Ode to the horizontal line…




For a few weeks, I have been surprising myself wearing more and more often my only horizontal stripe shirt. My Marc Guyot has wide-ish grey stripes and a white collar and cuffs. My initial reservations have dissipated and I now find it flamboyant, but also versatile and in the end, quite easy to wear.

Until recently, I had gotten into the habit of only wearing it on weekends, without a tie and under a casual jacket, thinking that the unavoidable likeness to so-called sailor/navy stripes, prohibited weekday wear with a suit and a tie.

And then, a few weeks ago and totally out of the blue, the seemingly unlikely idea of wearing it under a medium grey bespoke suit came to me. I chose a seven fold necktie with teeny-tiny black and white checks and, I must say I was quite pleased (and surprised) with myself… What I was dealing with was a visual oxymoron I would qualify as “discreetly original”. Since then, I have not ceased to think of expanding my personal collection of horizontal stripe shirts.

So this week, I have ordered several similar shirts to experiment with wider and narrower stripes, with matched or contrasting collars and cuffs, and in different fabrics.

Next week, I will share a few shots of the ensemble I was referring to earlier, and you will see for yourself that it is a particularly underestimated figure of style. Note that finding a ready to wear horizontal stripe shirt is quite the undertaking. Indeed, aside from tireless and bold Marc Guyot, no other label that I know of is offering such shirts in France.

Of course, you have heard the rule of thumb according to which the horizontal line is to be avoided by the pleasantly plump and those wishing to appear slimmer. The rule continues to hold true and I would heartily recommend the stockier among you to steer clear of any such shirt.

Others, and not exclusively those struggling with the opposite affliction of a diminutive built, are encouraged to attempt this surprising endeavour. There is only one condition: being able to work the horizontal stripe. As you will see, it will leave a trail of commotion and comments on your step. But after all, we are used to it, aren’t we?

Cheers, HUGO