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splitting up patterned suits

globetrotter

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ok, so I am thinking about suits - specifically patterned suits like check and nailhead.

I was always pretty firm in the idea that you simply don't split up a suit - you wear the pants with the coat, and that is it. then, I started, occasionally, wearing the (solid) coat of one suit with the (solid) pants of another. now I was looking at some fabric for odd coats, and thinking that some of the fabric that I like for subtle sport coats could be suit fabric - like a dark subtle plaid in gray or blue, or a nails head.

so, how bad would it be to wear the coat from a suit like that with the dark pants of another suit, or with a pair of odd trousers?

thoughts?
 

dah328

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Bad. A navy BlazerSuit(tm) is the only suit I can picture in which the jacket could be worn separately with other trousers because it could pass for a navy blazer. Even then, the choice of buttons for the jacket would have to be some less-than-ideal compromise between suit jacket buttons and sport coat buttons. The subtle patterns that you're talking about are really suiting fabrics and generally poorly suited for sport coats. Why wouldn't you stick to just suits, anyway?
 

AEricson

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casually its awesome! i do it all the time and love to have fun with my look - my only rule is never place patterns against one another i.e. no plaids against pinstripes, simple eyesores like that. try to keep a pattern against a solid and keep the color scheme relatively simple - my rule, let one item in my outfit be the centerpiece and ensure all of the other pieces highlight and support that piece.

professionally, i cant say. im not in an office anymore, but my years around white collar cats has taught me that if you want to play with mismatching the most you can do is an odd blazer against khakis and thats about it - but no one said you cant try it and just judge for yourself off the reaction


have any pics of the combos youre thinking of?
 

globetrotter

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Originally Posted by dah328
Why wouldn't you stick to just suits, anyway?

trying to stretch the comfort zone - I've never been a sport coat kind of guy, I am working on building a new wardrobe so I am thinking about other options, and there is a lot of love for sport coats here. but you raise very valid points.
 

Journeyman

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Zach, I think that it is an excellent idea, depending on the fabric.

As an example, I have a somewhat casual suit in a mid-grey flannel with a darker, fairly large scale glen plaid check. The jacket has patch pockets.

I like the wear the jacket with a pair of navy cords in winter, and I also like the wear the trousers with a navy jacket, or perhaps a brown Donegal tweed jacket.

So, whilst that is just one example, I'm sure that you get the idea - with the right wardrobe, it is entirely possible to mix-and-match to some extent. Not only is it fun, but it also increases the versatility of your clothing selection.
 

dah328

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Originally Posted by globetrotter
trying to stretch the comfort zone - I've never been a sport coat kind of guy, I am working on building a new wardrobe so I am thinking about other options, and there is a lot of love for sport coats here. but you raise very valid points.
I was considering doing something very similar at one point. I'm glad I was talked out of it. I did get some jackets that are clearly not from suiting fabrics, but suits just work better for me as a shorter guy.
 

Douglas

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I wouldn't do it, globe.

There is a lot of love for sportcoats on here, but it's love for well-executed, well-thought-out sportcoats - meaning good selection of cloths, textures, and details.

Mixing and matching suit coats is not going to provide that same good attention to cloths, textures, and details that make for good-looking sportcoats.

Some people with particularly well-thought-out wardrobes may be able to get away with it from time to time - Manton's Blazer Suit is a good example, and if someone out there has a very casual suit in a loudish windowpane, for example, and was insightful enough to have selected contrasting buttons and patch pockets, he could wear the jacket as a sportcoat.

But that's not nearly the same as slipping on a POW or pinstriped suit coat with contrasting pants and thinking you're pulling off the look.

And remember - the more you pull a suit coat into the world of the sport coat by selecting more casual materials and details, the less of a suit coat it becomes. I know for your job you need pretty sober, straight-up business suits, so solid navies, charcoals, and pinstripes are probably most common.

For that reason, and particularly since you're using an Asian tailor, I think you'll get better value and better wardrobe versatility just by buying your several workhorse business suits and then selecting a few separate sportcoats for dressing down just a bit when you want.
 

globetrotter

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good answers, thanks.
 

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