work attire pinstripes

If You Build it, They will Come: Pinstripes

by Kate Franco on March 6, 2008 · 4 comments

A good friend recently emailed me asking about how to build a wardrobe for your career. My automatic response was “dress for success”. But, a) that’s cliche and b) that doesn’t really help if you don’t know what’s right for you.

So, start defining your style by buying the staples. Remember that just because it’s a staple, doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Staples can be “you” as much as any other part of your wardrobe.

Staple of the week: Pinstripes


If you want gain some professional respect by looking older, I have 2 words of advice. Pinstripes and lipstick. Armed with these items, your exterior will convey your inner hot shot.

How to wear pinstripes without looking like a businessman (i.e. big, bulky, completely over-bearing), you ask? Simple. If you’re heavy on top – this includes a large chest- go for pinstripes on the lower half. If you’re heavy on bottom, go for pinstripes on your upper half. The reason for this is that the pinstripes, like any other stripe, won’t lay flat on an area with formidable curves. Wavy lines all over your body won’t achieve the hot shot look you’re going for.

Some options to get you started…edressme_1989_47179807.jpeg

  • Pinstripe Blouse – would look great with a belt cinched up tight. Forever21, $22.80
  • If you’re feeling trendy, try a pinstripe vest. Very of the moment (Jovovich Hawk “Galina” vest pictured above). Fatal, SALE! $121.80
  • Cute little bow jacket by Nanette Lapore (pictured at right), edressme, $350
  • Wide leg mini-pinstripe pant – the pinstripe’s tiny…but it’s there. Shopbop, $178

One last tip on buying pinstripes – make sure the stripes actually line up at the seams. I love bargain shopping as much as the next girl, but if the pinstripes on your posterior don’t match up, trust me, people will notice and they’ll know you’ve been shopping at the bargain basement…and that’s not really hot shot either.

I know it’s tough to spend money on clothes that you feel aren’t “you”. So start thinking of your work wardrobe as your real wardrobe – it’s what you’ll be wearing most of the time anyway. And, more success in the long run means more money for your “non-staple” attire.