Three-Piece, Sweet

A three-piece suit is one of the simplest and most effective means of adding depth to a limited wardrobe. I've written about my Prince of Wales three-piece and the virtues of the odd waistcoat; let's see what these concepts can look like in practice.

The Traditional Three-Piece

In its intended state, the three-piece adds an air of formality and class to men's dress. The quintessential look is worth the investment alone.

As Odd Trousers

Particularly useful with uniquely-coloured or patterned suits, an orphaned set of trousers opens up several potential mix-and-matches. Though trickier, a patterned pant tastefully complements a navy blazer or a sweater.

As a Sport Jacket

As we've discussed before, not all suit jackets should moonlight as sport coats. Texture, pattern, and trim are pivotal to realizing versatility for this purpose. Here, the Glen Check pattern is just prominent enough to serve as sporty, and matches well with neutral tones and blues.

See My Vest

The waistcoat has made a considerable return to prominence in recent years, often as an accent piece. Innumerable permutations await as the vest seamlessly interchanges to afford contrast, texture and colour to your existing suits.

The Two-Piece

When the temperatures rise and every layer shed is to your added comfort, or when you just want to dial back the formality, ditch the waistcoat.

The Broken Suit

Pushing beyond the sport jacket/odd trousers aesthetic, we find what Italians refer to as spezzato - quite literally, "broken". Intentionally signalling that you've chosen to combine the pieces of two or more suits and wear them as one, the broken suit is somewhat more challenging to pull off. Easing back formality, creating contrast and coordinating textures is key to balancing the spezzato look.

The Value of the Vest

Though often an afterthought when commissioning a new made-to-measure suit, adding the vest will create new and engaging looks that stretch out the utility of an existing wardrobe at a marginal expense. It's a smart play.

Ryan W.A. Clark

© Copyright 2021 - John McNabb Clothiers