Pinstripe suits have been in and out of fashion for over a hundred years and are traditionally associated with ultra-conservative male bankers and lawyers. But these days women in all sorts of professions wear pinstripes to look smart, authoritative and sophisticated. Think of how smart, sexy and indeed feminine Carrie Bradshaw looked in Sex and the City when she wore the Vivienne Westwood pinstripe suit to Vogue Magazine.
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Match style to shape
Think about your body shape. Pinstripe suits are especially flattering on short women because the vertical strips make them look taller. But wear a jacket with two and not three buttons to maintain this effect. Tall, slim women can get away with wearing wide, bright stripes, which can make the wearer look wider. Curvier women are better off sticking to thin, subtle stripes, which make them look taller and slimmer. Pleated trousers and A-line skirts are also more flattering for curvier women. Straight lines, flat-front trousers and slim skirts are better for slim women.
Wear matching top
America's first lady Michelle Obama has worn a pinstripe suit with success on several occasions. The fashion icon often matches the tone of her top to the tone of the stripe in the suit. She looked particularly classy wearing a black and white pinstripe suit by Alexander McQueen with a bold white shirt to match. She has also made public appearances in a black and grey pinstripe suit with a grey turtleneck to match.
Go for a classic, expensive-looking pinstripe suit and you will be able to wear it again and again. Dark colors, classic cuts and simple details never go out of fashion. Avoid fleeting trends such as unusual cuts, unusual fabrics and vibrant colours. Buy a pinstripe jacket with matching trousers and a matching skirt, if possible, so that your suit is even more versatile. Always go for a pair of classic well-fitting trousers in preference to, for example, a fashionable mini-skirt.
Try before you buy
Lots of High Street stores stock classic women's pinstripe suits. Visit your favourites and try everything on. Even if a suit doesn't appeal to you on the hanger, it might be extremely flattering for your body shape. Make sure you can comfortably lift and cross your arms in the jacket and can comfortably sit and walk around in the skirt or trousers. The skirt shouldn't ride up and the trousers shouldn't give you bulges or have too much room at the waist. Go by the fit of the suit rather than the size on the hanger because a size 12 in one label could be a 10 or a 14 in another.
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