BY SHWETA GANDHI

When it comes to picking dress shirts for men, the options are pretty limited—the wheel rotates from solid-hued classics and ends at playful prints and patterns. Experimentation can be tough, and at the same time, you don’t want to look like you’re repeating your shirts. Enter: The magical world of stripes.

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Renowned as a wardrobe staple, stripes are timeless in their appeal. This pattern has been reworked and reimagined innumerable times by designers all over the globe. What makes it such a treasured classic? Perhaps it’s the aesthetic—a blue and white striped shirt does look good visually. Or, it could be the fact that vertical stripes make you appear slimmer and taller. Now, who doesn’t want that?

From awning to Bengal, we bring you an easy guide on how to wear vertical stripes that will help you incorporate more of this flattering style into your everyday wardrobe. And in case you were wondering how to wear these stripes, the fail-proof technique is to team it with trousers/pants in dark colours or even a pair of white jeans.

Pin Stripe

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Equal parts thin and minimal, pin stripes are the most favoured when it comes to dress shirts for men. An easy way to recognize this type is to remember that the white stripes are wider than the coloured stripe.

Pencil

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Pencil stripes are similar to pin stripes, but the distance between each stripe is lesser. This gives it a stylish, polished look on dress shirts for men, especially those where the stripes are in classic hues like black or blue set on a white palette.

Hairline

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Reduce the distance between each stripe even more, and we have hairline stripes! These extremely thin lines are spaced super close to each other, giving it a relatively busy look.

Bar Code

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Akin to a bar code, this style of stripes is differently sized and comes in a variety of colours. They’re spaced very close to each other, just like hairline stripes, but the only difference is that it features a good mix of thin and thick lines.

Shadow

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This type of stripes is evenly shaped, and includes another stripe bordering it that creates a shadow effect. The stripes can sometimes vary in width, and can consist of more than two colours.

Awning

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Awning stripes are usually 1/4” wide and evenly-sized. The thick stripes give it a bold look, making it a perfect pick for those who love the ‘more is more’ philosophy.

Bengal

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This style is similar to awning stripes, but less than 1/4” wide. The stripes are even in nature and make a confident, strong impact.

Candy

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Candy stripes are thicker in nature, and measure around 1/8” in width. Their even sizing and close proximity to other stripes makes it an unmissable pattern. Even better, choose brightly-coloured candy stripes to make a strong style statement.

Top image: 2020 Pitti Uomo, by Enrico Labriola