City slickers

Pinstripe tailoring has burst out of the bank manager's wardrobe. The new looks for spring are slick, sexy and power-conscious. Styling by Liz Thody. Photographs by Damon Heath

Fashion designers have a habit of appropriating the most unlikely of garments and twisting them a little to make them funky and more desirable. One season it's the school uniform, the next it's the turn of the air hostess or of nurse chic. This spring, the beady designer eye has fallen on the city gent, the banker who wears a pristine pinstripe suit with his crisp white shirt, knife-sharp tie and co-ordinated cuff-links.

The pinstripe's new-found popularity heralds the return of the power woman. She's back with a little help from her friends Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford (at Gucci), two designers who have helped make pinstripe pin-sharp. New Yorker Lauren has stolen some of our most traditional styles from Savile Row, slimmed the jackets down to make them fit like a second skin, and made the trousers long and lean. He has shown his city tailoring for women with jewel-coloured silk ties and starchy shirts.

For those who don't want to look like a stuffed shirt, the pinstripe suit can be deconstructed. A Katharine Hamnett waistcoat can be worn without a shirt and tie, a Jigsaw jacket worn with a thoroughly modern slash of asymmetric jersey underneath and masculine, flat-front trousers. Young British designers Copperwheat Blundell have used pinstripes for streetwise, body-conscious tailoring - not at all the sort of thing you would expect to see in the office. Tamsin Blanchard

This page Black-and-white pinstripe suit, pounds 388, by Sportmax from MaxMara, 32 Sloane St, London SW1 and 153 New Bond St, London W1; black one shoulder top, pounds 16.99, from Kookai, 123 Kensington High St, London W8; 66 King St, Manchester and branches nationwide; black strappy sandals, pounds 123, by Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane St, London SW3 Opposite page Navy and white pin-stripe jacket, pounds 152, and matching trousers, pounds 75, both by Jigsaw, 126-127 New Bond Street, London W1; 39-43 Kings Street, Manchester; 61 Buchanan Street, Glasgow; black bandeau top, pounds 62, by Ozbek, from Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1; black strappy sandals, as before

Navy pinstripe waistcoat, pounds 170, and matching trousers, pounds 220, both by Katharine Hamnett, as before

Navy and white pinstripe jacket dress, pounds 260, by Copperwheat Blundell, from Pellicano, 63 South Molton Street, London; Liberty, Regent Street, London W1; Hervia, 6 Royal Exchange Arcade, Manchester Make-Up Cathy Lomax

Hair Antonio Gianasi

Model Laura de Palma at Take Two

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