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.

Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Herringbone

If you are looking for a proper business or city suit, think about having your garments tailored with the Herringbone fabrics available at De Oost. Then again if you are looking for a more heavy outdoor Tweed suit these are offered too in Herringbone. Technically Herringbone is not really a fabric, it is a method of weaving a fabric. Herringbone is a twill-weave with threads running alternately to left and right to form an inverted -V design that could be construed as the bones of a fish. This is a popular style for suits and sport jackets. Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is one of the most popular cloths used for suits and outerwear. Tweed cloth is often woven with a herringbone pattern. 

History of the Herringbone pattern

The use of the Herringbone pattern is not limited to the weaving of fabric. Some say the V-shaped pattern was developed around 500 B.C. during the Roman Empire as they developed an expansive world-class road system called the Viae Publicae. The basic principle for the construction of this super road – which allowed for accelerated communication and rapid transport of people and materials throughout the empire – was called Opus spicatum, or “spiked work”. It was discovered that this simple pattern of interlocking bricks creates an intensely durable and stable  geometric matrix, perfect for roadways and infrastructure. 

In fashion design these patterns are also often used symbolically to connect a modern garment to it’s historical predecessors, since patterns are like flags; they have the potential to evoke a sense of identity and place. The fact that herringbone’s roots are in Rome make it a no-brainer that plenty of suits, sportcoats, and blazers have been done up in the pattern.  The Herringbone pattern can be found in Celtic history too; horsehair herringbone cloth has been found in Ireland from around 600 B.C., which explains why it’s also a traditional choice for tweed. That being said let us start by showing you some of the tailored tweed herringbone garments by De Oost. Following with a selection of the herringbone business and city suits tailored for our clients.

Herringbone pattern often seen in Tweed fabrics

Tweed is popular for equestrian, hunting and other outdoor activities.  The smaller details of having a Herringbone pattern in your tweed tailored garments give one a fast and dynamic look while coarsing or horse riding. The herringbone pattern is vibrant and alive.

Grey Herringbone from the Harris Tweed Collection from  Holland & Sherry - HS 1389, available at De Oost.

Rust Herringbone double breasted waistcoat and notch lapel. Click here to see the complete portfolio.

Light Grey Wool Herringbone Flanel 3 Piece Suit

Herringbone popular with Business Suits

As is seen on our Business Suits page, many clients have chosen  to have their business suits tailored with an herringbone weave fabric.  Today herringbone cloth can be found in just about any garment type, in an endless variety of sizes, scales, textures, weights, colors, blends, etc. It’s one if the easiest ways for a man to introduce pattern into his wardrobe, too, because it is  so subtle and monotone that you don’t really have to worry about it clashing with other patterns. 

Dress Wear with Herringbone pattern

 In our collection of bespoke tailored tuxedos, tailcoats, morning coats, waistcoats, dress wear and formal wear, the herringbone pattern appears too.  One of our eye-catchers in the atelier of De Oost is a morning coat and waistcoat with a strong visible herringbone pattern.

The Morning Coat: Coat, Waistcoat and Trousers with Morning stripe. Click to see complete portfolio here.