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The Casual Suit vs. Odd Jacket and Trousers - Page 2

Poll Results: Casual Suit or Odd Jacket and Trousers

 
  • 40% (25)
    Casual Suit
  • 59% (37)
    Odd Jacket and Trousers
62 Total Votes  
post #16 of 59
I love the idea of casual suits, but odd jacket/trou all the way. Just much more versatile. Also, I wouldn't consider PoW a casual suit. I guess I hear "casual" and think "country"
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)








Edited by Claghorn - 8/23/13 at 9:20pm
post #17 of 59

I absolutely love casual suits, and would probably wear them nearly as often as sportcoats if they lent themselves more to my lifestyle and budget. Being able to wear a tweed jacket with jeans, cotton trousers, or flannels is a big advantage, because it means I can hit three different versions of casual with the same garment. I also don't like worrying about beating up wool trousers (especially if they're part of a suit) if I end up hanging lights or kneeling on the ground, which are likely enough features of my life as an art student.

 

The other advantage is that you can wear cloth in odd jackets that wouldn't make good trousers -- loose tweeds and cashmere blends, say, or patterns and colors too extreme for a suit.

post #18 of 59
I happen to like both equally. Maybe an odd jacket and trousers allows for a broader range of formality, since they work with and without tie. A less casual suit, on the other hand, still requires a tie IMHO. Hence, I would start with the classic suits and odd jackets when building up a wardrobe. And once, you have covered the basics it is time for suits with more casual fabrics.

BTW, I recently saw on a German forum (Stilmagazin) this example for a casual tweed suit, which I happened to like (except for some smaller details).

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post #19 of 59

I've heard all my life (i.e. career-in-training life) that any suit is more formal than odd jacket combo.  But "casual suit" was not in the canon of my training.  Something approaching a casual suit no one saw except on TV.  Now, I wear windowpanes and POWs both with and without overchecks to business settings often.  That's not to say I'm doing it right.  I don't know.  Just that it hasn't felt off to do so.  But my instincts do not tell me that a fine worsted fabric with a windowpane or POW pattern is inherently casual.  But an odd jacket with any kind of windowpane or POW pattern is.  To me then, it isn't an equal choice.  The suit will dress me up more for the occasion.  My thinking will be "can I get away with little more casual and go with the unmatched set."

 

Then I joined SF where guys like TIRA rock unstructured, "lived-in" suits in linen and cotton.  The suits are soft and rumpled.  To me it says really casual.  Less so than a worsted jacket with structure.

 

On any given day, my thinking will be:  more formal or more conservative equals anything worsted: suit of almost any kind in my closet first (maybe not a wild, garish windowpane, but I don't have one and wouldn't wear it in any event), then worsted solid odd jacket, then worsted, patterned odd jacket, then rumpled suit.

 

Admittedly, I'm thinking about my job setting, jacket and tie every day--mostly suit.  I don't have a true tweed either, so that may be hindering my thought process on this as well.

post #20 of 59
Odd jacket & trousers for me. In the sartorial wasteland of Florida, there is little occasion for a suit, but I can sneak in a casual odd jacket & trouser look from time to time.

I do like the idea of a casual suit, but when the time came, I would probably end up wearing the more conservative suit or odd jacket & trouser option...
post #21 of 59

You have to compare casual suits and jackets of the same material and cut in order for this discussion to make any sense. Tan cotton suit vs tan cotton jacket and grey trousers, navy birdseye patch pocket suit vs navy birdseye patch pocket blazer with grey trousers, brown tweed suit vs brown tweed jacket with grey trousers. When comparing similar items, it strikes me that the odd jacket option is inherently more casual.

 

As for my own preference, I think they each have their place so I don't choose one over the other.

post #22 of 59
As with many of you, my views are coloured by my own circumstances. I can wear a very wide variety of clothes at work so a casual suit can be substituted for a more formal suit or replace a more casual look. This week I wore a light grey POW worsted suit, a dark brown (Slewfoot) fresco suit, a tobacco linen suit, tropical trousers/linen jacket and jeans/chambray shirt. While my selections are not as eclectic in the colder months, i can still wear a tweed suit if I don't have more formal business meetings. If I did not have this level of flexibility, I would not likely favour the casual suit over the odd jacket/pants combo.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyface View Post

You have to compare casual suits and jackets of the same material and cut in order for this discussion to make any sense. Tan cotton suit vs tan cotton jacket and grey trousers, navy birdseye patch pocket suit vs navy birdseye patch pocket blazer with grey trousers, brown tweed suit vs brown tweed jacket with grey trousers. When comparing similar items, it strikes me that the odd jacket option is inherently more casual.

I do agree with this - I sometimes pair the jacket from a tweed suit with flannel pants and feel less formal than when wearing the full tweed suit but it could just be my own bias.
Edited by bertie - 8/24/13 at 7:45am
post #24 of 59

Casual plaid suits get my vote.  

 

In principle SCs and trousers offer limitless possibilities.  In practice however this doesn't seem to be the case.  The SC - almost irrespective of color - seems to demand light grey trousers.  

SC colors can be problematic: grey looks like an orphaned suit jacket, brown is not a nice color in my opinion, green and rust in the right shade can look good, but navy always looks good.  

Then there is pattern: a bold plaid SC is incongruous with plain trousers.  As a result the boring plain navy SC with plain light grey trousers is tough to beat.  The causal suit is more interesting in my opinion.    

post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornet View Post

Casual plaid suits get my vote.  

 

In principle SCs and trousers offer limitless possibilities.  In practice however this doesn't seem to be the case.  The SC - almost irrespective of color - seems to demand light grey trousers. ?

SC colors can be problematic: grey looks like an orphaned suit jacket, brown is not a nice color in my opinion (?!), green and rust in the right shade can look good, but navy always looks good.  

Then there is pattern: a bold plaid SC is incongruous with plain trousers (?!?!).  As a result the boring plain navy SC with plain light grey trousers is tough to beat.  The causal suit is more interesting in my opinion.    

smile.gif

 

But seriously, I don't understand those points at all. Light gray is good, but mid-gray and shades of tan work as well, do they not? Objecting to brown in general would be like objecting to lapels, or wool -- I couldn't imagine it. I may be mis-reading you here. I fail to see any incongruity between a plaid jacket and solid trousers. A plaid jacket with patterned trousers is, literally, a clown costume.

 

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRR92 View Post

smile.gif

 

But seriously, I don't understand those points at all. Light gray is good, but mid-gray and shades of tan work as well, do they not? Objecting to brown in general would be like objecting to lapels, or wool -- I couldn't imagine it. I may be mis-reading you here. I fail to see any incongruity between a plaid jacket and solid trousers. A plaid jacket with patterned trousers is, literally, a clown costume.

 

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

It's just my opinion that's all.  I don't care for brown jackets (and suits for that matter).  Tan can work too, but to my eye light grey creates a nice contrast with dark jackets.  I agree that patterned trousers would look like a costume, that was my point.  Trousers need to be plain, but a loud jacket creates a incongruous effect since the upper body is busy and exciting but the lower is boring.  It's like someone suddenly gained inspiration halfway through dressing up biggrin.gif

post #27 of 59
Why not have navy, mid gray, and tan suits to mix and match as sc+trouser combo? Mid gray can take inconspicuous pow pattern, tan can be cotton/linen fabric, and navy could be a few shades lighter aka Air Force blue or blogger blue.

Full casual patterned suits have less utility IMO.
post #28 of 59
I'm coming to believe that odd jackets are, for me and those like me, not very useful.

For a younger guy in an urban center, there doesn't really exist an event to which you should or can wear a tie but where a suit is inappropriate.

That middling level of formality seems to have disappeared. So I think odd jackets are best used in either a decidedly casual way - with khakis or even jeans - or as basically outerwear.

It can look good but I think the allure is too often what YRR mentioned - the magic of multiplication of outfits.
Edited by Cantabrigian - 8/26/13 at 8:39am
post #29 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabrigian View Post

I'm coming to believe that

For a younger guy in an urban center, there doesn't really exist an event to which you should or can wear a tie but where a suit is inappropriate.

I agree that there are few to no events where a tie should be worn but a suit would be inappropriate. There are, however, events where a suit is not required but a fair number of people will still show up wearing an odd jacket and maybe a tie. Some men will ditch the jacket and tie in almost any circumstance where they do not need a suit, while others will continue to dress with a bit more formality. Once you move outside business formal, things are a lot more discretionary these days (you might see dress shirt and trousers, some with jackets, some with ties, and maybe the odd suit at some events). I agree that the middle level of formality has definitely become less important, but rather than thinking of the old middle level of formality as a requirement or dress code, I think it helps to think of it as an option that one may choose. I think odd jackets fall into this discretionary category and casual suits probably do too.

One example that comes to mind: A few restaurants still require men to wear jackets. A suit would not be inappropriate here, but showing up in an odd jacket and tie or a casual suit and tie would both work very well. Of course one could just default to a dark worsted suit and tie (given that this is SF, perhaps I should have added this as a poll option...).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornet View Post

Casual plaid suits get my vote.  

In principle SCs and trousers offer limitless possibilities.  In practice however this doesn't seem to be the case.  The SC - almost irrespective of color - seems to demand light grey trousers.  
SC colors can be problematic: grey looks like an orphaned suit jacket, brown is not a nice color in my opinion, green and rust in the right shade can look good, but navy always looks good.  
Then there is pattern: a bold plaid SC is incongruous with plain trousers.  As a result the boring plain navy SC with plain light grey trousers is tough to beat.  The causal suit is more interesting in my opinion.    

This sounds like a case where some personal preferences are making odd jackets and trousers less versatile than they might otherwise be (you seem to say as much later), which of course is fine and a valid reason to prefer casual suits. I do agree that grey odd trousers are probably the most versatile, but there are definitely other choices for odd trousers (cream - especially in summer, tan, brown, olive, different shades of grey, e.g. medium grey, etc.). I do think your dislike of paterned odd jackets limits a fair amount of good wardrobe options (I used to dislike brown too so I understand that more, though it's grown on me), but if you have a good assortment of business suits, casual suits, a navy blazer and maybe a couple other odd jackets, you're fine in any event.

All that said, you'll never look bad in a blazer and greys (though I think medium grey is better for fall / winter than light grey). I'm working on getting a third navy blazer for just this reason. As for the grey odd jacket, I agree with you on solid grey, but have you considered a black and white herringbone that looks grey with patch pockets? Close enough to a solid to avoid the incongruity you think the patterned jacket with plain trousers look has but enough visual interest to not look like an orphan.
post #30 of 59
As has been pointed out, the suit and the sports coat need to be made of the same cloth for the comparison to be meaningful. Under this assumption, I have a slightly different take on this from most people. I think of suit pants as a magnifier, which, depending on the formality of the cloth, either increases or decreases the outfit's formality. Take for instance a houndstooth tweed cloth. Most people would agree that -- all else being equal -- a houndstooth suit is less formal than a houndstooth sports coat plus, say, mid-grey pants. But they would equally agree, I think, that a navy suit is more formal than a navy sports coat plus mid-grey pants. The same argument holds for brown suits vs. brown sports coats, linen suits vs. linen sports coats, and so on.
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