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The Return of Stripes: Spring/Summer 2019 Trends for Men

8 Apr 2019

Stripes have played a part in our wardrobes for ages. A sign of the devil in the Middle Ages, a mark of the aristocracy in the 16th century, an emblem of revolution in the 17th century, and an ambassador on fashion’s foremost runways, stripes have had a remarkable history.

One type of stripe you can't ignore is the famous sailor stripe. A classic pattern in both men's and women's closets, it got its start on sailor's uniforms. While navigating open ocean, this stripe (also known as the Breton stripe) inspired the fashion and luxury industry largely thanks to Coco Chanel.  It was the main inspiration behind her nautical collection designed at the end of the 1910s.

Popularized on the big screen in the 1950s by Marlon Brando and James Dean, the sailor stripe took on a rebellious edge, replacing the navy blue stripes with black. 

Afterward, numerous artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol took to this trend. A few decades later, stripes would be brought back to the centre of the fashion world by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Using sailor stripes in his collections for men and women, he experimented with different ways to present the pattern. Stripes were an integral part of his designs. It was even the principal element of his iconic Toy Boy collection that hit the runway in the early 1980s.

Since then, many of fashion’s top names have been inspired by stripes, like Paul Smith, who designs using many multicoloured stripes, and Missoni, who displays them in zigzag patterns.  

S/S 2019 collection

This spring at Simons, stripes are drawing some spontaneous lines. Extra colourful, outlined, in different proportions, and placed either vertically or horizontally, stripes are simply dazzling. They’re breaking the rules, blending together, and redefining themselves on T-shirts and shirts for men (on fluid camp shirts in particular). Top brands like Guess, Tommy Jeans, Levi’s, and Calvin Klein Jeans are all signing up for stripes.

There’s also something new we’ve spotted this season: striped trim that lines the leg. This is a detail that’s trending in tailoring as much as in casual menswear. Again inspired by the world of sailing, it adds a distinctive and modern touch to any outfit. Defined and redefined for decades, the stripe is once again making its mark this season!