You were in the market for a new suit. You saw the one that you liked after looking around and trying a couple on. This one fit well (others didn’t) so you took the plunge and bought it. Now you’ve decided that today is the day that you’re going to wear it for the first time, so you put it on with a carefully chosen shirt, tie and shoes, and off you go to your meeting. Some people notice and make complimentary comments. You feel good, right? The problem now is that from that very moment, once people have seen you in it, it’s old.
The challenge now is how to keep it fresh, how to stop yourself from becoming that guy in the office who ‘always wears the same suit’. I wore the same three piece suit to work for an entire week and not one person knew it was the same suit (and yes, I asked). The trick is to split it up! Sacrilege, right? Maybe to some, but to me and many other guys out there who are on a budget but striving to achieve a different daily look, it’s a good way to get there.
I have a few three piece suits now and yes, they look great when you wear it all together as a suit, but each individual piece is a good item of clothing on its own, so why not team each aspect up with other items in your collection?
Monday – The Solo Jacket
On Monday, I went for the jacket. I teamed it with a pair of black chinos from Next and black brogues, and I added a light blue chambray shirt from Primark. To inject some colour, I added a red, white and blue knitted tie. I added additional touches of red with the pocket square, lapel pin and bracelets. Look One done.
Tuesday – The Trousers
As always on a Tuesday, I wore a bow tie. #bowtietuesday right! With the trousers taken from the suit I added a plain white shirt. Knowing that I was going to wear the red H&M cardigan, I didn’t feel that I needed too much colour elsewhere. The grey trim on the cardigan complimented the grey of the trousers. With black leather brogue boots and my Epsom coat (both from Next) it gave the look a smarter appearance.
Wednesday – The Waistcoat
Wednesday saw the waistcoat make an appearance. As floral is massive this season, I chose a subtly patterned floral shirt from Topman and a micro floral tie from Dancy’s of London. The tie gave colour to an otherwise muted grey pallet. The funky Oybo socks also added some fun to the look. With grey chinos by Next and grey brogues from Clarks I feel this is a very cohesive look.
Thursday – The Full Three Piece Monty
Here you can see the full three piece suit in its entirety. It looks nice, right? but what would you think if I wore it every other day or even every day? Maybe you wouldn’t notice. But one thing is for sure I wouldn’t stand out as a person who cares about style or who makes the effort to look different to all the other grey suits in the office. It’s fine to wear it, it is what it is after all, but not every day. Again, I had to introduce some colour here so I went for polka dots with a pink shirt from Primark which has navy polka dots and a burgundy tie with white spots. The socks which you can just see a flash of are bright pink Happysocks.
Friday – Casual / Not So Casual Jacket & Waistcoat
Friday for me, like many, is casual day. I don’t often wear jeans to the office, even on casual days but I wanted to show you a completely different look. A de-constructed and much more relaxed look, and a complete juxtaposition to Thursday!
With the Burton Menswear skinny jeans I wore the jacket and waistcoat over a Primark collarless grey striped linen shirt. This gave the look a more vintage feel, particularly with the cravat (Cravat Club) The vintage pocket watch also helps this, as do the brogue boots which hark back to a forgotten era.
The Three Piece Versatility Summary
Do not feel bad about splitting up your three piece suit. Just because you bought it as one item, it shouldn’t dictate how you wear it. You own it and therefore you own the right to wear it just how and when you want to. Why not wear the jacket with shorts for a trip to the beach to keep off the chill of the sea breeze? Put on your favourite T-Shirt and a pair of Converse sneakers with the trousers, cuff them too if you like! Wear the waistcoat over a thin knit roll neck sweater and add a pair of chinos for a night with your mates in the pub if you like, just don’t feel like you have to wear it as a single item. Get creative and add some of YOU to the suit, after all you’re the best thing about it!