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  1. #1
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    Default Common Shirt Stripes Defined

    I have received quite a number of e-mails on this subject. Here are the commonly used names for the basic shirtings:

    Hairline Stripe:



    Dress Stripe:



    Pin Stripes (Bottom - usual; Top - wide):



    Candy Stripe:



    Bengal Stripes:



    Awning Stripe:



    Shadow Stripe (may vary in width):



    Multi-Stripe (one of many thousands):



    Basic Stripe Size Comparison Reference:




    These are relative sizes. For example, Candy Stripes approximately 1/8" equally spaced white & color or color & color; Bengal Stripes +/- 1/4" equally spaced white & color or color & color, etc. Pin stripes are usually 1 or two yarns thick and the spacing between pin stripes varies all over the map.

    If you'd rather call your Candy Stripes Bengals and your Bengals Pinstripes, feel free. One person's tiger is another's kitty.

    But if you're trying to communicate with a shirtmaker, use the reference above.


    Copyright © 2008 Alexander S. Kabbaz, Kabbaz Kelly Shirtmakers. All rights reserved.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    I believe that (somewhat random) posts like this are one of the things that make AAAC so great. Thanks.

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    Is the Bengal stripe also sometimes called Butcher stripe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatty8 View Post
    Is the Bengal stripe also sometimes called Butcher stripe?
    Butcher, more frequently used in the UK, is similar but slightly wider ... not nearly as wide as an awning stripe.
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  5. #5
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    this thread is pure gold!! I love stripes but don't hardly know enough about the types, right color combos and "safe" ensembles to have any in my closet (other than 1 I found on clearance in BB)

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for this Alexander! Maybe you can also do one on plaids, checks, and other patterns. I never quite know how to sort out gingham, herringbone, prince of wales, windowpane, checks. and etc.

  7. #7
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    This thread has actually confused me from what I had previously gathered. I have noticed Brooks Brothers tends to follow what you describe. On the other hand, Turnbull & Asser (as well as many others I have found) appears to reverse what you call a bengal stripe and candy stripe. It also calls your dress stripe a pencil stripe. Is that usually the same thing? I also see pin stripes described as pencil stripes. What is your take on the meaning of pencil stripe?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt S View Post
    This thread has actually confused me from what I had previously gathered. I have noticed Brooks Brothers tends to follow what you describe. On the other hand, Turnbull & Asser (as well as many others I have found) appears to reverse what you call a bengal stripe and candy stripe. It also calls your dress stripe a pencil stripe. Is that usually the same thing? I also see pin stripes described as pencil stripes. What is your take on the meaning of pencil stripe?
    The name "pencil stripe" derives from the obvious. The lower dress stripe (the blue one) would fit the pencil stripe category. My object here was to define stripe widths for those who had inquired. It was not to compile a list of synonyms, but instead of the most frequently used terms. That, perhaps, might be a project for the future.

    The derivation of "candy stripe" is unknown, at least to me. Looking backward to the older candies, the most common were the round, cello-wrapped hard candies. The stripes most often seen on those were about 1/8".

    Now as to "bengal stripes" ... that derivation is well-known. However, as much as I love AskAndy's and would like to be a bastion of historic accuracy, there are just certain places I shall not go with my tape measure ... even to verify the veracity of my claim. Perhaps Mr. Turnbull or Mr. Asser were braver fellows than I. You might want to ask one of them how they took those measures.
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  9. #9
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    I thought that in England Bengal stripes are 1/8 inch not 1/4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archduke View Post
    I thought that in England Bengal stripes are 1/8 inch not 1/4.
    Who's on First?


    Really, though, these don't look like 1/8" to me:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Kabbaz View Post
    The derivation of "candy stripe" is unknown, at least to me. Looking backward to the older candies, the most common were the round, cello-wrapped hard candies. The stripes most often seen on those were about 1/8".
    I had assumed that it had some connection to the uniforms worn by candy stripers - the teenage female hospital volunteers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithR View Post
    I had assumed that it had some connection to the uniforms worn by candy stripers - the teenage female hospital volunteers.
    As did I before I was corrected a long time ago by an extremely knowledgeable textile importer.
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    Just a point of info: For whatever it's worth, H&H and H&K call the Kabbaz "candy stripe" a "bengal stripe," and what he calls a "dress stripe" H&H calls a "French bengal stripe" and H&K simply a "fine stripe."
    PJC in NoVa

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJC in NoVa View Post
    Just a point of info: For whatever it's worth, H&H and H&K call the Kabbaz "candy stripe" a "bengal stripe," and what he calls a "dress stripe" H&H calls a "French bengal stripe" and H&K simply a "fine stripe."
    I believe "Turkish bengal stripe" would be more veracious.
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    Nice to have another of your educational posts AK. You remain, sir, a legend.

    However, none of those look like the stripes I wore at school. Most of those were horizonal and covered the seat.

  17. #16
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    I assumed candy stripes were just named after the width of stripes on a stick of brighton rock or similar hard sweet.

    Regardless of etymology of these various terms and their precise names (which borders on an angels/pinhead discussion), I think the most useful aspect to this post is the excellent final photo, demonstrating the variation in stripe with, alongside a scale. Very nice to see them all laid out like that.

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    Fantastic post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougNZ View Post
    However, none of those look like the stripes I wore at school. Most of those were horizonal and covered the seat.
    TMI Doug!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post
    I assumed candy stripes were just named after the width of stripes on a stick of brighton rock or similar hard sweet.

    Regardless of etymology of these various terms and their precise names (which borders on an angels/pinhead discussion), I think the most useful aspect to this post is the excellent final photo, demonstrating the variation in stripe with, alongside a scale. Very nice to see them all laid out like that.
    For an uneducated Yank, what is a 'stick of brighton rock'?
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatty8 View Post
    Is the Bengal stripe also sometimes called Butcher stripe?
    Emma Willis told me bengal is narrower like the one shoen here and butcher stripe is more akin to what Alexander calls Awning stripe. Im not sure if there are some strict rules about it but coincidentally i was researching just for Esquire that today...
    nicks

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Kabbaz View Post
    For an uneducated Yank, what is a 'stick of brighton rock'?


    Sort of a boiled hard candy stick, typically with a narrow striped pattern on the outside and lettering through the centre (in the case of Brighton rock, the name Brighton - a seaside resort - runs through the centre). Similar to those classic red/white striped Christmas tree candy decorations but instead of a crook shape, they're long and straight.

    You can get it bespoke, too. I'm sensing a cross-promotional opportunity for you here.

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    Very informative and useful - thank you, Alex!

    May I ask: I have heard the term 'Barber stripe' used.

    Is this is a different stripe in its own right? Or another name for one which you have mentioned above?

  24. #23
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    Great Post as usual Mr. K.

    Unfortunately my Hairline don't look NUTTIN like dat.

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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post


    Sort of a boiled hard candy stick, typically with a narrow striped pattern on the outside and lettering through the centre (in the case of Brighton rock, the name Brighton - a seaside resort - runs through the centre). Similar to those classic red/white striped Christmas tree candy decorations but instead of a crook shape, they're long and straight.

    You can get it bespoke, too. I'm sensing a cross-promotional opportunity for you here.
    Hmmmm .... and thank you for edifying me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pipps View Post
    Very informative and useful - thank you, Alex!

    May I ask: I have heard the term 'Barber stripe' used.

    Is this is a different stripe in its own right? Or another name for one which you have mentioned above?
    Barber stripe (been a long time since I heard that one!) derives from the lighted barber pole traditionally appearing outside barber shops. Though not always red and blue, it is accepted as approximately the same size as an awning stripe.

    Quote Originally Posted by FIHTies View Post
    Great Post as usual Mr. K.

    Unfortunately my Hairline don't look NUTTIN like dat.

    That never stopped Yul Brynner. :icon_smile_wink:
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  26. #25
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    What do you call something with widely spaced thick stripes? (i.e. thicker than pin?) I've seen examples where the wider stripe (maybe 1/2") is a darker color (blue, grey, red) and the stripe (maybe 1/8" or so) is white.?


    Is that a shadow stripe? (it's not clear from the picture whether that might refer to the slight fuziness on either side of the stripes)
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