The Pinstripe and The Rebel

The Pinstripe. This seemingly simple design pattern has had a long and weird history. Apparently in the middle Ages wearing striped clothing was considered to be an outrageously disrespectful act.
According to historian Michel Pastoureau's book, The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes, He tells a story of a 14th century french cobbler who was sentenced to death simply for wearing stripes in public. (I'm sure there's more to that story). But apparently at that time, striped clothing was considered wildly scandalous and was only "illegally worn by social outcasts, jugglers, clowns, street performers and hustlers"...
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Then in the 1800's the Pinstripe had a brief run as the infamous standard prison uniform in the U.S..... Scandalous yet again.
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However, around the same time in coastal France, stripes had become the chosen pattern on the woven shirt worn exclusively by the French navy. This striped, boat neck styled wool top had exactly 21 horizontal stripes on it (one for each of Napoleon’s victories) and was officially known as a "matelotor marinière" or Breton top.
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And then..... At last.... Coco channel gets her hands on the Pinstripe. She acquires a Breton top of her own while on holiday which in turn inspires her ground breaking 1917 nautical themed design collection. she would often wear the classic striped top tucked into a pair of wide legged trousers. Coco became famous for introducing elements of masculine style into the female fashion mainstream. She was bending gender norms at the tale end of the Victorian era.  Her fashion forward approach was unheard of at that time. She was metaphorically burning the corset and telling women that they could rewrite they're own style.

And they did! Radicalized fashion Indeed....Thank you Coco. Thank you Pinstripe.