How to Balance a Bold Striped Suit with Subtle Accessories for a Professional Appeal?

When it comes to professional dress, the suit is a classic staple in any man’s wardrobe. However, finding the right balance between a bold suit and subtle accessories can be a daunting task, especially when the suit in question sports a strong striped pattern. Many women often find themselves in a dilemma when helping their partners, friends or relatives choosing the right suit, shirt and tie combination. In this article, we will guide you through the process of perfectly pairing a striped suit with complimentary accessories, ensuring that the man in your life steps out with style and precision.

Choosing the Right Striped Suit

The first step towards achieving a balanced ensemble lies in choosing the right striped suit. This starts with an understanding of the different types of striped suits available, their suitability for different types of events, and how to pair them with appropriate shirts and ties.

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Striped suits come in a variety of styles and colors. The most common are the pinstripe and the chalk stripe. The pinstripe is a classic, featuring thin, closely spaced stripes that are perfect for formal events. The chalk stripe, on the other hand, has wider and more defined stripes that present a more casual appeal.

When choosing a striped suit, color is of significant importance. The navy suit is a classic choice that offers great versatility. It can be paired with a range of shirt colors, from white to blue and even black. The navy striped suit is less formal than a black one, making it a suitable choice for both business and casual events.

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Pairing the Striped Suit with the Right Shirt

The shirt is the canvas upon which the suit and tie will rest, and as such, its color and style are paramount. A white shirt is a classic choice that pairs beautifully with a navy striped suit. The clean, crisp contrast of the white against the navy stripes offers a visually pleasing balance.

For a formal occasion, a solid color shirt is ideal. However, for a less formal event or a more casual outfit, a subtly patterned shirt can add a touch of personality without overwhelming the boldness of the striped suit. If you opt for a patterned shirt, keep the pattern smaller and less pronounced than the stripes on the suit to maintain balance.

A black shirt can also be a striking option with a navy or blue striped suit, especially for evening events. The dark shirt allows the stripes of the suit to stand out, creating a sleek, modern look.

Choosing the Perfect Tie

The right tie can make or break the outfit. When pairing a tie with a striped suit, remember that the tie should complement, not compete with, the suit. A solid color tie is always a safe choice. Pick a color from the stripes in the suit for a harmonious look, or choose a contrasting color for a bold yet balanced appeal.

If you prefer a patterned tie, ensure that the pattern is different in scale to the stripes on the suit. For instance, a small polka dot or a subtle paisley pattern could work well.

Accessorizing with Style

Beyond the suit, shirt, and tie, there are other accessories that can add style and personality to the outfit. The pocket square, for instance, is a small detail that can make a big impact. A white pocket square is a classic choice that adds a touch of elegance to any suit. For a more contemporary look, consider a pocket square in a color that compliments the tie or the suit.

Cufflinks are another accessory that can add a subtle touch of sophistication. Choose cufflinks that harmonize with the other accessories in terms of color and style.

Belts and shoes should also be considered. A belt in a color that matches the shoes can help to pull the whole outfit together. Remember, the aim is to create a cohesive look that balances the boldness of the striped suit with subtle, stylish accessories.

The Overall Look

The overall look should be balanced and harmonious. The boldness of the striped suit should be the main focus, with the shirt, tie, and other accessories serving to complement and enhance, not overshadow, the suit. Remember, the goal is to create an outfit that exudes confidence and professionalism. With the right striped suit, the correct shirt and tie pairing, and tasteful accessories, the man in your life will be ready to take on any professional or social event with style and elegance.

The Role of Body Type, Personal Style, and Dress Code

Body type plays a crucial role in choosing the right striped suit. The general rule of thumb is that vertical stripes make you look taller and slimmer, which can be a beneficial effect for many. However, this does not mean that those of bigger build cannot rock a striped suit. The magic lies in the width and spacing of the stripes. For fuller body types, opt for wider spaced stripes, as they draw the eye up and down, creating a lengthening illusion.

Double-breasted suits can also be a bold, stylish option. They’re a great way to add a touch of uniqueness to your ensemble, especially when it’s a striped blazer. However, they may not be the best choice for those with a larger midsection as they can make your frame appear even wider. Always try on a variety of styles and fits to determine what complements your body type best.

When it comes to personal style, it’s all about expressing yourself. While we’ve laid out some general rules to follow, fashion is subjective, and what works for one person may not work for another. Feel free to experiment with different shirt and tie combinations, pocket squares, and accessories to cater to your style preferences.

Lastly, the dress code of the event or your workplace will significantly influence the choice of your suit and accessories. For black tie events, a black suit with a white dress shirt, black tie, and subtle accessories like silver cufflinks and a white pocket square is a timeless choice. On the other hand, when the dress code is less formal, you can play with colors and patterns.

The Art of Mixing and Matching

Now that you have your striped suit, how do you match it with your shirt and tie? Apart from color and pattern, consider the fabric texture and the season. A light blue linen shirt with a navy striped blazer can be a refreshing summer look.

Remember, your tie should complement your suit. A shirt tie in a darker shade of the color of your stripes is a good starting point. If your suit has broad stripes, pair with a tie with a smaller pattern or solid color to balance the look.

Pocket squares can add a pop of color to your outfit. They should complement your shirt and tie but not be an exact match. For example, if you’re wearing a navy suit with a white shirt and a red tie, a pocket square with hints of red would tie everything together nicely.

Your belt and shoes should also match each other and the overall outfit. They should be more subdued and not draw attention away from your bold suit. A pair of black oxfords and a black belt are versatile choices that work with almost any suit.


Learning to balance a bold striped suit with subtle accessories is a skill that requires some practice, but once mastered, can significantly elevate your fashion game. It’s all about understanding the types of striped suits available, the role of your body type, personal style, the dress code of the event, and the art of mixing and matching your suit with the correct shirt, tie, and accessories.

So next time you or the man in your life is reaching for that striped suit, remember these guidelines. Be it a black suit for a formal event or a navy double-breasted striped blazer for a casual gathering, you now have the tools to pull off any look with confidence and style. And remember, while trends may come and go, a well-dressed man with a personal style never goes out of fashion.