The Guide: Pinstripes vs. Chalk-stripes
The thinner, more common variant is called pinstripe. That’s because the stripe is really made up of a series of tiny, continuous dots about the size of a pinhead and set no greater than an inch apart. The background of the suit is typically a darker color, while its stripe detail tends to be lighter or brighter in color.
Pinstripes are a bit more formal than your average solid suit and carry an association with business or bankers. But that doesn’t mean it’s a pattern you can’t have fun with: after all, it was the basis for many classic Baseball teams and still graces the uniforms of the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs.
The wider, bolder brother of the pinstripe is called Chalk-stripe. Chalk-stripes are wider and less defined, giving them a somewhat “fuzzy” look that recalls the chalk lines tailors traditionally drew on suits to mark them for alteration (ours tailors still use chalk to draw out suit patterns).
While chalk-stripes suits certainly work for business, they’re a bit louder and generally busier than the pinstripe. That makes them slightly more casual, and a great way to show off more personality.