3 piece suit question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Yosarian77, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. Yosarian77

    Yosarian77 Well-Known Member

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    Esteemed colleagues,
    I value the opinions on this board and find the posts both informative and entertaining. I usually have trust in my own instinct with respect to clothing purchases, but I now face a dilemma that requires my turning to this board for some guidance.

    I posted on here a week or so ago about a 3-piece suit I saw that I loved. I have since been seeking a similar suit. Here's what I have found. I generally like a higher cut vest, which usually brings with it around 5 buttons. I have located a 3-piece offering that is lower cut, 4 button, with a two button jacket (though the two buttons are placed higher on the jacket than traditional 2-button suits). My question is two fold:
    What are the rules for a 3-piece suit? Is it appropriate to have a 3 button jacket covering the vest? I would imagine that the vest should be cut slightly higher than the jacket.

    Second question, anyone have any recommendations for a specific designer, etc.? Unfortunately, I can't afford to have a custom made Kiton or Oxxford at the moment. I'm looking for more of a modern styling of a 3-piece. Somthing that has the conservative feel of a 3-piece but with a bit of modern/European flair.

    I eagerly await you gentlemen's kind advice.
     
  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I have seen three pieces with a three button jacket. The vest is usually a variety of double breasted or a 5 buttoned version. Personally my thoughts are that a double breasted vest with flat bottoms(techinical name?) is the most beautiful.

    As for a brand I would suggest Ralph Lauren Purple Label as they always offer some type of three piece ensemble in their seasonal collections. All of them I find are quite elegant but some may find them a bit dandified. I hope this helps.
     
  3. MPS

    MPS Senior member

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    Flat-bottomed waistcoats are sometimes called "postboy" waistcoats, though this is generally reserved for the single breasted variety. I would only recommend going for a double breasted waistcoat only if it's paired with a morning coat.

    The cut of the jacket in relation to the vest is important - when your jacket is buttoned, you should be able to see a small amount of waistcoat. Many tailors would suggest that a three button jacket is preferable because by fastening the middle button only, you can reveal more of the waistcoat. If you are travelling to London soon, I'd recommend Hackett (modern British), Ede & Ravenscroft (traditional) and Roderick Charles (somewhere in between). All offer a made-to-measure, bespoke and a ready wear range.
     
  4. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I've just purchased a 3 piece suit myself. Â Grey flannel, 3 button. Â I picked the 5 button welt-pocket vest to go with it. Â I considered the 6 button type, but decided I wanted a bit more shirt and tie to show. Â Kai [​IMG]
     
  5. Yosarian77

    Yosarian77 Well-Known Member

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    Kai,
    Did you get your suit custom made, or was it off the rack? I also want the 5 button variety. I'm wavering on the 4 button vest with the high two button jacket. I'm probably going to keep shopping around.

    Thank you for responding.
    Y77
     
  6. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    Custom made. Should have it by late October. The pictures of the vest styles came from my tailor, as I needed to select a style of vest to go with the suit.

    I'm getting kind of used to cusom made. It's very nice to be able to get exactly what you want, rather than what the store offers.

    Kai
     
  7. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Kai,

    You mentioned you ordered your custom suit from W.W.Chan & Sons Tailor Ltd. My question is did you have specify every detail for the cut of the suit or did they have stock samples to pick from. Did you bring a picture of a suit or perhaps you are one of those people that can pinpoint each exact detail of the suit? I myself maybe taking an trip to Hong Kong and would definitely learn a lot from your experience.

    Thanks
     
  8. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I specified some details, such as the number of buttons (I prefer a 3 button suit) and the shoulder shape (I prefer some construction in the shoulders, but not an over-padded look.) I picked out buttons, and specified a full lining, working buttonholes, etc. Many details, sut as the loop to hold a flower in your lapel are simply "standard" features that they put in as a matter of course. They also measured my credit card case, which I carry instead of a wallet, and make a specially constructed inner pocket in my trousers to hold it.

    They claim to be able to do pretty much any style you like, but their default "house style" is traditional English, with a very fitted, slightly hourglass shape. They are savvy enough, however, to work with you on matching the cut of the suit to your body shape. For example, my trousers were cut a slight bit fuller than normal to offset my bow legs.

    In my off the rack purchases, I tend to gravitate toward an Italian cut suit, as these styles tend to fit me best in ready to wear clothing. I initially thought that I would have the folks at Chan make me an Italian cut suit. They gently steered me toward a more English cut, and I'm glad I went with it, because it turns out it suits my frame very well.

    If you know exactly what you want, they can probably make it for you. For me, I didn't know exactly what I wanted, and spent quite some time talking with the master tailor and fitter to get their opinions. What I ended up with was a mix of what I wanted initially and what they thought would suit me best.

    I've been most pleased with the results.

    Kai
     
  9. mrprlover

    mrprlover Senior member

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    This might sound a little stupid....but can you purchase the 3rd piece at a later time to add to a current suit. I currently have a suit and saw how nice the inner piece looked once the coat comes off. I would like to add the other piece.

    Can one purchase/order a matching inner piece to match, or is a 3-piece suit done all at once, each piece relying on the next to creat the entire ensemble.
     
  10. MPS

    MPS Senior member

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    I would recommend getting everything at once. Why? Because of the following-

    1. Materials change in colour with age.
    2. Materials from separate batches rarely match.
    3. The cutter will often have to make allowances in a jacket if it is to be worn with a waistcoat.

    Several manufacturers claim to have cracked problem number 2, and problem 3 won't be an issue if you're buying ready to wear.
     
  11. maxevans

    maxevans Active Member

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    I would recommend getting everything at once. Why? Because of the following-

    1. Materials change in colour with age.
    2. Materials from separate batches rarely match.
    3. The cutter will often have to make allowances in a jacket if it is to be worn with a waistcoat.

    Several manufacturers claim to have cracked problem number 2, and problem 3 won't be an issue if you're buying ready to wear.


    Make sense. It's a wise additional investment to make a waistcoat that goes with a beloved suit from the get go. You never know when you need it.
     

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