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Timeless Classic: The Three Piece Suit


The three-piece suit, a jacket, trousers and waistcoat, was first introduced to Britain by King Charles II all the way back in 1666. Now several hundred years later the suit is still synonymous with smart dressing and sophistication that most men rely upon for certain occasions.

Lockdown may have temporarily pushed the suit aside for more relaxed, casual styles, however interest in more tailored pieces is now on the up as the UK gets back to business along with more formal occasions such as weddings, funerals and special events.

Big brand designers know that a well cut suit is a must when planning their range, from Tom Ford to Prada and Burberry, a tailored suit that fits immaculately is a sure fire winner with their clients every season.

The key elements include; fabric, fit, silhouette, details and colour. Direct from the Menswear catwalks in Paris suit styles for 2023 have become loose and fluid. After several seasons of slimline cuts, which let’s face it are not for everyone, the silhouette, broadly speaking has become more relaxed with a nod to the elegance of the 1930s and 40s. Double breasted jackets, trousers with a wider leg it’s all about balance and achieving a flattering look.

Many male fashion experts have written a large number of informative articles about when to wear a three piece suit, what styles, colours and details are “in” however there is so much choice that it’s more about what works well on the client and individual taste.

When To Wear a Three Piece Suit?

While many men like to combine a suit jacket with a pair of jeans or a casual jumper, dressing in a suit 3 piece are mostly worn for formal events. Many designers offer a bespoke fitting service to ensure the fit is spot on for the client’s body. The purchase of a well-made, three piece suit is a real investment and the idea is that it should last for several years.

Occasions to wear a three piece suit include:

In the office: In most professional fields, formal dressing is preferred for important meetings or client facing events. Stylists generally advise dark colours as a good choice for the office, such as black or a navy blue will look great, along with gray or light blue, picking what suits the client and the time of year.

The idea is to make the client look as good as possible and instill confidence. A great suit is a smart move for an office based job interview and can leave a memorable impression.

Going to a wedding: Three-piece suits are a perfect choice for wedding grooms, groomsmen, and guests. Some ideal choices for wedding occasions include:

Going to a formal summer party: For those that love wearing mix and match colours, a formal summer party can be a great occasion to wear a three-piece suit. Why not combine a matching jacket and trousers with a different coloured waistcoat. Choose lightweight material for a daytime party and medium for an evening party. 

Going to a funeral: A black or dark coloured three piece suit is the norm when paying respects at a funeral unless otherwise stated.

Three Piece Suit Dress Code

It can be daunting when experimenting with a three piece suit. Most men prefer when all three pieces are in matching colours. This rule is not cast in stone, for those wanting other alternatives why not opt for the waistcoat or jacket in a contrasting colour or pattern, as long as the fit and cut look great the finished look will still be elegant. 

Be cautious when choosing the accompanying shirt, plain shirts tend to work better and a tie is a must, unless it’s very necessary to skip it, along with a smart pair of shoes.

How Should a Three Piece Suit Fit?

The three-piece jacket should be roomy enough to allow comfort when buttoning, no pulling and sit well on the shoulders. The waistcoat should look fitted, but not too tight, comfort is a priority. The trousers should fit well on the waist and leg should finish at the top of the shoe. 


As with all tailoring a perfect fit is essential along with confidence in the style, get this right and a three piece suit can be worn, mixed and matched for many occasions for several years.

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