3-Pieces of Suits

November 11th, 2013

After The Odd Vest post we received several requests for more variations on the 3-piece suit.

Why not create your own 3-piece by blending a jacket, waistcoat and trouser from different suits?

Here are three examples from my personal wardrobe to get you thinking about versatile tailoring and investing in suits that complement each other.

1. All-Season Earthtones


Photography shot with the Canon EOS 70D digital SLR camera, with Dual Pixel AF technology and built-in Wi-Fi

As I’ve written in the past, the best place to find season color inspiration is mother nature herself.

I’ve been designing and collecting bespoke suits for years and I almost always include a waistcoat, for it’s versatility. In some cases, because of the color or pattern of the fabric, I end up wearing the waistcoat more than the jacket or trousers (perhaps with a badass shearling bomber, for example).


Each of these suit pieces were built for different seasons. The cashmere/silk jacket is medium weight (designed for Spring and Fall). The houndstooth waistcoat is flannel (from this Winter suit). And the chocolate brown trousers are 100% linen.

I never would have worn this in NYC… The LA weather has me thinking differently about fabrics, among other things.

It’s cold in the mornings and evenings, but warm and sunny during the day. So combining fabrics in different weights (lightweight base with heavier layers) is a great way to navigate the ups and downs. It’s also an opportunity for interesting texture play.

56 2

This slim retro tie belonged to my late grandfather Norman; an honest hard worker and lifelong farmer. It’s 100% polyester and I can’t imagine he paid more than a couple bucks for it, but damn if it isn’t one of the coolest ties I own.


Forest Tweed Suit

Coffee Worsted Trouser

2. Autumn Sunshine


Lighter weight fabrics (like linen and hopsack) in autumn colors (like brown and burnt orange) are a great way to do “Fall Tailoring” in warmer climates. It looks like Fall, but feels like summer.

Although, the other night I broke out my first flannel suit (for a celeb-heavy Zegna party) and it got me hoping LA will cool off quickly!!


This oversized glenplaid is a great example of a suiting fabric that is more wearable as a waistcoat.

As a suit it’s very loud, but as you can see here, I like to use the vest as a statement piece under a more subtle earthy suit.


This is the matching jacket to the suit trousers in look 1, and I often wear the waistcoat as a separate.

I get a ton of use out of this brown suit (as you can tell by the wrinkles) but I don’t think I’ve ever worn it as an actual 3-piece.

  • Tortoise shades Vintage by Hugo Boss x Carrera ·
  • Chocolate brown linen suit jacket ·
  • Blue Club collar banker stripe shirt by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Silver collar pin by WANT ·
  • Navy knit tie by Ralph Lauren Black Label ·
  • Pocket Square by Post-Imperial ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus ·
  • Rust hopsack trousers ·
  • Brown socks by Calvin Klein ·
  • Leather/suede double monkstrap shoes by Scarpe di Bianco

3. Layers & Textures


A lot of guys have suits in blue, grey and khaki – why not try them together?

The next time you buy a suit (or blazer/trouser/waistcoat), consider how it might complement the tailored pieces already in your wardrobe. With two thoughtfully chosen three-piece suits, for example, you could have the foundation for a dozen different outfits.

Special thanks to our model Karyn; my holistic health coach, life counselor, and better half. Check out here new blog Taste and Trinity; food for the mind, body, spirit.


If you’re going to combine three different suits, it also helps to chose three fabric textures that complement and differentiate each other.

For example, here the trousers are a sleek lightweight worsted, the jacket is a silk/linen blend with a herringbone texture, and the waistcoat is a chunky basket-weaved hopsack.


These Gucci wingtips were the first pair of “real shoes” I ever bought, on eBay during my sophomore year of college, after selling a dozen Air Force Ones and Jordans. They’re showing a little discoloration from wear around the toe, but I like that.

Lastly, props to our Art Director Alex for finishing this post in the flower petals – a subtle reference to Karyn’s dress. My man’s got an eye.


Marine Linen Suit

Essential Light Gray Trouser


Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford