The origin of regimental colours can be found in the practical need to determine the identity of soldiers on a dusty, smoky battlefield. Since the 1880s, when not in service, British soldiers have proudly worn their regimental colours on their neckties. Regimental stripes have since moved to signify membership – mixing with the colours of private schools and clubs to define the wearer’s identity and status.
Although regimentals have British roots, they are now globally popular. They were adopted as a fashionable pattern in the US after Edward VIII wore the red and navy striped tie of his regiment, the Grenadier Guards, during his 1919 visit to the country. As someone who invented the Windsor knot and who has a check named after him (the Prince of Wales), Edward carried heavy sartorial influence. And he could also pull off a regimental stripe with aplomb.
Regimental stripes traditionally adorned the neckties of the British gentry, but were appropriated by Brooks Brothers in 1920 to extend further than just accessories. This created a trend that soon became a defining aspect of Ivy League style. The trend for regimental stripes and Ivy League fashions expanded its reach to Japan after the release of ‘Take Ivy’. This fashion photography book, which documents the attire of Ivy League students, was first published in 1965 and remains sought after nearly 50 years later.
We have always made pyjamas in regimental stripes, and still do today. Three of our most popular designs are sold on our website: the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), the Royal Air Force and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regimental.
The RAMC stripe’s colours are deep cherry, navy, and gold – reflecting the old uniform worn in the 1900s (cherry and dark blue), the gold depicting the royal in the title of the regiment. But with all that history, all that tradition, the stripe still looks great today. Whether styled over a full set of pyjamas, or (as modelled by James Franco, below) worn alone, a regimental stripe signals an appreciation for traditional and timeless style. The modern gentleman may embrace new fabrics and designs, but he always remembers the origins of elegant dress.
Read more about how we design stripes here.