When Can You Wear a Three-Piece Suit?

The simple answer to this age-old question is whenever you damn well, please. However, for the sake of a good menswear argument, let’s dig a bit deeper. 

A three-piece suit has an inherent formality to it, which often strays men to its more casual cousin, the two-piece suit, in fear of looking over-dressed. Many menswear aficionados will most likely advise you to only wear a three-piece for very formal occasions. While this may be the case with some garments, like men, not all suits are created equal. Yes, we believe that your 3-piece tuxedo should probably stay in your closet until a black-tie gala, but a windowpane variation, like the one I am wearing here, definitely feels less daunting.

three-piece suit

You know what’s the best part about a three-piece? It actually gives your body a slim muscular appearance, even if you may not be in the best shape! It also hides the excess shirt that can sometimes roll over your belt and ultimately keeps everything looking a bit tidier.

The question now is: when is a three-piece appropriate? Well, it really all depends on two things; what the usual dress code is for the occasion and your comfort level. We don’t recommend wearing a three-piece suit on a hike, but we think it could also be a great way to elevate your look at a wedding or for a business meeting. Ultimately, you have to feel comfortable wearing it. There is nothing worse than seeing someone who doesn’t look confident in their clothes.


three-piece suit

If you’re thinking about rocking a three-piece suit, chances are the occasion is on the dressier side – so remember it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. It will show whoever it is that you’re supporting that you respect them; all without saying a word.

Words by Jonathan Cavaliere

Photography by Steven Lee