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When is 3 Piece Suit appropriate

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by eudoxos, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    I dealt with a guy today...must have been about 25 years old. Beautifully cut three-piece navy pinstripe, light blue FC shirt and solid gold tie in what I believe was a Full Winsdor. All of the women and a good 15% of the men around were positively drooling; and damn did he make an impression professionally. [​IMG]

    Really? I'm about that age and always think 3 pieces look a bit....'off' on young guys. It's good to hear they get some respect though [​IMG]
     
  2. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Really? I'm about that age and always think 3 pieces look a bit....'off' on young guys. It's good to hear they get some respect though [​IMG]
    It's just a question of being able to pull it off-he certainly looked like he belonged in that suit, that's the ticket (or ticket pocket). Remember, there have been times in the last 70 years when almost every man wore a three-piece. Check out old gameshow re-runs from the late 70s on GameShowNetwork if you don't believe me!
     
  3. Always Suited

    Always Suited Well-Known Member

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    I wear a 3 piece almost everyday to the office. I like the the way my tie flares with a bit of an arch from the vest.
     
  4. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Senior member

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    Really? I'm about that age and always think 3 pieces look a bit....'off' on young guys. It's good to hear they get some respect though [​IMG]

    I think that comes down to fit of the suit, I have seen plenty of bad 3 pieces but just one good one , like the one above can work with all ages.
     
  5. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    A bit of history:

    The 3 piece suit was the first acceptable style of what we call a suit. It was originally called a "lounge suit." and was usually single breasted.
    It has been acceptable for at least a century. In the early 1900's, practically all suits had vests.

    Before WWII, shirts were considered underwear, and it was improper to reveal much more than the ends of the cuffs and the area around the shirt collar. The vest helped hide the shirt in proper company, as well as offer additional warmth in times when people did not heat their homes and offices like we do.

    The double breasted suit had military origins and became acceptable for business around 1930. At the time it was considered to be less formal, even though we think of DB's as formal in modern times. If you watch movies from the 1930's-1940's people will often wear DB suits in the summer, because they were a cooler option. Check out the movie "Laura." It's set in super hot summertime, and there are a lot of DB suits.

    Starting in the 1930's there was a movement away from 3 piece suits, and the DB suit was the first way to get there, and not reveal too much shirt. When you watch movies from the 1930's- 1940's, usually the hipper, younger guys wear 2 piece DB's, while the older, established generation is still wearing 3 piece suits.

    During WWII there were all kinds of shortages leading to laws actually limiting the inclusion of vests with suits. In the late 1940's, it became more and more acceptable and popular to wear single breasted suits without a vest

    By the 50's the modern man now wore the single breasted 2 piece suit. Think of "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit". Gregory peck wears a two piece single breasted, while his boss wears a double breasted, which would have been trendy in the boss's younger days.

    Of course, James Bond and Cary Grant (in North by Northwest) would have to wear 2 piece suits. They wanted to represent the comfort and style of their time. They helped establish the style which still prevails today.

    In current times we're seeing the next evolution being wearing a suit without a tie--Trendy in the 80's, acceptable to many people in 2008.

    So to summarize:
    3 piece single breasted suit = trendy in 1900, acceptable today
    2 piece double breasted suit = trendy in 1930, acceptable today
    2 piece single breasted suit = trendy in 1950, acceptable today
     
  6. OxxfordSJLINY

    OxxfordSJLINY Senior member

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    The answer is anytime, a three piece suit is a timeless classic like a double breasted suit. They come in and out of style for the masses, but any well dressed man can wear them at will.

    satorstyle hit the nail right on the head here.

    But, IMO, vested suits rule! [​IMG]

    Double breasted suits are awesome, too, particularly DB suits with a low or lower cut four-button/one to button DB jacket.

    Also, IMO, four-button/one to button DB jackets are the best DB jackets by far.

    And, IMO, six-button/five to button classic style single breasted vests are the best vests by far. Seven-button/six to button classic style SB vests are awesome, too.

    I am thinking about having this woman named Rosie at Rosie's Tailoring in Centereach, NY (no, it is not that pig, Rosie O'Donnell) converting the vest with my Lauren Ralph Lauren suit from a six-button classic style SB vest to a seven-button/six to button classic style SB vest.

    FWIW, my sisters actually think that vested suits should only be worn with a belt or neither a belt nor suspenders and that wearing suspenders with vested suits are a fashion faux pas.

    I told them that belts look terrible with vested suits because of all of the bulk that a fasted belt buckle has, which can, overtime, ruin the vest if the belt buckle is underneath the vest when the vest is worn. I also told my sisters that if the tie and shirt are showing under the vest (which would only be the case if the top of the waistband was lower than the bottom of the front of the vest) that it makes for a terribly sloppy appearance.

    If anything, it is a major fashion faux pas to wear a belt with a vested suit. As I learned here on SF and on AAAC vested suits are supposed to be worn with suspenders or neither a belt nor suspenders and never with a belt.

    I guess it goes to show how much my sisters know about men's style, which is to say very little or nothing, I am sorry to say. [​IMG]
     
  7. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    I've always wanted a 3 piece suit, and I finally got a NWT 40L Bradford 3 Piece suit. Before I take off the tags and get it tailored, I'm thinking "I rarely wear suits to begin with, when am I gonna wear this 3 piece suit?"
     
  8. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    It is a great look but I will wait to be over 30 to wear them...

    You might get away with it if you're a pop singer...
     
  9. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    It is a great look but I will wait to be over 30 to wear them...

    Wait..what?

    How old are you Las?
     
  10. El Argentino

    El Argentino Senior member

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    I only have one in my closet, but it always makes me feel that much more dressed up when I sport it.

    I wouldn't mind if all my suits were 3-piece. I like the look and aurora surrounding it.
     
  11. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Wait..what?
    [​IMG]
    How old are you Las?


    I 'm obviously over 30...[​IMG]
     
  12. Barnabus

    Barnabus Senior member

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    Really? I'm about that age and always think 3 pieces look a bit....'off' on young guys. It's good to hear they get some respect though [​IMG]

    I'm even a bit younger than that guy and i get compliments for a three piece when i wear one.

    I think the key with a younger guy is to not look like your mom dressed you for church.[​IMG]
     
  13. wizard7926

    wizard7926 Well-Known Member

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    I love three-piece suits. Makes you stand out when the jackets come off (assuming it's fitted correctly..) [​IMG]
     
  14. VelvetGreen

    VelvetGreen Senior member

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  15. DerekS

    DerekS Senior member

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    I have a light blueish grey pinstripe 3 piece with horn buttons that i wear a lot...i get compliments every time i wear it...never fails. its all about feeling good in it. it could be a normal 2 button navy suit, and if you dont feel comfortable in it, it aint gonna look good.
     
  16. JamesX

    JamesX Senior member

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    All my suits since childhood has been 3 piece suits. I didn't wear 2 Piece till I started working.

    Never felt out of place even when I was in late teens and early 20s. Mostly receives compliments for them.
     
  17. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    No restriction whatever - wear it when you feel it is right. If you have to go to a church or synagogue you can either wear it if it fits in or else if you want to make a statement.

    A classic which fro a decent tailor would serve you well. Not sure about these cheap packages though.
     
  18. InconsideratePhlebas

    InconsideratePhlebas Member

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    When is 3 piece appropriate? When awake, I reckon. I've worn one almost everyday at work for the last few years, even when I'm mostly keeping to myself in the office. It goes without saying that the extra layers are appreciated on a chilly day, but I like the fact that you can lose the jacket on a hot day and keep the waistcoat, and still be a bit coordinated and dressed up.

    The first suit I bought, in fact, was three piece. A horribly overpriced, dreadfully ill-fitting charcoal stripe Gucci number. At least I took something positive away from the experience! Buying any two-piece suit now would seem like I'm missing out on a vital component.
     
  19. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    All my suits since childhood has been 3 piece suits. I didn't wear 2 Piece till I started working.

    Never felt out of place even when I was in late teens and early 20s. Mostly receives compliments for them.


    Where did you live?

    Not out of place wearing a three piece suit in your teens?

    Come on...

    You must have been seriously bullied at school...

    I'm surprised you didn't finish doing a Columbine.
     
  20. Chrenetique

    Chrenetique Senior member

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    He didn't feel out of place when he had to wear a suit, for weddings, bar-mitzvahs and all, I guess.
     

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