The Two-Out-of-Three Piece Suit

November 24th, 2011

The best part about a 3-piece suit is the variety of ways you can wear it.

One of my go-tos is the waistcoat and trousers without the jacket. It’s slightly less formal than a full suit but still office appropriate and much cooler and more suave than a simple shirt and tie.

Here’s a few examples.

1. Casual Friday

A waistcoat is a British term, it helps distinguish this article of clothing from a vest, which in my mind is a v-neck sweater without sleeves.

Bonus Tip: Know the culture of your office – but if shirts and ties are the norm, nobody should have a problem with you trading in your tie for a waistcoat. If it’s okay with your superiors, you will be more comfortable and I promise the ladies in your office will take note.

Bonus Tip II: Waistcoats with lapels can look dressier and better imitate a jacket. Yes, you can still wear it under a jacket. No, the lapels on the jacket don’t have to be the same style.

Bonus Tip III: Checks on checks. Different scales. Expressive tailoring.

  • Tortoise shades by Matsuda Eyewear ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Red/grey plaid shirt by Ralph Lauren Polo ·
  • Grey windowpane trousers ·
  • Grey windowpane vest ·
  • Brown leather wingtips by Scarpe di Bianco ·
  • Black alligator watch band by Montblanc

2. Tailored Weekend

It doesn’t have to look dressy.

With a rugged tweedy fabric and a more casual top (like this band collar number, or a washed shirt, henley, sweater, etc) you have a sophisticated but still relaxed and manly weekend outfit for the Fall.

  • Pinstripe chambray band collar shirt by Zara ·
  • Striped socks by Smart Turnout ·
  • Tortoise shades by Persol ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Brown donegal tweed suit trousers ·
  • Brown donegal tweed vest ·
  • Brown suede captoe lace-ups by To Boot NY

3. Fancy Evening

Back in the day when you put up a jumpshot and you knew it felt good you would look at your defender and say “Cash”.

A turtleneck under a waistcoat & trousers is kinda like that – it’s a look that you just know is on point (if you have the Spaldings to pull it off, of course).

Bonus Tip: Make sure the sweater is thin enough to tuck into your trousers and long enough that it will stay tucked.

Bonus Tip II: Rich oxblood shoes are badass and can be worn as if they were just a classic brown.

Bonus Tip III: 3-piece suits, as well as double breasted suits, make more sense and look more appropriate in heavier Fall/Winter fabric – when you need the extra coverage.


Donegal Tweed Suit in Monochrome

  • Burgundy cashmere turtleneck sweater by Club Monaco ·
  • Tortoise shades by Persol ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
  • · Grey donegal tweed 3-piece suit

Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Photography by Alex Crawford.