3-Pieces of Suits

November 11th, 2013

After The Odd Vest post we received several requests for more variations on the 3-piece suit.

Why not create your own 3-piece by blending a jacket, waistcoat and trouser from different suits?

Here are three examples from my personal wardrobe to get you thinking about versatile tailoring and investing in suits that complement each other.

    1. All-Season Earthtones


    Photography shot with the Canon EOS 70D digital SLR camera, with Dual Pixel AF technology and built-in Wi-Fi

    As I’ve written in the past, the best place to find season color inspiration is mother nature herself.

    I’ve been designing and collecting bespoke suits for years and I almost always include a waistcoat, for it’s versatility. In some cases, because of the color or pattern of the fabric, I end up wearing the waistcoat more than the jacket or trousers (perhaps with a badass shearling bomber, for example).


    Each of these suit pieces were built for different seasons. The cashmere/silk jacket is medium weight (designed for Spring and Fall). The houndstooth waistcoat is flannel (from this Winter suit). And the chocolate brown trousers are 100% linen.

    I never would have worn this in NYC… The LA weather has me thinking differently about fabrics, among other things.

    It’s cold in the mornings and evenings, but warm and sunny during the day. So combining fabrics in different weights (lightweight base with heavier layers) is a great way to navigate the ups and downs. It’s also an opportunity for interesting texture play.

    56 2

    This slim retro tie belonged to my late grandfather Norman; an honest hard worker and lifelong farmer. It’s 100% polyester and I can’t imagine he paid more than a couple bucks for it, but damn if it isn’t one of the coolest ties I own.


    2. Autumn Sunshine


    Lighter weight fabrics (like linen and hopsack) in autumn colors (like brown and burnt orange) are a great way to do “Fall Tailoring” in warmer climates. It looks like Fall, but feels like summer.

    Although, the other night I broke out my first flannel suit (for a celeb-heavy Zegna party) and it got me hoping LA will cool off quickly!!


    This oversized glenplaid is a great example of a suiting fabric that is more wearable as a waistcoat.

    As a suit it’s very loud, but as you can see here, I like to use the vest as a statement piece under a more subtle earthy suit.


    This is the matching jacket to the suit trousers in look 1, and I often wear the waistcoat as a separate.

    I get a ton of use out of this brown suit (as you can tell by the wrinkles) but I don’t think I’ve ever worn it as an actual 3-piece.


    • Tortoise shades Vintage by Hugo Boss x Carrera
    • Chocolate brown linen suit jacket
    • Blue Club collar banker stripe shirt by Ralph Lauren
    • Silver collar pin by WANT
    • Navy knit tie by Ralph Lauren Black Label
    • Pocket Square by Post-Imperial
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus
    • Rust hopsack trousers
    • Brown socks by Calvin Klein
    • Leather/suede double monkstrap shoes by Scarpe di Bianco

    3. Layers & Textures


    A lot of guys have suits in blue, grey and khaki – why not try them together?

    The next time you buy a suit (or blazer/trouser/waistcoat), consider how it might complement the tailored pieces already in your wardrobe. With two thoughtfully chosen three-piece suits, for example, you could have the foundation for a dozen different outfits.

    Special thanks to our model Karyn; my holistic health coach, life counselor, and better half. Check out here new blog Taste and Trinity; food for the mind, body, spirit.


    If you’re going to combine three different suits, it also helps to chose three fabric textures that complement and differentiate each other.

    For example, here the trousers are a sleek lightweight worsted, the jacket is a silk/linen blend with a herringbone texture, and the waistcoat is a chunky basket-weaved hopsack.


    These Gucci wingtips were the first pair of “real shoes” I ever bought, on eBay during my sophomore year of college, after selling a dozen Air Force Ones and Jordans. They’re showing a little discoloration from wear around the toe, but I like that.

    Lastly, props to our Art Director Alex for finishing this post in the flower petals – a subtle reference to Karyn’s dress. My man’s got an eye.



    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • http://undefined Dick Lickerson

      More like 3 pieces of sh-HEY! It’s a woman!

    • Jack Sheets

      The sunglasses I was referring to were in look #2.

    • Jack Sheets

      Dan, you probably have commented on this before, but what kind of sunglasses are those?

    • Steven S.

      Great colors, textures and patterns Dan! Look 3 is probably the easist color combination for any guy that no one really thinks of. Well done!

    • TO

      This is what I’m talking about! Well done.

      You have never looked better than look three Dan, up there as one of the top 5 or so looks ever on this site. Every one of these examples are classic and the combination 3-piece idea is very inspiring.

      On another note your late gpa’s tie creates one hell of a beautifully shaped tie knot!

    • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

      All 3 looks are amazing, hard to pick a favorite. Look 2 was beautifully done esp with your “Nantucket Reds” (does he need to go back to the color wheel? lol). I also liked how the hat is interchangeable with you wearing it in Look 2 but Look 3 your gf is wearing it (beautiful lady btw!). Both exude class, good work.

    • Felix

      Alex is actually my favourite. The guy has an eye for composition, and an eye for style. I know most people come to TSB for Dan’s bomb outfits, but its Alex’s photography which get me time and again

    • Jaime B

      Look one has a great color scheme. I know it says chocolate brown pants, but to me it’s more of a plum color which plays nice with the green jacket. Also obligatory “Karyn looking gorgeous as usual” comment. Dan, really liking how your style is adjusting to the west coast while keeping it true to the east!

    • http://anorexicescapades.com BougieHippie

      “Autumn Sunshine” works for me, I like the play with textile, print and color more so the SHOES.

      And can we all just admit that Dan’s part is officially the best dressed hair in the blogosphere right now?


    • Daniel
      • JD

        Not sure if insult or suggestion.

    • James

      So your doing business in Los Angeles now. Are you opening up a custom clothing store out here? Thanks.

    • Levi G

      Posts like this one remind me why I keep coming back to this blog. These looks are super sharp.
      Don’t listen to the haters, Dan, I love your work!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Levi! All the best to you brother.

    • Tom

      tough to rock Nantucket reds off the island.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        ? I hate Nantucket reds.

        • Tom

          Those pants in #2 are pretty close to Nantucket reds

          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            Burnt orange hopsack trousers? C’mon Tom.

            • Mugatu

              Am I taking crazy pills?!?

    • Mark

      Really, really cool looks Dan. I think you should do a follow-up of all your coordinated three-piece suits….from what I have seen, you probably have the best collection of three-piece suits in the country.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Mark. You ain’t seen nothing ;)

        We could do a big 3-piece blow out…but that’s not much of a new ‘story’…

        • Mark

          I am sure you could find an angle to make it fresh…what’s the point of having them if you don’t take them out for a walk once in a while?

          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            I mean, I wear them all the time. We just try to save TSB articles for things that are slightly more innovative or forward-thinking…or at least conversation worthy.

            Perhaps we’ll put something together with traditional three-piece suits. We have a featured guest on the calendar who knows a thing or two about that life…

            Cheers mate.

            • http://undefined Nate

              That would be awesome. I appreciate the innovative stuff – keeps me thinking. But sometimes, it’s great to see someone take it right back to basics and tradition, and just do it perfectly.

    • cam

      I frequently keep 2 of the 3 pieces the same and 1 different but not all 3 different. Not sure if I can get on board with that however that’s what so great about this site…it always keeps me thinking and rethinking.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Cam! Someone’s gotta keep you on your toes.

    • Jim Davis

      A little too mistmatched for my taste.

      • Mark

        Sometimes mismatching is an art unto itself.

    • Phil

      Amazing post! I wonder how many suits Dan already has in his wardrobe?!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Hah – I’ll never tell! I’m also not really sure… I left some heavyweights back in NYC and have a handful in Canada still I think.

        Thanks for reading Phil!

    • http://undefined Nate

      I’m liking this Dan, especially the way you’ve played with textures.

      One question – how do you feel about using thin cardigans instead of waistcoats/vests? I do this quite a lot, and reckon it can work well.

      • http://wideeyestightwallets.com Adam

        Oh man, that’s one of my favorite looks to see/pull off myself, switching out a cardigan for a vest in a play on the three-piece. I think it’s much more easily versatile that a vest and can more often be played down and worn semi-casually (not that you can’t do the same with a vest, it’s just a bit trickier).

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Absolutely. As long as the cardigan isn’t bulky and drapy around the midsection…cardigans tend to do that, which is why most guys wear them with the last button or two undone…especially if it has a ribbed hem

    • MS

      I like the spirit of this post a lot, but I feel like the mismatched vest, jacket and trousers only can look either “country bumpkinish” or “foppish”, neither of which are too aspirational.

      Also, I call BS on this whole photoshoot. No one walks anywhere in LA. :)

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        That’s on you, bro.

    • John B

      Something looks off to me on the first look. Maybe it’s the wider lapels, I’m not sure. But the second and third looks are perfect. and these monkstraps are one of your best pairs. By the way, what’s your favorite pair of shoes?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Tough question. I think I got through phases with footwear. Those monks are up there though, mainly because they’re the first pair of custom shoes I designed, with Bill White from Scarpe di Bianco.

        I also just got a couple shipments in today with some real game changers!!

    • Shawn

      I can’t tell which look I like the best! Love all 3!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thx Shawn!

    • http://byhookandbycrook.tumblr.com/ Theguybehindthelens

      Great post. I am always really inspired by your use of waist coats. The mixing of different weight fabrics was just too good. Also found the color palettes you used to be quite unique.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thx player. Nothing like quality tailoring.