How to Wear It: The Three Piece Suit

Once seen as staunch and overly conservative, the three piece suit has made a comeback this season. The suit gives you added value as there are multiple ways to wear it: the jacket with or without the vest, just the vest and trousers, or even with a pair of jeans.

An image of a three piece suit from the Hart Schaffner Marx archives.

The Hart Schaffner Marx 12th Anniversary Grey Flannel Suit, featured in this month’s Esquire magazine, is made in a rich, solid charcoal color. As it is 100% wool flannel, it is the perfect suit for the cold winter days ahead.

Pair it with a crisp dress shirt, such as a blue gingham, striped or tattersall shirt to add a pop of pattern and color. A tie in a shade of blue with a thin or thick stripe will balance the solid suit and patterned shirt very well. Paisley ties can add yet another dimension to the look.

From the Hart Schaffner Marx archives.

Wearing the vest under the jacket creates a dapper, gentlemanly look. This style features a great deal of detail drawing attention to the upper body, so it is best to keep it simple when choosing a shoe. With grey or charcoal suits, a dark chocolate or burnished brown is the shoe color of choice. One good choice is this pair of Church’s leather oxfords, $640, available at

Incorporate the tailored vest into your casual look by adding rugged pieces like a green jacket and jeans. Image from the Hart Schaffner Marx archives.

To keep your look casual and cool, pair your vest with jeans and a rugged piece of outerwear. This will balance the tailored element of the vest and help it blend better with the rest of your outfit. You can choose a military inspired outerwear piece in the typical army green (shown above), or take a little risk and choose the jacket in a bold color, such as orange or red. Lose the dress shirt and throw on an easy sport shirt in a monochromatic color with the top few buttons open. Throw on a pair of lived in boots or beat up converse sneakers to complete the easy look.

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