21 April 2012

Striped for Spring

The grey pinstripe suit is a stalwart of a business man's wardrobe, second in importance only to navy blue. I come across a fair amount of such suits in  my travels, usually in heavier fabrics for Fall and Winter. I even have such a suit myself. Finding a version in a lightweight worsted for Spring and Summer is a real treat.
I found the jacket alone, priced $6.99, a crumpled, wrinkled mess, on the rack in a thrift shop. As we always do when I find a jacket that is or was clearly the top half of a nice suit once, my little daughter and I took it to the trousers racks to play a "matching game". Sure enough, there were the trousers, an equally wrinkled mess, for $5.99.
3/2 undarted jacket with a two button cuff, a "sack" if you will, but with enough shape to look good. The fabric is very lightweight and breathable, The front is fully canvassed. A good friend and well known expert in these matters took one look at this suit and surmised by the high cut of the lapel notch, and lack of button hole in the left lapel, that this garment was likely made by Hertling in New York in the late 1960s.

Given the fact that I really don't need to wear a suit, ever, and this is such a business uniform, I find that the big unlined rolling collar of a vintage Brooks Brothers shirt ($5.49) and a silk knit tie knock the seriousness of this one just enough to make it comfortable for walking around town.Sacrilege to some, but so too in a way is wearing a suit to a job wear others wear jeans. It's all about middle ground.

Hailing originally from Serry's of Hanover New Hampshire, a store that catered to Dartmouth students for nearly 100 years before closing it's doors in 2004. Perfunctory internet research shows that Serry's was founded by an Italian tailor, and later sold to a pair of Italian brothers in the late 1950s. Proof positive that the WASP stronghold on the right to wear these things was not as tight and exclusive as the nerdy world of clothing dorks would have us sometimes believe.

It might not be easy, but if you find a nice lightweight striped suit, pick it up. It makes a refreshing alternative to all the khaki and tan worsted that is the order of the day this time of year. Get striped for Spring.

8 comments:

Prinz Ulrich von Boffke said...

A very sharp suit, and a terrific find at that, but it is the necktie that really catches my eye. Enjoy them both!

Best Regards,

Ulrich von B.

alex said...

Hey speaking of grey suits, what's the story with that bespoke suit you were measured for a couple months back?

Roger v.d. Velde said...

I was about to ask the same question as Alex. I thought this post actually was about that when I started reading.

I have a light charcoal (does that exist?) pinstriped suit that I have worn in a non-business manner, but it's hard to shake off the association between pin-striped suits and bankers.

Kionon said...

This reminds me, I really need to get my pin-stripe grey suit dry-cleaned...

Young Fogey said...

Pinstripes are for business.

Except when they're not, as G shows here. Great find, great outfit.

Metcarfre said...

Well found. I was lucky enough to find the matching trousers to a fully-canvassed tailor made Glen plaid (with red overcheck) jacket the other day. They'll have to be let out, but how could I not?

AFJ said...

That suit is SHARP as h...

But wouldnt match it with a buttondown and knitted tie. Looks weird to me.

Brgds

Nancy said...

Regarding your post last April on the suit you found. One of those Italian brothers was my father. His Uncle Frank was the tailor for the former owner, Serrafini. Early on they made custom tailored cloths. I hope you have enjoyed your suit.