Heading to College? Here’s Help to Sort Through Types of Student Loans

It’s no secret that the cost of education has skyrocketed in America and continues to be a core issue with which politicians, educators, activists and students grapple. The average total tuition and fees plus room-and-board charges in 2018-19 for an in-state, public four-year college was $ 21,370, according to a College Board report.

How are students paying for that? With student loans. Lots of student loans.

Outstanding student loan debt rose to $ 1.46 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve.

While we can advocate for change within and outside of the political system, we must play ball in the meantime — that means getting familiar with the types of student loans available to us so that we can make the best financial choices for our current and future situations.

Student loans fall into two major categories — federal and private. Each of those has its own set of subcategories. While federal loans are typically the better option for students (more on that in a bit), it is impossible for many to fund an entire college education with just federal loans. Thus, it is important to take some time to familiarize yourself with the various types of federal student loans while also considering private loans.

Federal Student Loans

For the sake of simplicity, there are two main types of federal student loans to consider: Subsidized Stafford Loans and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

You may have heard of another federal student loan option called Perkins Loans. But as of September 30, 2017, the federal government ended that loan program; final disbursements were on June 30, 2018.

You’ll also come across two types of PLUS Loans: Parent PLUS Loans and Grad PLUS Loans. Beyond that, you can consider consolidating your various types of student loans into one: a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans typically offer better rates than other loans.
Types: subsidized (government helps with interest payments) and unsubsidized (no help).
Your loan limit depends on your year in school.

If you’re planning to receive federal loan aid, the Stafford Loan (also called a Direct Loan) is the one to know. Funding for this common student loan comes from the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP) and can be offered as subsidized or unsubsidized.

Subsidized Stafford Loans afford you the ability to defer any interest payments until after you graduate. Instead, the federal government will pay the interest rates while you are in school at least halftime, as well as during the six-month grace period that follows graduation, (in theory, you would be spending that time looking for a job.)

Subsidized Stafford Loans are great for college students because it means less time spent working to pay for school and more time focusing on studying and writing papers. Interest rates for all subsidized Stafford Loans and all unsubsidized undergraduate Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.05% for loans disbursed before July 1, 2019, according to the Federal Student Aid Office. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for graduate students clock in at a 6.6% interest rate.

Subsidized Stafford Loans are not for everyone, however. According to the Federal Student Aid Office, students must demonstrate a financial need when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

Pro Tip

In addition to the interest, you’ll have to pay fees on all Stafford Loans. Fees are calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and are proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.

There are limits to the amount of money you can borrow via a subsidized Stafford Loan, and it largely depends on your family’s situation and your current year in school. The Federal Student Aid Office offers a helpful table that breaks down the credit limits for this loan, though please note your school may not actually grant this amount.

There are also Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, which are easier to obtain, as you won’t need to prove any financial need. However, the federal government will not make payments on your interest while you are in school. You can still defer these payments until after graduation, but you will be responsible for the entire interest amount.

PLUS Loans

There are two types of PLUS Loans: Parent and Grad.
Maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid.
PLUS loans have higher interest rates.

The federal government offers PLUS loans to two sets of applicants: parents and grad students.

Though grad students are eligible to apply for the latter without their parents, PLUS stands for Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students. To obtain a Parent PLUS Loan, your parent(s) or guardian(s) must apply. However, you must still fill out the FAFSA form before your parents can apply for a PLUS loan.

PLUS Loans are designed to pay for expenses not covered by other financial aid, but they come with higher interest rates — the current interest rate is 7.6%.

Direct Consolidation Loans

Consolidation loans combine multiple loan payments into one for convenience.
They could lengthen your payback timeframe and cost you more in interest over time.

The final federal student loan type is the Direct Consolidation Loan. This loan, according to the Federal Student Aid Office, is a no-fee option to group your various loans into one single monthly payment — thereby consolidating your student loans into one.

Why would you need to do this? Because the government doesn’t make anything easy — that’s the short answer. The longer answer is that, though you may rely on the Stafford Loan every year, there’s a good chance that each year — or even each semester — that money is coming from a different lender.

Pro Tip

Don’t fall for private companies that contact you, offering to help you consolidate your federal loans — for a fee. There is no application fee to complete a Direct Consolidation Loan application.

For example, assume you are in school for four years at two semesters a year with a different lender for each semester. That means you’ll have eight different payments to make each month, presumably with several different due dates, just for your federal loans.

Direct Consolidation Loans make this less of a headache for you and also make it more difficult for you to miss a payment (since there’s only one to remember) and incur a late fee.

Beware: There are some downsides to consolidating your loan. Consolidating could very easily draw out the payback time on your loans, meaning you may end up paying more over time and you’ll have to deal with the looming fear of student loans for longer than you had planned.

Private Loans

Private loans can help cover costs above and beyond your federal loans.
They require a good credit history and may have high interest rates.

Federal loans should usually be your first line of defense when grants and scholarships are not enough to fund your education. However, given that Stafford Loans have caps and PLUS Loans require parent participation and the rates can be too high, you might need to seek additional funding. That’s where private loans come in.

Pro Tip

Think of private education loans as a necessary evil — they’re not great, but they’re there if you need them.

These loans are more like the personal loans you might take out with your lending institution. Given that most college students are in their late teens or early twenties, however, these can be challenging to get. You’ll need a cosigner and/or good credit to earn a private education loan.

With private education loans, there is a lot more left up to your unique situation. Interest rates could be fixed or variable and will depend on your credit history. You may also have to make payments while still in school.

Health Professions Student Loans

Health Professions Student Loans are options for students studying medicine in specific areas.
They are based on financial need.

Health Professions Student Loans are reserved for those studying in specific areas of medicine, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Degree areas that qualify for this type of loan include dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatric and veterinary medicine. These loans are need-based and competitive.

Alternatively, students who are studying allopathic or osteopathic medicine can apply for Primary Care Loans, while students who are working toward their diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing can apply for Nursing Student Loans. These two loan types are also need-based and competitive.

Schools must participate in these loan programs for students to be eligible; before enrolling, make sure your school of choice will have these options available.

Given the rising costs of higher education, it’s likely you’ll need to tap into loans to help finance your education, but before you start looking at loans, exhaust these other options for paying for college.

Timothy Moore is a proud graduate of Wright State University and now works as a full-time editor and freelancer in his free time. He lives with his partner and their two dogs in Nashville, Tennessee. Staff writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors contributed to this post.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Black Men Skin Care Brand Challenges The “For All Skin Types” Beauty Claim

Faced with a constant challenge of finding solutions created specifically for men of color, Patrick Boateng II and Blake Rascoe created Ceylon, a skin care brand developed to help men of color adopt an effective skincare routine.

With help from their advisor Dr. Lynn McKinley-Grant, Boateng and Rascoe created Ceylon as an exclusive product for men of color because research shows they are disproportionately affected by skin concerns such as acne scarring, eczema, razor bumps, and hyper-pigmentation.

“The biggest change that we’d like to see in the industry is an end to the lie that the product is for all skin types,” said Boateng. “There are specific skin concerns that disproportionately affect people of color and it is disingenuous for companies to imply that a skincare product that hasn’t been developed with skin of color in mind can, in fact, be a safe and effective product for people like us. For us, it’s important to have safe, effective, and well-researched products that help deal with these issues without the risks that many common products on the market carry.”

Built From the Ground-Up With People of Color in Mind.

Typically, targeting people of color is an afterthought for mainstream beauty brands. So when it comes to marketing and product development the founders leveraged their personal experiences and concentrated their efforts on education and accessibility.

“Together, we thought about how to create products that we would have liked to have when we wanted to take care of our skin. We knew that if we created the answer for us, it could be the answer for many others,” said Boateng. For Boateng it was when living abroad that he experienced daily breakouts and routine acne scarring. Despite trying hundreds of products, nothing seemed to help clear up his skin. For Blake it started in high school, when as a three-sport athlete, a rigorous schedule and constant sweating made it difficult to keep his skin clear. At the time, Blake began using an over-the-counter skin care product recommended by his dermatologist to help combat acne which also ended up bleaching his skin, leaving him with a pale, washed-out complexion.

Black Men Skin Care Brand

Beyond selling skincare products directly to consumers online, the trailblazing duo is also creating a community platform for men of color that fosters improved health and wellness outcomes.

“The most overlooked factors that can negatively affect our skin health include poor nutrition, lack of sleep, daily stress, exposure to air and water pollution, and inadequate personal care practices,” said Boateng. These are the same issues that can actually affect our overall health. So it’s important to note that our dermatological health and overall health are linked. Our ultimate goal is to start a conversation around overall health and wellness. We believe that starts with looking in the mirror.”

The post Black Men Skin Care Brand Challenges The “For All Skin Types” Beauty Claim appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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10 Types of Tech You and Your Home Can Do Without

It doesn’t always pay to become an early adopter of the latest and greatest technological advancements. In fact, some home tech products just aren’t worth the investment, or are subject to security risks or maintenance woes that make them better admired on the shelf than brought home. Scroll through for a list of tech products your home can probably live without, or that you should at the very least think twice before buying.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert


Artificial intelligence is coming for these types of jobs

Robots aren’t replacing everyone, but a quarter of US jobs will be severely disrupted as artificial intelligence accelerates the automation of existing work, according to a new Brookings Institution report. Thursday’s report from the Washington think tank says roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with “high exposure” to automation — meaning at least 70 percent…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post


Stripes in Menswear: Different Types and How to Wear Them

When it comes to the classic patterns of menswear, those based on the simple line–that is to say, stripes–remain just as popular today as they have been for centuries. In this primer, we’ll discuss the different kinds of striped patterns in tailored clothes and show you how to “fall in line” with wearing them well.

Striped Suits - Boardwalk Empire

Matt Letscher (left) as Joe Kennedy and Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in a still from Boardwalk Empire

Because men typically want to project a serious, businesslike demeanor when wearing tailored clothes, the two most popular pattern styles are not overly ornate, but are based on the simple geometry of the line: one of these styles being checks (which was the topic of a previous article) and the other stripes. These two basic patterns can create greater interest than simply wearing solids while still looking subdued and formal, though there is always the opportunity (or risk!) of making them quite bold.

Plaid and windowpane suits (with a chalk stripe in between) from 1936

Plaid and windowpane suits (with a chalk stripe in between) from 1936

What are Stripes?

Stripes are a series of parallel lines that do not cross each other. They are found in a variety of orientations in menswear; typically, suits and shirts feature vertical stripes, though horizontally striped garments do exist, as well. Additionally, neckwear and accessories (such as pocket squares or hat bands) may feature stripes in various orientations. Because of the lack of interaction between lines, striped patterns are simpler than checks, which also means they tend to be more reserved, and therefore more formal. Combinations of colors are often used to create differently named patterns, which we will discuss below.

Stripes 101: Broad Terminology

Before we dive headfirst into the pantheon of specific stripe styles that exist, it’s important that we go over some terminology. The following terms can be thought of as broad categories that apply to multiple striping patterns; you’ll find definitions for each of the examples listed further down in the article.

  • Self-Stripes

    A “self-stripe” is integral to the weave, rather than printed or otherwise added later. Seersucker is an example of a self-striped fabric.

  • Warp Stripes

    Vertical stripes created by changing the color or increasing the number of warp (vertical) yarns in a garment. Most menswear stripes – including pinstripes, chalk stripes, and candy stripes, among others – are examples.

  • Weft Stripes

    Horizontal stripes created by changing the weft (horizontal) yarns in a garment. These are less common than warp stripes.

Common Types of Stripes in Menswear

Common types of stripes in menswear; we’ll profile each of them below.

  • Balanced Stripes

    Symmetrically patterned, indicating that the background and stripe are equal in width. Usually refers to shirt fabrics. Bengal stripes are an example.

    • Unbalanced Stripes

      Asymmetrically patterned, indicating that the width of the stripe is either narrower or wider than that of the background and/or that the stripes are not spaced evenly. Pinstripes are an example.

  • Fancy Stripes

    Industry jargon for a weave or pattern that does not match any other specific definition; it may still generally be a balanced stripe, in some cases.

  • Jermyn Stripes (and other “street stripes”)

    Rather than a specific type of stripe, this is a broad reference to the style of bright, boldly striped shirt fabrics favored by custom shirtmakers located on or around Jermyn Street in London. Therefore, Jermyn Stripes may describe Bengal stripes, candy stripes, or any other traditional stripe style. Some patterns may also make reference to other well known retail streets in London, such as Bond Street.

Note: The two terms on the above list that are mutually exclusive are “warp stripe” and “weft stripe.” Phrased another way: all self-stripes are either warp or weft stripes, but not both. If stripes were introduced to both the warp and weft yarns of a garment, a check pattern would then be created.

Stripes in Suits and Shirts - 1936

Vintage fashion illustration from 1936 – note that stripes are a pleasing pattern for both suits and shirts.

Types of Stripes: Balanced

Simple Two-Tone Stripes (Narrowest to Widest)

  • Bengal Stripes

    A two-color vertical pattern, with the background and stripe being of equal width. A Bengal stripe is broader than a chalk stripe and narrower than a candy stripe. Commonly done in white and one other color. An example of a balanced stripe. The fabric was originally shipped to world markets from Bengal (Calcutta), India. The term is used to describe shirt fabrics, but never suit fabrics.


    Examples of Bengal Stripes in blue and goldenrod.

    An example of Bengal stripes in goldenrod.

  • Candy Stripes

    Equal-width stripes of a color and white on fabrics used for shirts and sportswear. A candy stripe is broader than a Bengal stripe, is usually done in white and one other color, and reminds many people of a candy cane.

    An example of candy stripes in blue.

    An example of candy stripes in blue.

  • Sandwich Stripes

    A nickname for a style of bold vertical stripes, usually about 0.5″ wide. Used to describe sports jackets, pants, and outerwear, but never shirts.

Sandwich Striped Jacket

Vintage fashion illustration from Esquire, April 1942 – This jacket featured sandwich stripes in alternating brown and natural (off-white) and was paired with flannel slacks in “brownstone” (a mixed weave of brown and grey).

  • Regency Stripes

    Vertical Stripes of equal width, most often associated in a historical context with Regency England. Like Bengal stripes, Regency stripes are often white alternating with another color, run vertically rather than horizontally, and can usually be classified as a balanced stripe. Unlike contemporary shirt stripes, however, Regency stripes are often rather oversized and can be as thick as an inch (or more).

    An example of regency stripes in light yellow.

    An example of regency stripes in light yellow.

  • Awning Stripes or Cabana Stripes

    Bold, vertical, balanced stripes that look like the material used for awnings and outdoor furniture, and are also commonly found in sportswear. Never used to describe shirt stripes.

    An example of awning stripes in forest green.

    An example of awning stripes in forest green.

  • Convict Stripes or Prison Stripes

    Extra-wide, black and white, horizontal stripes. The pattern was originally designed in the mid-18th century, with the idea of making escaped prisoners easily identifiable. Its use waned by the mid-20th century, by which point it was largely replaced by solid-color garments in orange or similar colors.

    A group of convicts in the Utah Penitentiary, 1880s.

    A group of convicts in the Utah Penitentiary, 1880s.

Multicolored and/or Textured Stripes

  • Rugby Stripes

    Horizontal stripes, similar in width to awning or prison stripes. Typically found on more informal shirts, especially those traditionally worn by rugby players (in which cases team colors would often be displayed). Common in either one color and white, or in two alternating colors. Also found as a pattern on knit ties (still in a horizontal orientation).

    • The two-color versions are sometimes accented with a slimmer white stripe as a sort of outline, thus technically making them unbalanced in such cases.
An example of a rugby stripe in navy and white.

An example of a rugby stripe in navy and white.

  • Track Stripes, Alternating Stripes, or Variegated Stripes

    A pattern in which the background color stays the same, but the color of the stripes does not. Frequently used in shirts.

    • Sometimes accented with single threads of another color (e.g. black) as a sort of outline, thus technically making them unbalanced in such cases.
An example of alternating stripes in blue and orange (with black outline).

An example of alternating stripes in blue and orange (with black outline).

  • Seersucker (fabric)

    A vertically striped fabric in which some of the stripes pucker, an effect created in the weaving process. In construction, selected warp (vertical) yarns are pulled tight, while others are left loose, creating seersucker’s distinctive texture. Most often made of cotton, it launders easily, needs no ironing, and masks wrinkles, making it ideal for summer garments. Another fabric, plissé, achieves a similar wrinkled texture through a chemical coating.


    Seersucker fabric in green, illustrating its characteristic weave.

    • Hickory Stripe or Railroad Stripe (fabric)

      In the late 19th century, a type of heavyweight dark blue seersucker known as “hickory stripe” was used to make the overalls, jackets, and caps of train engineers and railroad workers. This cotton fabric was durable like denim and breathable like standard seersucker. Even today, some railroad companies incorporate this stripe into their uniforms.

Railroad stripe fabric, with penny included to show the size of the weave.

Railroad stripe fabric, with a penny included to show the size of the weave.

Types of Stripes: Unbalanced

Simple, Two-Tone Stripes (Narrowest to Widest)

  • Hairline Stripes

    Very narrow stripes (about the width of a hair), made by weaving single threads in color to contrast with the background. They are used mainly in fabrics for men’s shirts, neckwear, and other apparel. The term is principally used to describe shirt fabrics, and less commonly, suit fabrics.

    An example of hairline stripes in green.

    An example of hairline stripes in green.

  • Pinstripe or Banker’s Stripes

    Stripes that are the “width of a pin” (usually less than 1/16″ wide). The term is used to describe both shirt and suit fabrics, where the pattern is used frequently.

    An example of pinstripes in red.

    An example of pinstripes in red.

  • Pencil Stripes or Dress Stripes

    Fine stripes in men’s suit fabric, two or three warps wide, in a color to blend or contrast with the background. The stripes are roughly the width of a carpenter’s pencil mark (about 1/16″ inch). Wider than a pinstripe, but narrower than a chalk stripe. The term usually refers to shirt fabrics, and rarely describes suit fabrics.

    An example of pencil stripes in black.

    An example of pencil stripes in black.

  • Chalk Stripes

    Stripes in men’s suit fabric resembling tailor’s chalk lines. While previously used to describe a pattern of white or off-white stripes on the dark ground of cloth used for suits, the term is now used to refer to the size and style of the stripe in general. A chalk stripe can now be any color, but it is wider than both a pinstripe and a pencil stripe. The term is never used to describe shirt stripes.

    An example of chalk stripes in violet.

    An example of chalk stripes in violet.

    • Rope Stripes

      Note that you may sometimes see the term “rope stripe” to refer to a wider chalk stripe that resembles a rope; this definition is too subjective to be considered standard.

      An example of what might be called a "rope stripe," in teal.

      An example of what might be called a “rope stripe,” in teal.

  • Double Stripes, Triple Stripes, etc.

    A pattern of multiple pinstripes, pencil stripes, or other narrow stripes in proximity. Usually refers to shirt fabrics.

    An example of a double stripe; white on a blue background.

    An example of a double stripe; white on a blue background.

  • Multitrack Stripes

    A pattern mixing stripes of different “tracks,” or spacing. The term usually refers to shirt fabrics, and is rarely used to describe suit fabrics.

    An example of multitrack stripes, in varying shades of blue and grey.

    An example of multitrack stripes, in varying shades of blue and grey.

Multicolored Stripes

  • Blazer Stripes

    Wide, vertical stripes, like those used on older school and team blazers in England. Never used to describe shirt stripes.

    Rowing 1st Vlll Close up of the black & red striped blazers with gold piping & The King's School, Chester - Boys' 1st VIII impress

    Rowing 1st Vlll Close up of the black & red striped blazers with gold piping & The King’s School, Chester – Boys’ 1st VIII impress

  • Shadow Stripes

    Vertical stripes, usually narrow, bracketed or “shadowed” by lighter or smaller stripes on one or both sides. A classic shadow stripe features shadows which are variations on the main stripe color, but contemporary offerings feature shadows in different colors. This definition typically applies to shirt fabrics. The same term alternately refers to a self-striped fabric, where the shadows are created by yarns twisting in the opposite direction of the main stripes and are thus only visible in a certain light; this definition typically applies to hosiery and accessories.

    • Bar Stripes

      A type of shadow stripe where the contrasting smaller stripes symmetrically flank both sides of the main stripe.

An example of bar stripes, in alternating blue and orange, on a grey background.

An example of bar stripes, in alternating blue and orange, on a grey background.

  • Halo Stripes

    A pattern sometimes used in suit fabrics, which looks as though the center of a stripe is the same color as the background but is surrounded in another color in a “halo” or eclipse effect.

    An example of halo stripes. in indigo.

    An example of halo stripes. in indigo.

  • Regimental Stripes or Battalion Stripes

    Stripes in colors identified with various English military regiments and used in ties worn by their officers in civilian dress. The stripes range from 0.33″ to 1.5″ wide. In addition to authentic regimental stripes, similar colors and arrangements are used in neckwear in both England and the United States. The term is most properly used only in conjunction with neckties. Englishmen wear their ties so that the stripe slants from their left shoulder down toward the right; Americans go the opposite direction. The pattern became popular in England following WWI and then spread to America shortly thereafter, especially after Edward VIII visited the US in 1919.

    assorted repp ties

    Assorted ties with regimental stripes.

    • Collegiate Stripes and Club Stripes

      Contrasting stripes of bright and dark color, often in gray-yellow-red or gray-green-blue combinations. The pattern was popular in collegiate shirts in the late 1950s and was also worn to identify country/social clubs.

An example of collegiate stripes, in red and grey.

An example of collegiate stripes, in red and grey.

  • Grecian Stripes

    Figured stripes incorporating a Greek fret or similar design, spaced well apart. Used as a neckwear pattern.

    An example of Grecian stripes in grey.

    An example of Grecian stripes in grey.

  • Roman Stripes or Rainbow Stripes

    Bright stripes in groups of contrasting colors, usually running in the warp (lengthwise) direction.

    An example of Roman stripes, in various colors.

    An example of Roman stripes, in various colors.

  • Ombré Stripes

    Stripes incorporating the effect of an ombré (in other words, a shaded gradient), usually within the stripe itself, as opposed to the background.

    An example of ombré stripes; a green gradient on a black background.

    An example of ombré stripes; a green gradient on a black background.

Textured Stripes

  • Broken Stripes

    A pattern, usually for suit fabric, that appears to be made up of solid, chalk-type stripes from a distance, but upon closer inspection, resembles a series of aligned dashes.

    An example of broken stripes in blue.

    An example of broken stripes in blue.

    • Beaded Stripes

      A subset of broken stripes wherein the stripes resemble dots rather than dashes.

An example of beaded stripes; grey on a dark charcoal background.

An example of beaded stripes; grey on a dark charcoal background.

  • Satin Stripes

    A pattern of alternating shiny and matte stripes created by the fabric’s weave. Popular for dress shirts made of fine cotton, a “satin stripe” may describe any width or color of stripe(s), but usually features a solid color with a contrasting weave.

    Satin stripes in white, presented at an angle to show how light affects the design.

    Satin stripes in white, presented at an angle to show how light affects the design.

  • Morning Stripes, Cashmere Stripes, or Spongebag

    While there are numerous variations of striped trousers for formal daywear (or “morning dress”), the signature choice is the “cashmere stripe.” Trousers are sometimes called “spongebags” when featuring this pattern; this is because the pattern has a very close resemblance to traditional spongebags, or dopp kits. Note that tailors call this pattern “cashmere stripe” even though the trousers are not made of cashmere at all!

    A closeup view of the classic morning stripe.

    A closeup view of the classic morning stripe.

  • Ticking Stripes

    Any of several simple vertical stripe patterns, usually blue and white or black and white, that resembles mattress ticking. Such patterns are popular for shirt fabrics, as well as denim and canvas.

    An example of ticking stripes in black.

    An example of ticking stripes in black.

Honorable Mentions

  • Madras Stripes

    While the fabric known as madras more holistically features a plaid, checked, or otherwise geometric pattern, some garments will feature striped sections as well. In these cases, said stripes (typically wide cabana-style stripes that are light in color and not necessarily balanced) can be referred to as “madras stripes.”

    An example of what might be called "madras stripes," in grey.

    An example of what might be called “madras stripes,” in grey.

  • Wallpaper Print

    Style of print that has a vertical emphasis (either a stylized stripe or simply a vertically arranged pattern) and a fanciful or flowery decoration in the manner of old-fashioned wallpaper. Used to describe shirts.

    An example of a wallpaper print which incorporates stripes into its design.

    An example of a wallpaper print which incorporates stripes into its design. Most likely used as actual wallpaper and not for shirts – hopefully!

  • Mille Stripe (fabric)

    A finely striped fabric that looks like a solid from a short distance, because the fabric is striped almost thread by thread (actually, the stripes are usually formed by groups of two or three threads, and a true thread-by-thread stripe is known as an end-on-end). The term refers to shirt fabrics, never to suit fabrics.

    An example of mille stripes in red.

    An example of mille stripes in red.

  • End-on-End (fabric)

    A type of fabric, most often used for shirts, constructed so that the warp (vertical) yarn alternates color. Typically alternates between blue and white yarns, giving a faintly striped or textured appearance to the final fabric.

    An example of end-on-end weaving, with various stripes incorporated.

    An example of end-on-end weaving, with actual stripes also incorporated in this case.

How Do You Wear Stripes?

In the world of tailored clothing, stripes can be worn in many ways, but the choice depends on your personality and how much you like loud, bold patterns in your wardrobe.


Striped shirts are usually a safe choice. If you want something restrained that pairs easily with a tie, a standard two-tone stripe, such as a Bengal stripe, is a good option. Even safer would be a pencil stripe or hairline stripe, in that these stripes of a very small scale can read as solids from a distance. Moving toward smart casual or business casual, try a candy stripe with a more muted, solid tie. For totally casual, tieless looks, choose candy stripes or Regency stripes in warm weather and multitrack stripes for winter.

Bernhard Roetzel wearing a striped shirt, muted knit tie, and grey windowpane suit

Bernhard Roetzel wearing a Bengal striped shirt, muted knit tie, and grey windowpane suit

On the other hand, if you want to forget about playing it safe, go for a striped shirt with a striped jacket. It’s important to remember in this case that the sizes of the stripes on each garment should differ greatly (for example, a pencil-striped shirt with a sandwich-striped jacket). If the “density” of the patterns is too similar, they will not appear harmonious to the eye. Similarly, consider how prominent the pattern of your shirt is when choosing a tie. Solid color ties are a safe choice, but you could also try a tie that has a stripe of a different scale (regimental stripes, for example), or features a different type of pattern altogether.

Esquire May 1938 - Multiple Paired Stripes

Vintage fashion illustration from Esquire, May 1938 – Note the striped patterns in the tie, shirt, and suit.


Stripes on a jacket can sometimes be a bold statement, though not always; generally, the broader the stripe, the bolder the effect. For example, if a jacket features brightly colored sandwich, awning, or blazer stripes, it will come across much more aggressively than one made up of muted pinstripes. Keep this in mind when choosing a jacket, and remember: try on a few options to compare their effects on your frame. For instance, a fine white pinstripe on a navy suit jacket remains conservative, but a cabana-striped summer sports coat or one with Roman stripes would be quite loud.  If there are bright colors or many colors, the jacket obviously becomes bolder. A navy hairline stripe on a grey jacket is easy to wear, but a pencil stripe would require more careful consideration.

full canvas vintage rowing blazer made in England with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere

Full-canvas vintage rowing blazer (made in England) with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere

Whatever you choose, one thing you will notice with a striped jacket is how it creates the impression of a longer torso. Tailored menswear has always sought to flatter the male form through added visual suggestion; vertical lines over the chest draw the gaze upward. As a general practice, pair your patterned jacket (if it is not part of a suit) with solid trousers, to avoid clashing patterns. Regarding your choice of tie, you can follow two options of layering and either wear a solid tie or go pattern-on-pattern, which requires more skill.

Rowing Blazers at Henley Royal Regatta, England

Rowing blazers (with blazer stripes) worn with plain trousers – Henley Royal Regatta, England


Stripes are not as inherently bold as checks, and can be worn with slightly greater latitude in suits (as evidenced by the rich history of pinstripes and chalk stripes in white-collar professions). Therefore, their acceptability depends on the dress code of your office and how much you want to be noticed. Suits with broader chalk stripes (or “rope stripes”) are more risky, as the loud pattern can easily make your outfit look more like a costume. Italian style tends to be bolder in making use of striped suits, especially ones with regularly spaced patterns, but they are still difficult to carry off.

Chalk stripe suit with navy tie and White Irish Linen Embroidered Contrast Framing Pocket square

Chalk stripe suit with navy tie and White Irish Linen Embroidered Contrast Framing Pocket square


It is said that things you can’t get away with in a jacket, like large peak lapels and aggressive textures, are acceptable with an overcoat. The same goes for stripes. Even so, however, bold, wide stripes on an overcoat should be avoided, as when combined with a long, buttoned overcoat, you will appear to onlookers as one giant mass of large stripes. Instead, opt for a more reserved stripe, similar to one found on a well-made suit. Though always a statement, a subtly striped overcoat, worn with an otherwise reserved outfit, is likely to garner more style compliments than other garments that would be considered loud.

Double Breasted Overcoat without scarf and popped collar - a very common trend at Pitti

A striped, double-breasted overcoat, collar popped, worn only with a shirt – a very common trend at Pitti Uomo.


As mentioned above, striped pants worn with a plain jacket (either a cutaway coat or lounge coat) are a staple of proper morning dress. Outside of formal daywear, however, striped pants are somewhat less common as a standalone garment than their checked (or differently patterned) brethren. As such, those pairs that do exist often feature wider patterns in bright colors, and would best be characterized in such cases as a type of “go-to-hell pants” and worn in the same way, as a statement.

Duke & Duchess of Windsor on their wedding day in morning dress

The Duke of Windsor in formal trousers with morning stripes on his wedding day, 1937.


A great option for wearing stripes in tailoring is a waistcoat. The waistcoat has traditionally been a means of introducing bold color or pattern, adding personality and a sense of fun under a more conservative suit. Whereas bold pants are an in-your-face defiance of convention, bold waistcoats are almost expected, and you can match a color in the pattern with that of your jacket.

Subtle Striped Waistcoat

A waistcoat with a very subtle stripe, worn with a much bolder paisley tie and a shirt with a slight pattern.


As is usually the case with any bold colors or patterns, accessories are a good place to start with stripes because they represent a relatively small dose of the pattern, and can integrate a bit of interest without becoming visually overwhelming. The most commonly represented stripes on neckties are hairline stripes, colored shadow stripes, and regimental stripes (all most often at a diagonal, though the first two of these can sometimes be vertical or horizontal).  Multitrack stripes can be a good choice for casual ties, and wooly winter ties gain subtle interest from a fabric-style shadow stripe.

JFK with father and brother wearing adark on light chalk stripe with striped knit tie and collar pin

Joseph Kennedy, Sr. (center), with sons John and Joseph, Jr. Young JFK wears a horizontally striped tie (and a chalk stripe suit), while his father’s tie features a wide club stripe.

In drab winter weather, a striped scarf can be a terrific option as well, lending interest and excitement when colors are more muted. Meanwhile, in summer, outfitting a straw hat with a striped band can up your sporty sprezzatura.

Green & Blue Paisley & Stripes Double Sided Wool Silk Scarf by Fort Belvedere

A double-sided wool-silk scarf by Fort Belvedere – this side features blue and yellow bar stripes on a green background.


Boater Hats for summer

A selection of straw boaters, each with a multicolored, striped band.


Hopefully, this article has cleared up the distinctions among the various forms of striped fabrics available in menswear. With this information and a bit of practice, you should be able to name a stripe style on sight and even identify hybrid combinations that blend the features of more than one kind of stripe (for example, an alternating end-on-end pattern). Stripes are a versatile pattern style that can either tend toward the casual and evoke a sporting heritage, or be right at home in more formal settings–featured in the wardrobes of everyone from resort-goers to bankers.  This wide range of possibilities speaks well to the versatility of stripes in your wardrobe, as they are amenable to being dressed up or down. Overall, one thing’s for sure–if you do your homework, it’s not hard to earn your stripes.

How do you like to wear striped patterns? Tell us in the Comments section.

Gentleman’s Gazette


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