Sleeveless Suits

April 29th, 2014

As mentioned, moving to southern California has had a gradual effect on our style here at Articles of Style HQ LA. I didn’t get away from tailoring (probably never will), I just started looking for ways to make it breezier and more casual feeling.

Here’s a great example: the sleeveless suit. Otherwise known as the lapeled vest with matching trousers. It’s a look that Wes and I have been experimenting with for a while, on our respective coasts.

Here’s a few examples.

    1. Go-To Grey


    This just shows the advantage to including a waistcoat to make your suits three-pieces. On warm days Wes doesn’t have to remove the jacket, he can forgo it all together.

    I like 7 buttons on single-breasted waistcoats for guys who are 6′ or taller. Five looks unrefined because there is so much space between the buttons, and six can look awkward because it can visually cut the upper body in half (in theory, according to most menswear design schools).


    Did you catch the subtle horizontal stripe shirt? How about the hand pic stitching on the lapels? Or the bowed shape of the full-sized lapels? Or the tortoise horn buttons?

    …Menswear is all about the details.


    Just like a suit jacket, a waistcoat has a lining. And when you go custom, you can get as funky as you like.

    On this one Wes went with the naval architect blueprints – perhaps to signify that he’s laying down the foundation for a life on a boat b-tch!


    You gotta love a loafer with a clean toe shape that you can wear with virtually anything. Nice choice Wes.


    2. Sleeveless Banker


    Some serious banker inspirations with this one: the bold chalkstripe, the DB front, the black shoes, the contrast collar & cuffs, etc.

    This is one of my about-my-money-in-a-creative-way outfit.


    This waistcoat is 6×2 double-breasted with pointed front panels.

    In the following look Wes’ waistcoat is 4×2 with a square cut bottom, ala Steve McQueen x Thomas Crown.

    These small design details can really change the look & feel of the piece.


    Again all about the details: vintage “revolver” cufflinks, curved french cuffs, gunmetal buttons, silk knit tie, interior DB button, paisley lining, clean waistband…


    • Black shades by Lookmatic
    • Navy triple chalkstripe waisctoat and trousers
    • Grey stripe contrast collar shirt by Ralph Lauren Black Label
    • Burgundy knit tie Kent & Curwen
    • Vintage “revolver” cufflinks
    • Black leather tassel loafers by Allen Edmonds

    3. Glenplaid Two-Piece


    Not only does it breathe better and give you a more comfortable range of motion, there is also an inherent confidence in being fully dressed for business but not needing a traditional suit jacket.

    Maybe that’s what I like about this look, it says “I’m about my business, but on my own terms”.



    Just like a tailored suit jacket, the pockets on a waistcoat are always very useful.

    This glenplaid number has patch pockets, custom sized perfectly to fit Wes’ credit card wallet, phone and business cards in a secret coin pocket. With slim trousers you want to avoid carrying any luggage in the thigh (or rear) pockets.



    Keep it tailored. Keep it fresh.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style

    Photography by Alex Crawford and Westley Dimagiba.

    • Nicholas Cassadine

      Sleeveless suits…stop the madness! Cedric the Entertainer wants his wardrobe back!

      How about toes-out dress shoes for men? Or knot-less ties? You guys are gonna regret this attempt to make a rather stupid idea look cool or even appropriate.

      • Westley Dimagiba

        lol you do realize this is a post about wearing vests w/ lapels right…? Now what you’re actually thinking of is sleeveless suits… well then, that’s a stupid idea.

        Thanks for reading though homie

    • RAS

      Vests are not broken. Don’t fix it!

    • Steven Santander

      You two killin’ it as always, great looks!

    • Dan

      The tortoise horn buttons and horizontal striped shirt is killer! Subtle is sexy.

    • Daniel Moretz

      Where do you 3 look for ties? Everywhere I look there are 3.5″ and 4″ ties. The only places I can find a 2.75″ is Dolbeau, MAB, and Angel.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Try Brooks Bros Black Fleece, JCrew, Club Monaco, TheTieBar…and of course, vintage/ebay!

    • Jeanscuffed

      Great post guys. I would typically gravitate more towards a vest and trouser combo than either a jacket/trouser or a full 3-pc. Like you said, I’m able to move around more and just feel better about what I’m doing.

      Question for Dan: Are those pleats you have in? What made you incorporate pleats in this particular outfit rather than flatfront?

      • Dan Trepanier

        Yes to the pleats. This fabric just felt old school, mature, and bossy – which is my criteria for adding pleats. I’m going pleats on most of my trousers these days actually – mainly because they’re more comfortable and roomier in the pockets.

    • Daniel Moretz

      Wes, Is the stitching on your waistcoat considered top stitching?

      • Dan Trepanier

        Pic Stitching

        • TO


    • Chris

      In general, how far down should a waistcoat sit below the top of your pants? From the pictures it looks like Wes isn’t as low as yours. I’d peg his at an inch and a half and yours lower than that but its a wild guess.

      Great feature. Thx

      • Dan Trepanier

        As long as a waistcoat fully covers the entire waistband of the trousers, you should be good.

        Different waistcoat styles have different bottom shapes – like my pointed DB verses Wes’ straight cut DB.

        Cheerio Chris.

    • cam

      Dan, could the concept of side adjusters on trousers be applied to a waistcoat? I’m trying to visualize the look versus the traditional cinch in the rear. Thoughts?

      • Dan Trepanier

        Anything is possible, but keep in mind whenever you’re using a “cinch” adjuster, there is fabric that needs to be “scrunched” and pooled to make the garment smaller. I wouldn’t want all that extra fabric accordion-ing at my sides…

        Cheers Cam!

        • cam

          Yeah I kinda thought about that but I guess the same is true with silk scrunching a bit with the traditional rear adjuster. I was thinking of side button adjusters versus the side buckle style may be a cleaner look.

          • Dan Trepanier

            I would love to see it! Maybe I’ll experiment with this…just for you Cam.

    • Mike

      How do you guys feel about using the same material on the back of the waistcoat as the front to make it even more similar to a suit jacket, as opposed to the traditional bemberg/silk lining? I can’t tell in any of these pictures what the back of the waistcoat looks like.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Great question. Personally, I prefer the silk/lining back because it makes it lighter in weight and is easier to adjust – since the waistcoat is cut to “skim” the body, you need a cinch on the back to adjust the girth as your stomach fluctuates throughout the day.


        • AdamE

          I always go with a fabric back waistcoat to match the front and to match the jacket, precisely for the reason that if I’m wearing it without the blazer that it looks less like something’s missing… Still have the cinch on the back, but I find that often the waistcoat’s material is pretty breathable, so I don’t worry about it not being silk/lining to back it…

    • Kolja Kassner

      Love Wes’ first look – stunning!

    • Silviu

      I own a tie similar to Dan’s. It’s one of my favorites, love the wine-like colour. My vote goes to Wes

    • MS

      Beautiful clothes through and through, and great photos. At the end of the day though, I don’t think the concept works. Still looks to me like a bunch of handsome guys who left their jacket at home. A subtle feeling of incompleteness (in theory, according to various menswear design schools) :-)

      • Dan Trepanier

        I feel what you’re saying. Call it purposeful incompleteness.

        I hope all is well MS!

    • Robert Booth

      With you guys on the West coast and Wes on the East – Does that mean that Wes is taking his own photos? # Selfieskills

      • Jeanscuffed

        He levitates the camera with his mind….clearly doing it in Look #3, picture #2

        • Westley Dimagiba

          well you caught me, lets not blow it up though

    • Herbert Morrison

      Wes is a bad man, ya seeit.

      • Westley Dimagiba

        ya diggggggg

    • Jaws

      Michael Andrews Bespoke doesn’t have much character in their suits – always looks stiff

      • Queequeg

        What do you mean?

        • MS

          They definitely don’t drape quite right. I think it’s the tailoring at that price point.

          • Dan Trepanier

            Hard to judge a tailor by a waistcoat, but what do you mean more specifically?

            It’s also important to remember that TSBmen photoshoots happen in real time – meaning we’re actually wearing the clothes throughout the day, not steaming/prepping/pinning/photoshopping our photographs like many other publications, or branded lookbooks, etc.

            • Jaws

              If you compare to another contemp. bespoke, like PJ, for example (with a strong English/Italian background), or most of The Armoury’s selection, the MAB outcome isn’t continental. It’s fashion-y and generally rigid.

    • AFH

      These are all great looks.

      Dan, I have heard it said that waistcosts are actually the toughest thing for a tailor to get right. I’d be interested to know if you have any thoughts on that and if you have any tips on how to get waistcoat fit right.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Waistcoats are tricky because there is virtually no internal construction, and it’s meant to sit so closely to the body. Any movement therefore causing wrinkling/breaking at the sides. I think it’s more a matter of attention to detail, though. Most tailors are jacket-centric and the fit and proportions of the waistcoat are overlooked.

        Cheers AFH

    • John B

      Wes’ first look is perfect. Okay the lining helps a lot, but I really liked the look!