After so much positive feedback for our first “1 Piece/3 Ways” post, I thought we’d keep them coming. This time, a little bit extended as well: “One 3-piece tweed suit, 7 different ways to wear it”.
An alternative title for this post could have been: “The advantage of a waistcoat: turning 3 outfits into 7″.
A two piece suit gives you three options for wearing it: the pants separately, the jacket separately, and the suit together. Add a vest into the mix, and 3 options turns to 7, as shown here:
1. Pant Separate
Some of my favorite looks are very simple. If you stick to well-fitted basics like a brown donegal tweed trouser, navy fine-gage knit and burgundy tassel loafers, you have the perfect blank canvas for a textured scarf, like this fair isle number.
This is a great “Sunday Morning Chic” look that holds a certain level of masculinity even though it is very clean and fitted.
Donegal tweed trousers by Michael Andrews Bespoke (custom made, my own design). Navy fine gage turtleneck by Uniqlo (size M). Fair isle scarf and blackwatch wool socks by Ralph Lauren Polo. Cordovan tassel loafers by Johnston & Murphy. Watch and alligator strap by Montblanc.
2. Vest Separate
The vest alone is a terrific (and easy) way to sneak a piece of tailored suiting into your casual wear. You can pair it with anything from military cargo pants (as shown above), dark jeans, another suit, washed jeans (like here), cords, etc.
Bonus tip: amp up a casual look with a sharp leather lace-up, even if you’re wearing army pants.
Vest by MAB (custom made, my own design). Linen blend brown stripe crewneck knit by Hugo Boss (size M). Cargo pants from Army/Navy supply store in lower east manhattan. Olive ribbed scarf by H&M. American handmade leather duffle bag by Lotuff & Clegg. Oxblood lace-up shoes by Scarpe di Bianco. Watch by Montblanc. Grosgrain watchstrap from eBay.
3. Jacket Separate
A tweed blazer is super versatile. I’ve been wearing this thing as outerwear throughout the fall – it’s warm without being bulky.
An underrated combination: thin knit + blazer + down vest.
Bonus tip: If the vest is slim enough (I usually recommend sizing down for down vests – no pun intended) you can also wear it under the jacket, as show below.
Jacket by MAB (custom made, my own design). Navy down vest by Land’s End (size S). Henley by Tommy Hilfiger (size M). Jeans by JBrand (size 34×34). Boots by Kenneth Cole. Watch by Montblanc. Bracelets from NYC street vendor. Shades by Persol.
4. Pant + Vest
Wearing the trouser and waistcoat together is a quick and easy way to look stylish. I don’t get why more men don’t do this. It’s the perfect outfit to layer under a separate jacket, a fitted overcoat or even a chunky sweater. Not to mention, there is very little restrictiveness since you ‘re not wearing a jacket.
Bonus tip: an ascot is not as tricky as you might think. Choose a masculine color with a simple, straight-forward pattern (like burgundy with white dots), keep a major part of your look masculine in nature (in this case the tweed, the classic bengal stripe and the woven leather of the gloves), wear it as low as possible on your neck and unfasten only the top button of your shirt – it should only peek out subtly.
Pants, vest and blue bengal stripe shirt all by MAB (custom made, my own designs). Navy suede loafers by Scarpe di Bianco. Navy socks by Kenneth Cole. Ascot scarf by Ralph Lauren Polo. Gloves by Hilts & Willard (size S).
5. Pant + Jacket
This is the easy one – the two piece suit.
Since it’s tweed, which already makes something of a statement in the business realm, pair it with more conservative pieces like a blue/white stripe shirt, navy/red rep stripe tie, suede captoe lace-up shoes and classic aviator shades.
Bonus tip: Suede shoes are a pain in the ass to take care of, I know. Rather than buying a clean design and trying to keep them pristine and new-looking, try a brogue design with a pre-burnished leather toe and embrace their break-in process. If they are well made, they will look better over time. All those creases, scratches and discoloration spots are earned – similar to the “character lines” in the face of a refined older man.
Jacket, pant and stripe tie all by MAB (custom made, my own designs). Blue mutli-stripe french cuff shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt (slim fit 15.5 34). Pocket square by Robert Talbott. Suede captoe shoes by To Boot NY. Navy socks by Kenneth Cole. Watch by Montblanc. Tortoise aviator shades by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Vintage cufflinks.
6. Vest + Jacket
I was going to show the vest + jacket with a tie and sharp contrasting trousers, but that’s easy. Try a rustic vibe with a chambray shirt, navy broken-in chinos and blucher moccasins for a tailored look that is much more “I’m tailored because I like to be” than “I’m going in for another day at the office”.
Bonus tip: Looking to add a youthful, fun, and unexpected punch to your look in 30 seconds? Loose the tie and button the collar. This is easier to pull-off with sport shirts (think soft collars and washed fabrics) than your stiffly-starched french cuff versions.
Jacket and vest by MAB (custom made, my own designs). Chambray shirt by Rag&Bone (size M). Navy chinos by Banana Republic (size 33 x 32 – tapered). Leather blucher moccasins by L.L. Bean. Wool marled socks by Land’s End. Wooden skull bracelet from street vendor. Canvas briefcase by Filson. Tortoise shades (in breast pocket) by Persol.
7. Three Piece
This is probably the one I wear the least, because it takes the least amount of creativity.
Although I like the academic/professorial vibe, I usually pair the 3-piece tweed with a plaid shirt, silk knit tie and some kind of unexpected boot – just to add some personality to so much traditional, old-school looking fabric.
Bonus Tip: I often see guys wearing vests + tie bars. This is redundant. A tie doesn’t need a bar to hold it in place if it’s already tucked under a vest. If you yearn for a silver or gold accessory punch, try a collar pin with your vest instead – it doesn’t look forced or unnecessary and actually creates a great dimension by pushing the tie upward and outward until the vest pulls it back close to the body.
Jacket, pant, vest, and plaid shirt all by MAB. Silver collar pin by WANT. Vintage silk knit tie. Pocket square by thetiebar.com. Suede chukka boots by John Varvatos. Belt by Ralph Lauren Purple Label.
Thanks for reading and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Yours in style,