Donegal Tweed: for Business and Pleasure

December 21st, 2011

There are multiple advantages to seasonal suiting. In addition to the added comfort of the cloth, the extended life of your garments in rotation, and the pleasure of unveiling a fresh wardrobe as the weather changes, season-specific fabrics are also more versatile and more appropriate to wear as separates than typical “four-season” suiting fabrics.

In my opinion there is no such thing as a “four season” fabric. It might be labeled “year-round weight”, but in reality these are typically 9-11 ounce worsteds that are only truly appropriate for less than half the year. In NYC that’s roughly April-June and September-November, basically the time between your air conditioning and heating bills.

Here’s a quick example of how a donegal tweed fabric can transition from sharp business suit to weekend blazer.

    Business Tweed

    A donegal tweed makes for a beautiful three-piece suit. It has an old-world elegance and is full of visual depth. You also don’t need an overcoat for most of the Fall season.

    Bonus Tip: Winterize your whole look. Heavyweight suit, thick oxford shirt, wool flannel tie.

    Bonus Tip II: A club collar and collar pin were meant to be. They look very natural together.

    Bonus Tip III: A deep cuff (like this 2″) looks right on a chunkier cloth, and the added weight helps the pant drape nicely.

    Weekend Tweed

    Don’t be afraid to layer up that jacket on the weekend, the donegal tweed looks right at home with denim. After all, a tweed suit jacket is a blazer!

    Bonus Tip: The easiest way to pile on layers is to go from lightest on the inside to heaviest on the outside.

    Bonus Tip II: Not all leather lace-up shoes are ““dressy”. There are some awesome soft-sole lace-ups on the market for the perfect balance between dress and casual.

    Bonus Tip III: Whenever you’re wearing a layer over a tailored jacket, try to keep the jacket buttoned. This allows the layers to flow better together and keep their positioning as you move around.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Zac J

      great suit, you can wear it in different styles. I love it. Perfect! I really enjoyed your posts. Keep it up!

    • Dave

      Absolutely love this suit, my fave piece on this site I think.

      Quick question for you – As your shop wont ship outside US, have you any views on the online tailors who do made-to-measure wear?

    • Bass

      Hi, enjoyed this very much.
      No scolding regarding shoe upkeep from me…
      I just want to know which model of Vans you’re wearing in the “Weekend Cool” piece, and where you got them…I’m a fan.
      Keep all of this up, you have great taste.

    • Mike

      Hi, I posted this question on your year old entry yesterday, but I stumbled across this today, and as it is more current, I’ll re-ask it here.

      First of all, I’m enjoying the blog, which I’ve just found. I really like the pants and vest look, paired with other jackets. I don’t have a tweed suit yet (although I’m keeping an eye out for one) but wonder if you think a more traditional business type suit could be broken up in similar ways. Leaving out the vest is, indeed, a no brainer. What about substituting some other jacket though, too much, how to select. Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks a lot, and I’ll keep reading.

    • jo dapper

      I did not mean to get a negative reply about shoe up keep!
      museum….absolutely not!
      shine….all the time!
      love what you do !


      Hey Dan,

      Big reader here! I’m just wondering, how thick is the hem on your trousers (4th picture). Is it a 1 inch fold?


      • SB


        Thx for reading,

    • Dean

      Hi Dan,

      Happy holiday, great post.
      Possible to show how the waist coat looks like from behind? Does it always have to be a different fabric/colour at the shoulder & behind?

      Thanks in advance for the advise.


      • SB

        I like the visual contrast of a traditional lining on a waistcoat (wether it’s silk, bemberg, rayon, poly, a blend…).

        Here’s a cool example:

        It’s also lighter in weight and breathes much better than a self back.

        I’ve hand made a couple waistcoats – it can be made out of just about any fabric that can be tailored.


        • Dean

          Awesome! Thanks Dan.

    • jo dapper

      nice post, please polish and take better care of your shoes,they are of good quality it takes away from the look if they look scruffy and worn down a little!

      • SB

        i disagree. I have my shoes polished occasionally, but I don’t mind a little patina on a well-made shoe.

        They’re not in a museum, they’re on my feet.

        Thx for reading,

        • Ali

          Speaking of – when you do polish them, after how many wears do you usually do it? And do you do it yourself, or pay someone?

    • David

      Hey Dan,

      Great post. I was just wondering about the 2′ cuff because I’m a short guy and had been told to avoid cuffs because they would make me look shorter. Is there any truth in it?

      Thanks David.

      • SB

        In theory, ye. I would go with a plain hem, minimal break and a tapered leg.


    • FloP


      I discovered your blog recently, amazing!

      I love the suit, will I saw that the sizes on your shop are not big, will it be possible to purchase it in size 50 (jacket) and 40 (trousers).



      Oh yes, Merry Christmas!!

    • Oli

      This and your brown donegal 3 piece post are definitely my favourites. Any reason you decided to go with grey rather than brown for the MAB collection though? Just versatility?

      • SB

        Thanks Oliver. We’re planning on releasing both colors.

        More soon.


        • Oli

          Awesome Xmas news



      Been following your blog for sometime, and it has evolved so much…congrats! Really impressive stuff…

      Quick question, what are the details on the quilted navy coat in pic 4?

      Stay Fresh,


      • SB

        Thanks brother. Jacket by Club Monaco.


    • Anonymous

      Best men’s style publication available. Daily read. Thank you.

    • TO

      Club collar x collar pin has always been one of my favorite details, loved that you incorporated that in “retro business”. You continue to prove how heavier suiting fabrics don’t necessarily need a heavy “chunkier” shoe, which some other publications preach (which of course is always a solid option). Great mix with the waistcoat+trousers x quilted jacket in “business casual” as well!

    • Matthew

      This is one of my favorite posts to date. It really collects a lot of your great style ideas all into a single post. Wonderful job!
      Looking at #9 it looks like the shirt fits well but still is blousing a little. I have recently been into darting the back of my shirts when I take them into the tailor. It looks like you are not doing that with this shirt. What is your thought on that? Am I wasting my time and money with darting?



    • Gerard

      Been looking for a tweed suit set just like this for my wedding. Where and when can I purchase?


    • Ambyr

      Loving the Retro Corporate and Business Casual looks. Tweed is one of my favorite menswear fabrics, and I like to incorporate a menswear twist on my styles.


    • leon

      Again, Loved the looks. The only problem is that here where I live, the man clothing stores don’t offer variety… nothing beyond some bad taste-ish shirts, jeans, tees and that stuff. I never saw a suit like this for sale. That’s what makes me angrier the most.

      Recently I found an awesome shoe store for a more-than-reasonable price for its products. I mean… why does it have to be so hard to find a good tailor or a store with more “edgier” products?!

      Just saying.

    • MOZART5000

      Love. This. Post. For look 6, I feel like the vest clashes with the pockets of the blazer. Thoughts?

    • niraj

      great post Dan, definitely loving the opportunities the waist coast presents. Is this something we can hope to purchase soon from the TSB shop?

    • Zain

      Great post, some sly reusing of some of your best looks over the years – proves good stuff is built to last. That’s the worst bit about reading this blog and being a student; you know that buying expensive is buying long term but you just don’t have the cash to do it and need to replace everything after a while – ah well, the time will come.

      Happy Holidays!

    • mt

      where is the quilted jacket from?

      • SB

        Club Monaco.

        Thx for reading

    • cam

      also, on my last custom 3-piece, i did the back of my waistcoat out of the same fabric vs. a silk back and also 86ed the adjustable strap. i must say its awesome!

      • SB

        Sounds cool, although I like the contrast of the back lining and I can’t do without the adjustable strap – need that for after those big meals.


    • cam

      hey dan, you must super busy. great post btw. quick question: where do you feel the ‘V’ should hit on the waistcoat? i’m thinking somewhere between the sternum and top of the rib cage? your thoughts?

      • SB

        hey cam. good question. I typically like to show about 3 inches of vest when the jacket is buttoned over it. My jacket button stance is about 17.5″ and vest around 14″, i think.

        Thx for reading and happy holidays.