Home > Suits > Why You Should Get a Three-Piece Suit

Why You Should Get a Three-Piece Suit

September 15th, 2011

3-piece suit

photo: TheStyleBlogger.com

Choosing a suit is a daunting task. you’ve got fabric, color, fit and so on to worry about. But what if we wanted to be a little more stylish and add another level of complexity? Welcome to the world of three-piece suits.

A three-piece suit is essentially a suit with a waistcoat. The three pieces are (obviously) the suit jacket, the pants and the respective waistcoat.

Since most suits are made of only two pieces, a three piece suit will give you that unique edge you will need in a formal situation. While most guys are still wearing their two-piece suits, by adding an extra layer into yours, you will make a strong fashion statement.

But you can’t do this every time. If it’s really hot outside, wearing a waistcoat is not a really great idea. You’ll most likely want to remove even the suit jacket in order to keep yourself cool.

Who used to wear a three-piece suit?

The three-piece suit was worn by many celebrities, including Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Here’s Clark in one of his suits (look carefully and you’ll spot the vest):

clark gable in a three piece suit

The benefits of wearing a waistcoat

The waistcoat isn’t there just to look good – it has some other advantages too. First off, it has a trimming effect!

If you’re wearing a light-colored (or a white) shirt, a darker waistcoat will distract the attention from your belly and up to your neck and face.

Second, it helps keep the tie in place. If you’re not wearing a tie clip, chances are your tie will bounce around as you make different movements. A waistcoat removes the need for a tie clip and makes sure the tie stays in its place. The side effect of that is that there’s a smaller chance that the tie knot will deviate to either left or right.

Confession: I’ve actually taken a GREAT picture in a two-piece suit, only to realize that my tie knot was off to the right. The windy conditions as well as the lack of a waistcoat made that unfortunate accident happen.

three piece suit advanced fact
Never wear loafers with a three-piece suit. Such types of suits require a higher level of formality so always go for lace-up shoes.

Also, never wear a waistcoat from another suit. Mixing and matching suit pieces is always a bad idea.

Fabrics

men style ebook

Just like when buying any other suit, make sure you stick to either wool or cotton. Wool blends such as tweed or flannel are also great.

Stay away from polyester, nylon and any synthetic blends.

What suit color should I choose and how should I match it with my shirt, tie and pocket square?

Well, this is a pretty long answer. I covered suits in depth in my book which is part of the Be Stylish ™ Package but I’ll give you a few tips right here.

First off, consider your skin tone. If you have light skin complexion, go for a lighter suit. Light grey, blue, light green and beige are great suit colors.

On the other hand, if you have darker skin, think of purchasing a darker-colored suit, such as navy blue, dark brown or dark grey.

Careful, though! If you have light skin but you want to wear the suit for business situations well… in that case you DON’T want a light colored suit. Why? Because you need to also consider the seriousness of the situation. Dark and medium colors are recommended for you in such cases. Get a lighter colored suit for weddings and any other non-business-related occasions.

Take a look at this Simon Spurr 3-piece suit below. Notice how the guy has a light skin complexion and the suit is medium gray. This is what he should be wearing on a business meeting.

simon spurr three piece suit

Any shade of gray that is lighter than the one in the picture and he’d be sending the wrong message to his business partners.

Want to go that extra mile?

If you want to look even more stylish in your three piece suit, there are a few things you can do.

Number one: get a wrist watch and have its watchband match your shoes and belt.

Number two (this is getting interesting, isn’t it?): wear a pocket square.

Number three (you’re going to love this one): wear a watch chain on your suit vest. Something like this:

3 piece suit with a watch chain

photo: Indochino.com

This suit is from Indochino, by the way.

Number four (for an extravagant yet stylish look): attach a pocket watch to your watch chain described above. Very few people wear pocket watches but if you’re really looking to show off amazing style and class… go ahead and do it.

Suits ,



Or you can stay in touch with us by signing up to our RSS feed by clicking here or you can follow us on Twitter here or on Facebook here.

  1. Matt
    July 14th, 2012 at 07:09 | #1

    I find the comment regarding matching a watch band to a belt very interesting. I was always taught that a suit should fit well enough on its own to not require a belt, and that if a waistcoat is worn then the appropriate method for keeping one’s pants up was braces/suspenders.

  2. Eric
    January 26th, 2013 at 20:57 | #2

    I’ve thought about adding the collar tab with button hole for a notched lapel tweed jacket I was having made, not dissimilar to the jacket featured above. Someone suggested adding the tab in the same fabric, but as a separate piece…stitched on to the lapel! That way, it could be removed…?? I did not like that idea, at all.

    Towards your picture above, if you have the collar tab with button hole, would you necessarily not add a button hole to the lapel?

    Cheers,

    Eric

  1. No trackbacks yet.