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The History of the Pinstripe Suit

The pinstripe suit was created around the end of the 19th century by the British, but there are two schools of thought as to just how the pinstripe suit came to be. One version holds that it began its life as a sort of uniform for English Victorian bankers; the differing stripe thicknesses and distances between the stripes were purportedly used to identify employees from different banks. The other version holds that the pinstripe suit evolved from the striped uniforms worn by men who enjoyed boating as a pastime. Regardless of which origin story is true, once the pinstripe suit spread to America, its popularity grew rapidly. It became the unofficial uniform of the Prohibition era. Since it appealed to those who wanted to make a bold statement, it became especially popular with film stars and jazz musicians, as well as gangsters like Al Capone. After Prohibition ended, pinstripe suits became even more popular as mega-stars like Clark Gable and Cary Grant frequently wore them. In the modern era, the pinstripe suit continues to be a popular style choice for both men and women; it is particularly popular in the business world today.

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