A three piece suit is simply a suit jacket, trousers and waistcoat combination. They are effortlessly stylish and can be worn in any situation where you’d want to make a bold statement with your suit. Here’s everything you need to know about how to wear the three piece suit.
I recently received an email from Mr. Silvesta who is an avid reader of MR KOACHMAN. He wrote that he had seen some pictures of gentlemen dressed in three piece suit with a different color of a waistcoat, trouser and suit jacket. He wanted to know if it was okay to dress like this and had requested for a write up to explain how the combo works.
I decided to do a more specific write up on how to wear a three piece suit. But first, let me address Mr. Silvesta’s question:
It’s perfectly okay to wear a contrasting waistcoat with your suit. To do this, you can either wear a complete two piece suit and then introduce a contrasting waistcoat or you can wear a complete three piece suit but with different colors of suit pants, jacket and waistcoat – this is also called “the mixed three-piece suit“.
But it has to fit properly and the waistcoat color should be paired well with the suit to give enough contrast.
You can mix and match your three piece suit. With the right styling, colors and [most importantly] fit, you can always mix and match the look of your three piece suit to your personal taste and style.
Now we have that out of the way, let’s look at how to wear a three-piece suit with style and when to wear them.
HOW TO WEAR A THREE PIECE SUIT | THREE PIECE SUIT RULES
Here are the 10 basic rules you should observe when wearing a three piece suit.
- The fit is key. This should be obvious but a lot of guys break this rule. Make sure the jacket, waistcoat, and trouser are tailored to fit.
- Your waistcoat should stop at your waist and should cover the belt line. It should be long enough to hide the bottom of your shirt so you won’t see any shirt fabric [even when you leave the bottom button undone]. The point where you have the last button should cover the beltline but should never go more than an inch below the belt line.
Also Read:5 Tips On How To Look Better In A Suit
- Your waistcoat should have a well-fitted waist, should be narrow around your mid-section and fitted but not too tight.
- Always leave the bottom button of your three piece suit jacket [i.e. single breasted jacket] unfastened.
- You should also leave the bottom button of your single-breasted waistcoat unfastened. This is a customary thing to do, but as every sartorially inclined gentleman knows, there are few exceptions to every menswear rule and this can be altered sometimes for the style’s sake. However, double-breasted waistcoats look better when they’re buttoned, so, evening waistcoats and double breasted waistcoats should always be fully buttoned.
Also Read: A Guide To Matching Your Suit and Your Shoe
- Make sure your shirt cuffs DO NOT cover your hands. They should be narrow enough such that they rest just on the top. The jacket sleeves should show a little bit of cuff and the suit trouser should hit your shoes with no break.
- Never go tie-less when wearing a three piece suit to the office or for other formal occasions. Make sure your tie is not sticking out from under the waistcoat.
- You can break up the pieces. You can wear all three pieces, you can wear just the jacket and pants, or you can wear just the waistcoat and pants.
Also Read: How To Maintain And Care For Your Suit
- The waistcoat can come with a breast pocket in which you can wear a pocket square when you break up the pieces [without the jacket]. It could either be a double breasted or single breasted waistcoat with the appropriate lapel style, such that you can use a lapel pin, adding that touch of class and sophisticated elegance to the whole look.
- Don’t wear a three piece suit with a belt, as the belt buckle is going to make the vest bulge, creating a lump under the waistcoat which doesn’t look good. Instead, your trouser should be properly tailored with the waist fitted but not too tight. They can have side adjusters to keep it secured around your waist.
PS: In addition to the 10 rules we’ve covered here, check out the 25 Suit Rules For Men which also applies to three piece suits.
If you pay close attention to the rules and other details I’ve covered above, you will certainly be seen as one of the classiest and well-dressed gentlemen around.
Don’t forget, to look great in your three piece suit, the fit must be perfect – your suit should be tailored to fit and the waist coat should be slim fit, pinched at your waist and should end at your belt line or just below.
To learn when and where you can wear a three piece suit – check out the Part 2 of this article titled: Three Piece Suits: When and Where To Wear Them>>>
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And if you would like some help or guidance to improve or update your current wardrobe, style, and image, you can see all my men’s personal styling, personal shopping and wardrobe consulting services here at my KOBI KOACHMAN Consulting Service page.
Until next time, continue to do well live well and dress really well. Be Classy.
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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