar/lapel seam would be if they were (the collar and the lapel) cut at a 45 degree angle relative to the pattern; otherwise (simple geometry) the distance along the seam between the stripes would differ for the lapel and the collar, and therefore the stripes would not match up along the entire length of the seam. Depending on the location of the gorge and the desired shape of the lapel, this is difficult to do -- certainly for a notch lapel, perhaps less so for a peak lapel since the seam is not continued straight into the notch.
 

Timothy

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Maybe I don't know enough about suit construction, but why couldn't the tailor cut the fabric of the lower section of the lapel to line up with the collar section of the lapel? The lower section is a seperate piece technically on the inside of the suit, just turned out, so it doesn't have to match up any where else. To me I think it would look better for them to line up, creating a better flow to the overall suit.

By the way just checked two jackets of mine, one with a chalk stripe and the other with a thin pinstripe, and both are matched up pretty good. Enough that you have to actually study them to see they're are a bit off by no more than a 1/16 of an inch at the worse. Minute enough not to be noticed in a photo. By the way neither of these are high end jackets.
 

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