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A blue and white striped shirt is the perfect back-to-work investment

We wear white shirts. We wear blue shirts. But how many of us regularly combine the two? The blue and white striped shirt is a classic office-ready option; equal parts formal and fashionable. Button up such a shirt and you’ll soon discover that the vertical pattern pairs perfectly with suiting and ties — but can also be dressed down and worn casually after-hours.

And shirting stripes, though they may look fairly simple, come in many different designs and widths. You can begin thin, with hairline, Bengal or pinstripes — before beefing up your lines with pencil, awning or candy stripe patterns. Each is associated with a different occasion or social group — from preppy Ivy Leaguers to Wall Street bankers — and each says something different about your style and personality.

But, whatever you want your stripes to say about you, you'll find something to suit your style below. Take a look…

Try buttoning up a bold stripe

Even the name of the thickest stripe, the ‘butcher stripe’, sounds bold and bombastic. But, while it’s certainly a style statement, we’d suggest sticking to its softer-sounding little brother, the ‘candy stripe’. Still reasonably big, and worn by Bonds from Moore to Connery, it’s a proven wardrobe staple — and offers just the right amount of flair.

There are few shirtmakers more reliable when it comes to stripes than Turnbull & Asser. Case in point; this blue candy stripe shirt. Elegantly finished with a Regent cutaway collar and double cuffs, it’s one of the smartest ways to wear stripes. For a more practical option, the brand also offer a button cuff, regular fit version. New & Lingwood, too, an outfitters renowned for its exuberance, have a bold option — albeit one created with a soft collar to ensure continued comfort throughout your working day.

Or opt for a subtler take on the style

Of course, not everyone is comfortable with thick, bold patterns. But there’s a stripe for you, too. Despite the British and Americans waging an ongoing war over the exact width of the Bengal stripe, this dressier, thinner pattern is perfect for officewear — and often can’t even be identified as a stripe until you’re up close.

Emma Willis is the gold standard here, with hand-cut and finished luxury Swiss cotton offerings. Our picks would be a fine navy Bengal stripe or an even lighter take on the style — in sky blue.

Luxury Swiss Cotton Shirt – Sky Bengal

Luxury Swiss Cotton Shirt – Sky Bengal

£240

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Luxury Swiss Stripe Cotton Shirt – Navy Bengal

Luxury Swiss Stripe Cotton Shirt – Navy Bengal

£240

Buy Now

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