Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Morning Stripe

In this series on the diverse examples of suiting fabrics, weaves and their designs, we have already discussed the Chalk-, Pin- and Pin Dot Stripe, but the Morning Stripe on which we will elaborate now, is such a special design on its own we had to write a separate blog to give as much reference. The Morning Stripe is predecessor of all the other striped patterns. It is often a thick black stripe on a grey or charcoal background. Although it is possible to create a complete suit out of a Morning Stripe fabric, formality and etiquette prescribe that this striped design is used to tailor a pair of Morning Trousers.

History of The Morning Stripe and Morning Trousers

Traditionally, in the 19th century, it was normal to combine a morning coat with matching trousers, creating a morning suit. In particular, morning suits in brown or grey fabrics seem to have been the preferred style at that time. At around the end of the 19th century, the frock coat was already disappearing and the morning coat was now considered to be a more formal garment and was hence worn in black. Instead of matching trousers, men preferred a slightly lighter colored, striped trousers. The base color of these trousers was usually some variety of grey. Soon after its introduction, cloth weavers had created a huge range of striped trouser fabric designs. In Germany, the striped trousers became popular after Gustav Stresemann had worn them for the first time in combination with a black single breasted lounge coat on December 1, 1925. This stroller suit combination subsequently gained popularity as the ‘Stresemann Suit’. Beginning in the 1930s, men began wearing other patterns, and by the 1950s, it was not unusual at all to see different trouser patterns. Striped trousers had become omnipresent and every stroller suit-wearing man who worked at a hotel or a café probably owned a pair of striped trousers. Elegant men who wanted to distinguish themselves through their dress were practically forced to switch to alternative patterns.

The complete formal Morning Dress ensemble is the daytime formal dress code for men, including a morning coat, waistcoat, and Morning Stripe trousers. Click here to see the complete portfolio.

Style and Technique

Cashmere Spongebag Trousers have a very close resemblance to traditional, striped, wet spongebags. For those unfamiliar with this rather weird term, a ‘spongebag’ is used in Britain in reference to the travel bag one uses to carry toiletries. Tailors call these trousers ‘cashmere’ even when though they are not made of cashmere at all. In any case, this is the reason why this combination of grey and black stripes is called Cashmere Spongebag Trousers. In Germany, they are called Stresemann trousers.

At one point in time, there were literally hundreds if not thousands of different kinds of these Cashmere Spongebag Trouser Stripes. Nevertheless, they all had a similar look of grey and black stripes, which is sometimes combined with a partial twill weave. Traditionally, they were made of worsteds that felt similar to Melton or panama cloth. Today, it is difficult to find a variety of spongebag stripes anymore. Vintage Cashmere Spongebag Trousers fabrics are usually rather heavy, whereas their modern equivalents are generally lighter and also thinner. At De Oost we offer different varieties of Morning Stripe fabrics and weaves. In weight they vary from 8oz (250 gram) to 13oz (400 gram)

Fishtail Trousers tailored with a Gray Morning Stripe fabric of 250 grams / 8 oZ, 100% Super 150's Worsted Wool.

Fishtail Trousers tailored with a Gray Morning Stripe fabric of 250 grams / 8 oZ, 100% Super 150's Worsted Wool.