1 Piece, 6 Ways: Black Three Piece Suit

A three piece suit is one of the most versatile menswear pieces a guy can own.

A three piece suit is one of the most versatile menswear pieces a guy can own. And a black three piece suit is obviously no exception. The great thing about a three piece suit is that it doesn’t always have to be the complete package. You can get a ton of mileage out of mixing it up and pairing pieces together or as separates with other items in your wardrobe. Though when you do put it all together there really is no more commanding look. Here are six examples of how a black three piece suit can look put together and taken apart.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

1. Three Piece – All Business

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

No look presents quite as powerful an image as a three piece suit. It’s masculine, elegant, and definitely says that you mean business.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

While a black three piece suit already makes a bold statement, pairing it with similarly bold colored accessories, like a deep red or burgundy tie and pocket square, makes it even more powerful.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black three piece suit by Stile Benetton, White slim fit french cuff shirt by Brooks Brothers, Burgundy pin dot tie and silk pocket square by The Tie Bar, Black leather cap toe oxford shoes by Cole Haan, Black socks by Johnston & Murphy, Black and silver cuff links by David Donahue, Black leather belt by Perry Ellis, watch with black leather band by Timex, Black leather briefcase by Coach.

2. Jacket & Pants – Mr. Brown

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

Absolutely timeless and classic. A black two piece suit looks great on everyone. For formal events it’s a no brainer. But anytime you want to make a statement, a well tailored black two piece will certainly get the job done.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

While you can definitely interpret it as a blank canvas that will accept many color combinations, I like to rock it in its most classic manifestation with a crisp white shirt and pocket square, and a black tie with a sliver tie bar.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black jacket and pants by Stile Benetton, White slim fit french cuff shirt by Brooks Brothers, black skinny tie (Army issue), Silver tie bar by The Tie Bar, Black leather cap toe oxford shoes by Cole Haan, black socks by Johnston & Murphy, black leather belt by Perry Ellis, white linen pocket square (vintage), watch with black leather band by Timex.

3. Wasitcoat & Pants – Fine and Dandy

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

My favorite piece in any three piece suit is always the waistcoat, or vest. A waistcoat adds extraordinary versatility to any suit and I would definitely recommend adding one whenever possible. A waistcoat is meant to fit closely to the body and can be fine tuned by the adjuster on the back of the garment. Worn without the jacket, it creates a wonderful, slim silhouette. As a result, it’s important to make sure your shirt fit is on point.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

A pocket watch is a great addition to any look with a waistcoat, but especially when it is worn without the jacket. I am not a jewelry guy but there’s nothing like adding a little flash to a look with a nice pocket watch chain.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black waistcoat and pants by Stile Benetton, Pink striped cotton oxford shirt by J.Crew, Gold and navy striped bow tie and white cotton pocket square with navy border by The Tie Bar, Blue patterned socks by Johnston & Murphy, Black penny loafers by Bass Weejuns, Silver pocket watch by Bellagio Bel Tempo, Silver T-bar pocket watch chain by Dueber Watch Co.

4. Waistcoat Separate – Date Night

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

There is no better way to dress up a casual look than by adding a waistcoat. It’s a great upgrade to your look for a casual date night. And if it happens to be a first date, you are guaranteed to score major style points. When worn as a separate, treat your waistcoat like you would a blazer, being sure to finish off the look with a great pocket square fold.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

Bonus Tip: Always leave the bottom button of your waistcoat unbuttoned. It’s an old menswear detail and tradition that is worthy of preserving.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black waistcoat by Stile Benetton, Dark denim jeans and chambray shirt by J.Crew, Ecru plaid tie and brown pocket square by The Tie Bar, Brown suede penny loafers by To Boot New York, Brown socks by Johnston & Murphy, Brown leather plaque belt by J.Crew, watch with brown leather strap by Timex.

5. Jacket Separate – Art Opening

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

It can be difficult to wear a black suit jacket as a separate. It is a fairly formal-looking garment and, depending on the fabric, can be a challenge to match with different pants even if you are a fabric or pattern mixing pro. Taking a playful approach can often lead to great results.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

A pair of plum or burgundy pants are a great investment. They are subtle enough to not call attention to themselves, but definitely an interesting departure from a black on black ensemble. A fun pocket square can really tie a look like this together. Here it compliments the burgundy pants and provides an extra bit of pop.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black suit jacket by Stile Benetton, Burgundy pants by Express, Black v-neck t-shirt by American Apparel, Plum and gold paisley pocket square by The Tie Bar, Black leather belt by Perry Ellis, Grey socks by Johnston and Murphy, Black penny loafers by Bass Weejuns.

6. Pants Separate – Casual Friday

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

I know what you are thinking: black pants and brown shoes? There’s a rule against that, right? Traditionally, yes, black pants, black shoes. Period. But what good are rules if they’re not broken every once in a while? Brown shoes can work with black pants if you do it right.

The key is to pair other brown garments with the black pants. That way the brown shoes don’t appear as such an aberration. And, as always, wearing it with confidence can make a huge difference.

Black Three Piece Suit - He Spoke Style

This look: Black pants by Stile Benetton, Brown gingham shirt by Neiman Marcus, Tan half zip sweater and leather plaque belt by J.Crew, Black socks by Johnston & Murphy, Brown suede penny loafers by To Boot New York, watch with brown leather strap by Timex.

Chime In

  • http://thesuitsofjamesbond.com Matt S

    This would be better if the suit was grey instead of black. Not only would it be better for business, but grey trousers work better on their own (and look much better with brown shoes) and a it’s a better waistcoat instead of black (which is the standard for waiters).

    • Brian

      Thanks so much for reading, Matt.

  • Patrick

    Black or gray, it’s a great guide! I think I will have to invest in a three piece suit. Thanks, Brian.

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      You got it, man. Thanks for reading.

  • Martin

    Just bought myself a nice waistcoat for a Christmas dinner with my company colleagues. My idea is to fit it with black pants (jeans with a fine cut), burgundy regular fit shirt, black tie, black belt with a greyish buckle, black shoes and a black suit jacket. What do you think about the combo?

  • Eborah Ebube

    Please i have a black suit,a black tie and and a red shirt.please show me different ways i can dress up in that,its for a valentine get-together..You can also recommend any colour or dressing for me..The dress code is Red,black and white…will be glad to get a reply.Thanks

  • himanshu

    I am confused between the black and gray. Which one would be better.

  • Seth Nelson

    Finally got my first three-piece suit (made to measure, dark earth tones, gentle plaid). I’m very excited. I’ve already started working through wearing it six ways. Now I’m wondering: no seventh way? Do you ever wear the waistcoat and suit coat with different trousers? It seems difficult to avoid being top heavy. But I wanted to see if you had any ideas for this.