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Wearing a three-piece suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    I was thinking of picking up a three-piece suit to add some variety to my suit selection.  Does the added formality of this suit over its two-piece counterpart dictate what you can wear with it?  Are bluchers completely verboten?  Should shirts and ties be more subdued?  And should the slacks be cuffed or uncuffed?  (Which one is more formal, anyways?)
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The Style Forum Committee recently amended the rules to allow sleek, three-eyelet bluchers with town suits. I wasn't completely comfortable with it, but I voted "yes."

    The cloth weight and weave and color and pattern matter greatly here. Sometimes I will wear even a buttondown shirt with a 3-piece, with a club or striped tie. It looks sort of cheeky. But it's not for "important meetings" &c. And there are certain shirts, ties and shoes I would not wear with it. It is hard to generalize too broadly without specifics, even for someone who loves unsustainable generalizations as much as I do.

    Cuffed trousers almost always look better than uncuffed. Either are fine with a 3-piece. Uncuffed are more formal.
     


  3. lisapop

    lisapop Senior Member

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    Depends on the pattern of the suit, in my opinion.  Keep in mind the vest will add additional presence and authority to any suit and so you want to avoid overkill of your overall ensemble; you want to strive for everything to work in harmony.  Case in point: I'm having a 3 pc suit made with a bold Price of Wales Plaid cloth (Lesser 11/12 oz) that is going to put a lot of plaid in everyone's face, so I'm going to want the suit to take center stage with the help of a discreet shirt and tie.  I prefer to avoid a cacophony of competing patterns.  Now, two other 3 pc suits being made (Lesser 11/12 oz) are of a more muted pattern that will allow the shirt and tie to take center stage with bolder patterns.  It's all about balance between suit, shirt, and tie. Kind of a Zen thing.  
    Grayson
     


  4. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    I think 3-piece suits look invariably better with solid color shirts and plain color or neat pattern ties. I don't like the looks of striped ties at all with 3-pieces. Just doesn't look right to me, especially considering that most three pieces will use a patterned fabric or one with visible texture. Stripes just compete with this too much to my eye.

    Ironically, though the 3 piece is more formal, I agree with Manton that a button down can look very good. I think a good look is a heavier weight glen plaid 3 piece with a button down Oxford cloth shirt and a solid color woven tie.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I think it can look smashing. There are some great pics of Astaire, for instance, wearing a striped tie behind his vest. Some great Apparel Arts drawings, too.
     


  6. Horace

    Horace Distinguished Member

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    3 piece flannel from Brooks (of old variety before you were born), repp tie and bengal or univ. striped button-down will do the trick rather well.
     


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