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Three-Piece Suits, Back With a Vengeance?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by OnTheMark, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Here is a related question - is there anything potentially damning about wearing a vest / waistcoat with a suit that was not originally a three-piece?
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Unless the vest is made from the exact same cloth, it will likely look weird.

    There used to be a tradition for daytime semi-formal wear to wear an odd vest in buff or pearl gray with a dark suit. These days, it would look pretty odd in a business setting.

    A tattersal or brown suede vest might look good with a tweed suit. Other than that, I think it's probably a bad idea.
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I have one three-piece suit, and it fits about the same with or without vest. The vest sort of compresses a shirt, so it's not really like an extra layer. This suit is somewhat thin material, though. If the suit were sized for a lapelled vest of heavy fabric, it might be a bit loose without the vest. I don't think it would be noticeably loose, though.
     
  4. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    What about with a black suit? I can't imagine that it's that hard to match (if that's what it comes down to - an issue of matching).

    BTW thanks for your quick and always helpful response Manton.
     
  5. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Unless it's exactly the same cloth, the fabric will look different between the vest and jacket, even if it appears the same color. If you were doing this for (e.g.) a black-tie optional event, with maybe a black suit and black brocade vest, it might be okay. But trying to match different fabrics exactly never looks right.
     
  6. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Yea, I was thinking of two different fabrics.. Perhaps I should have said "coordinating" instead of "matching."
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Odd vests are (oddly enough) traditionally reserved for formal wear or casual wear. Â And, oddly enough, an odd vest is considered more formal in the formal wear universe. Â For instance, a full morning suit in which coat, vest and trousers are all made from the same cloth is traditionally considered slightly less formal than than a black (or oxford grey) coat, pearl grey vest, and striped trousers. Wearing an odd vest (especially in a light color) with a black suit will have a distinctly "formal day wear" look, like you are going to a christening in 1935.
     
  8. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    A side note to Horace: I think that it's all a matter of personal style as to how one dresses in court. You have to feel comfortable in your own clothes. Gerry Spence would not be Gerry Spence without his turtleneck and buckskin coat. Johnny Cochran wouldn't be Johnny with his slightly sharp appearance. When I started one of my mentors said that I should not wear a white hankerchief in my pocket because the jurors would associate me with Adolphe Menjou. (I bet 10 out of 10 jurors today never heard of him.) In any event, I wore the hankerchief because "that was me." I am known as being a good dresser, and "that is me." I would be phony if I wore an ill-fitting RTW suit to look humble before a jury. A well dressed lawyer means that it's an important case, an important client, and a successful lawyer. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    [​IMG] On the odd vest question: 1. If you're wearing a "sport" vest with a suit, it makes the outfit more casual. E.g., a flannel tattersal vest with a grey flannel suit. The same goes for wearing a sweater vest under a suit. 2. The sport vest should be of similar character with the suit. E.g., you do not match a tattersal vest with brass buttons with a very dressy pin stripe. You don't match a sweater vest with a morning coat. You don't match an evening vest with a country suit in donegal tweed. You match a "like" with a "like." I imagine that you get the drift. 3. If you're pairing a navy vest from one suit with another navy suit it's going to look odd. It will look like you don't know what you are doing. It will look like you shop at a thrift shop and pick-out whatever is available. 4. Generally, you cannot pair a vest from a suit to another suit. Again, it will look like you were dressed by the Salvation Army.
     
  10. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    3 piece suits are ALWAYS in style. they are in style b/c:
    1. if the vest ever went out of style (never), the vest can be left in the closet
    2. they always look sharp, no matter on a short guy, tall guy, fat guy or slim guy
     
  11. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Oh, my -- are you being sarcastic and I'm missing it?. I hope so. I adore my three-piece suits -- on a young man I think it is a form of rebellion (and I'm getting a new one). One, I might add, that I so thoroughly enjoy.

    Same as above, provided I have the same idea of 'old man's suitings' as you do, my greys and blues, though I spread it around some with dove grey and slate blue and khaki. I feel that avoiding stuffiness is all about attitude -- an approachable person with commensurate body language and mannerisms is never stuffy, even in bankers' dress.

    Regards,
    Huntsman
     
  12. OnTheMark

    OnTheMark Member

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    Well, I am on the cusp of young man/ old man in my mid-30s. Â But I have to say, evert time I go to work in my three-piece I never fail to get at least a dozen compliments; from male and female collegues, support staff, strangers-you name it. Â The one that I have been wearing to work is a solid navy, so that keeps it in the "dapper, slick, yet conservative" category without slipping into Dandyland. Â I probably would not feel comfortable wearing a contrasting vest, or a loud and/ or bold pattern. Â But the three-piece will most likely be my choice for days when I am doing a presentation or meeting with important clients; I swear it makes me feel more important than I actually am and makes my IQ go up 20 points. Â [​IMG]
     

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