Pins and Chalk

The aim of these posts is to expand your knowledge of the often elitist world of tailoring, so, when you visit your tailor, it will be easier to explain what you want and hopefully lead to a more fulfilling experience for both of you.

I thought I'd kick start this series by answering a common question, now; I apologise if you already know the answer to this one, I promise at some time soon I will cover new and interesting ground for you, but, for the majority of people this is still a question unanswered until after their first visit to a tailor:

What is the difference between a Pinstripe and a Chalk stripe?

The simplest way to answer this one is to show you...

The common pinstripe, characterised by fine crisp lines made up of pin dots.

Not to be confused with the chalk stripe (see below) whose stripes are softer, fatter and rope-like resembling the chalk lines drawn by a tailor on cloth, hence it's name.

Both are available in many gauges (width between the lines) and a huge variety of different colours, both cloth colour and stripe.

After these two classics, you have a huge number of variations, that are either a form of pinstripe, or a form of chalk stripe, such as the obviously named...

Double Pinstripe...

and then everything else gets bundled into what we like to term...

The Fancy Stripe...

Not quite a pinstripe, yet, not strictly a chalk stripe either, but a stripe none the less.

I hope you've found this informative. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
You can email me at

Best Wishes,

William Westmancott
0207 060 11 49

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, do you know who invented the pinstripe? Was it a Tailor in Savile Row? And why is the pinstripe suit so popular among brokers and pimps?