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What are 3 Piece Suits?

What are 3 piece suits?

Most of us should know that a suit for men is a garment ensemble that comprises of a single-breasted men's jacket and pair of pants all made of the same exact material. These ensembles have been worn for generation by men for both work and even just going out and about primarily in cities. When you add a vest or waist coat as they are known in England you suddenly have what is referred to a men's 3 piece suit. It is the addition of the vest that gives a suit a whole different style and image.

 Are all three piece suits the same?

 The quick answer is no. Since you know that the vest is what makes a suit a 3-piece, here is where things give you variety. The first type of 3 piece suit is the type you would wear to an office job. This is traditionally a regular fit suit that is not tight nor is it baggy either. Generally, what you are going to find is that jacket is a 2-button style but sometimes can be a 3-button style as well. There are slim fit 3 piece suits that younger men like to wear. Learn what a slim fit suit is here. The pants can be either flat front which is generally the most business like or they can be pleated in the front. The matching color vest is always a v-cut 5 or 6 button style that is adjustable in the back to give the man wearing it a smooth and tailored appearance. The front of the vest is primarily designed to show off just the right amount of the silk tie that you are wearing


 On most vests you are going to find a small pocket on either side of the front of the vest. This hearkens back to an era before wrist watches. Before there were wrist watches, men of means had pocket watches. Generally, if the man is wearing a suit, which was more common years ago, the pocket watches always went into the vest pocket with its chain being clips into the pocket on the other side of the vest to keep it secure for its owner. You could see the chain going across the vest from pocket to pocket. Back then there were no such thing as cheap watches since they were all hand-made and not mass produced. Those pocket watches needed to be secured.


There are other types of 3 piece suits that are focused on fashion. You can find some that are designed for young men which are slim fit. Slim fit meaning that they are a tight-fitting suit that hugs the wearer in both the torso, sleeves and legs of the pants. You can find young men in their twenties to thirties wearing these style slim fit suits but they are not made for the work place like most fashion.



Other styles of three piece suits which focus on fashion can be found with vests that make a style statement all by itself. There are some of these suits that come with vests that can be double breasted, have their own lapels or be a contrasting color and pattern to let the vest visually pop. These are suits that also are designed for style that men can wear to Church or wear to a Wedding.


 Why do 3 piece suits exist?


3 piece suits have been worn for much longer than the 2-piece variety. In the old days, you were not considered completely dressed unless you were wearing a vest with your suit. Back, then, your shirt was not supposed to be showing unless you had your vest on. In the Summer months without the aid of AC, it must have been quite uncomfortable to have on that vest when it was hot and humid outside. I don’t know how men used to do it. You can look at old pictures from the 19th Century or paintings prior and see every man in them wearing a vest with their suit. You never ever saw them not wearing a vest. That is just the way it was.



 In these times, men who wear a 3 piece suit will wear it specifically for showcasing their taste in clothing and style. The simple addition of adding a vest changes the entire dynamic of the suit and really lends itself to adding a certain sophistication that 2-piece suit simply can’t duplicate. When a man wears a 2 piece suit and stands up, he should always button the jacket because otherwise with his shirt showing, it looks unseemly. With a 3 piece suit, the vest covers the shirt and doesn’t have the same look. This allows the wearer to keep his jacket unbuttoned if he so chooses.