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3-piece suit to business meeting?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AvariceBespoke, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My office is officially business casual every single day, no casual day. I wear a suit and no tie. On days I meet VIPs or do presentations, I wear a tie. I used to do suit & tie every single day. But I'm new.

    A senior executive, frankly, has more capital to spend. If he dresses slovenly, it's his perogative. Being in middle management, I have to get up and conduct all the presentations, stand at the front of the door to greet people for my meetings, meet vendors, etc. Dressing well helps with the presentation technique. 9 out of 10 times if someone new to your office is lost or needs something, they'll go to the best dressed person. If you want to hide from contact and clock in 9-5, then dressing like the masses helps.

    I just started at a new office. Bringing my suit + no tie or suit + tie but jacket off has already made a lot of people in my group step up their dress and take their jobs more seriously.

    Vis-a-vis a three piece, I work in a support department in insurance and at my old job carried it off once a month excluding summers. I got a few comments at first but no one paid attention at the end. I see people wear suit & tie for customers and since the people who work in the company are my internal clients, I'm dressing as part of my service to them. I learnt that from a contractor in London who would corral network cables in a suit and tie because to him anyone who pays him is his customer and that's the image he presents to the customer.



    Someone else posted this in another thread and I remember the comment was how this was a great social experiment.



    I wear a suit and tie every day, which is how most of the folks four levels over my head dress. I would have no issues with wearing a three piece, and I have never seen anybody at my company wear one. Most of the people at my level wear a dress shirt, trousers and sometimes ties. I get a lot of compliments, and I can tell people even over my head treat me with a certain positive respect. I have never preceived any negativity from anybody because of "over" dressing. I think it all comes down to how you hold yourself and your work performance. If you act like a dick, people are going to call you "that dick in a suit", if you suck at your job people will label you an "all show, no go", however like FDR said, "Speak softly, but carry a big stick."
     
  2. xpress

    xpress Senior member

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    Wearing a 3 piece charcoal suit as I type.

    Spent the morning in two meetings...

    Closed one deal I've been working on for a little better then a month ... And built a great relationship with a new potential client!

    If you look great in a 3 piece suit, who the hell cares!
     
  3. DStew

    DStew Well-Known Member

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    Wearing a 3 piece charcoal suit as I type. Spent the morning in two meetings... Closed one deal I've been working on for a little better then a month ... And built a great relationship with a new potential client! If you look great in a 3 piece suit, who the hell cares!
    Bravo. I had the same day yesterday. Solid charcoal three piece suit, three very positive business meetings. There is a balance between being professional, stylish, but not to over the top. Everyone has to find their own equilibrium between that and what makes you feel confident and not self conscious. Everyone on this forum cares. But don't confuse everyone in your day to day work life with people from this forum and their insane list of personal rules. The overwhelming majority of people you come across are not spending all day thinking about how you "wore a three piece suit while everyone else wore a two piece suit and what an abomination that is".
     
  4. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    3 piece suits are pretty uncommon among the classic suitwearing professions (finance and law come to mind). As has been said above, I doubt that anyone except for senior people could pull it off. Even then, it'd be a hey-that's-weird-but-whatever kind of thing.


    I have a couple three pieces and wear the vests a handful of times in the winter. I don't think anyone was surprised, and only a handful of folks even remarked about it. Whether or not it's "weird" depends on whether it fits with the style of the person wearing it.
     
  5. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Wearing a 3 piece charcoal suit as I type.

    Spent the morning in two meetings...

    Closed one deal I've been working on for a little better then a month ... And built a great relationship with a new potential client!

    If you look great in a 3 piece suit, who the hell cares!


    I also love the 3 piece charcoal suit very much...
     
  6. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I have a couple three pieces and wear the vests a handful of times in the winter. I don't think anyone was surprised, and only a handful of folks even remarked about it. Whether or not it's "weird" depends on whether it fits with the style of the person wearing it.
    I also have a couple that I wear on very frigid days, but I have a couple of colleagues who wear them also; thus, I'm not the only one in my work environment.
     
  7. ELG

    ELG Senior member

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    You do catch some heat at first for wearing the vest, but after a couple of wears, people just shut up and start respecting. Also, I think the jacket lining needs to match the back of the vest lining. However, I think it is ok to go with a bright/contrasting lining for the back of the vest.
     
  8. leguleio

    leguleio Member

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    I am quite surprised nobody came up with a simple climatic consideration. A 3-piece suit adds an extra layer to one's outfit. Temperatures, in present-day offices, generally range between warm and tropical. This explains 3-pieces suits going out of fashion: they're way too warm to be worn in a 21°C (70°F) environment. On the other hand, they were fashionable up to the 60's, when old, underheated buildings were the norm. Which explains, pretty much, why and when I do wear them: when I'm expecting to be cold. This encompasses parties and social occasions where a lot of going in and out of the building is expected, and work occasions in which I know I am likely to be cold. In the latter occasions I often substitute for the 3-piece suit with a 2-piece with a knit (generally cashmere) waistcoat worn under it. Where I am (Milan), I know many attorneys wear 3-pieces to court, as the courthouse is an old building, notorious for its underheating and its hideous draughts. For similar reasons, many professors and civil servants wear some kind of cardigan/sweater between the shirt and the jacket. (Underheating is common to many public buildings in Italy). For reference, here is a Boggi advertisement: [​IMG] (Boggi is Milan's unquestioned leader in mid-range businesswear)
     
  9. LilacCords

    LilacCords Senior member

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    I think it's all a question of confidence - If you feel good and it makes you feel confident then you'll perform better.
     
  10. TomTom

    TomTom Well-Known Member

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    I work in the City of London working as a consultant for a insurance brokerage firm and I wore my new 3 piece suit to a meeting a couple of weeks ago.The response I got from people attending was overwhelmingly positive..One of the senior partners said that it's good to see the younger generation dressing so stylishly..So there you are..in London a 3 piece is always appropriate for a business. .meeting
     
  11. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    +1 to me as well
     
  12. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Its a really powerful look. I was doing some consulting work at a trendy suit store a while back and the owner said you look like an English barrister. I said, I know.
     
  13. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    Not to resurrect a dead thread, but, I love three piece suits. Wore them all the time over the years at the boutique firm I was at with nothing but compliments, but I just accepted a position at a big firm and some people are freaking out that I'm wearing a suit at all. And the weather hasn't even allowed me to add my waistcoats yet :( This blows.

    I'm going to power through it though; they will have to just get used to seeing me in them. I'm not going to spend a bunch of money on non-matching slacks and jackets and exert the effort and worry about making sure the colors look good together just because business casual.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  14. Testudo_Aubreii

    Testudo_Aubreii Senior member

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    One option might be to start by wearing waistcoats and trousers but no jacket. If the waistcoat doesn't match the trousers, this would definitely qualify as business casual. And a waistcoat looks much better than an empty shirtfront when one goes tieless. Odd waistcoats are very useful in making an outfit less formal. Another option would be to mix and match jackets and pants from different suits. Light colored suit jackets with dark suit trousers should work well in a business casual setting. If you do this for a couple of months and then gradually start putting the suits together, and gradually wearing ties more frequently, people will get used to it without much difficulty. Within a few months, they won't bat an eye when you show up to a meeting in a peak lapel navy worsted 3 piece, and they're all in odd jackets and chinos with no tie. They'll just figure that that's your style. If you do it gradually enough, and your suits look good, then pretty soon, some of them will start wearing a coat and tie to important meetings, and then you'll see some wearing suits now and then.

    If you're in a senior position, or you think it's worth their discomfort, then to hell with them and whip out the three pieces now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  15. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm not senior anything, not even an attorney heh. Different office cultures I guess. My last firm, even though small, was much more formal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016

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