“You’re wearing pinstripes… Pinstripes on primetime?” – Olivia Pope
The first issue at hand for Olivia Pope on the latest episode of Scandal (Season 2, “Hunting Season”) was not what Senator Edison Davis was saying, but what he was wearing. As Olivia Pope spoke with Senator Davis after his interview, she dives right into telling him that pinstripes don’t work on TV. Generally stripes do have a weird effect onscreen; since the screen adds 10 pounds, you definitely wouldn’t want to wear horizontal stripes, but vertical stripes are acceptable due to increased digital technology.
“No one will hear a word you’re saying when your suit is moving, vibrating across their screen” – Olivia Pope
The issue with pinstripes on screen is that, for those still using tube TV’s, it could appear that the Senator – or his suit in this case – was vibrating, as the stripes would be zig zagging across the screen. With the standardization of HD in the home, Olivia’s rule is easier to be broken without fault of “people being distracted due to your pinstripes.”
As a rule of thumb, pinstripes are best when muted and one color; the multi-colored stripes aren’t really in trend right now and could lead to your onscreen image looking more 3-D than HD. These double-breasted pinstripe suits by Alexander McQueen and AMI give a new life and meaning to confidence in stripes.
Later in the episode, when prepping Artie Hornbacher for his interview with Kimberly Mitchell, Olivia asks Quinn to get him a suit for his moment on screen. She demanded a slim-cut navy 2 button single breasted suit to match the confident, powerful persona she wanted him to convey. With such an issue of national security being compromised at hand, (NSA’s Thorngate effort to spy on citizens), there was no room for humor. A navy suit is the most classic, safe, professional suit to own. However, there is plenty of room to make the looks unique and modern.
A solid navy suit may look the same to the naked eye, which is why fabric and cut makes a big difference in what message you want to convey. In this Fall/Winter season, skip over cotton and get a wool or twill blend, like these options from Burberry and Dunhill available on MR PORTER.