The Mixed Three-Piece Suit

As you know, I’m all about versatile tailoring. Thinking about your suits as a collection rather than just individual pieces will ensure you’re able to get the most of them. When you think big-picture in this way, and invest in suits that complement each other, you can combine them in many ways.

Lately, I’ve been putting this idea into practice with my own wardrobe. I call it the mixed three-piece suit. Here’s one example.

houndstooth suit vest waistocat

houndstooth suit vest waistocat

| WEARING | J.Crew blazer, QG Custom waistcoat, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece shirt, Vintage Yves Saint Laurent pants, Watch c/o Uniform Wares, Tateossian and Cantini MC Firenze bracelets, Boots c/o Jack Erwin | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

If you love the idea of wearing a three-piece suit but not the formality, the mixed three-piece is a great compromise. A combination of patterns, colors and textures is a playful and less dressy take on the full-on version. Keep it casual by losing the tie and wearing an open button-down collared shirt.

Recognize the pattern and fabric of my waistcoat? It’s part of my newest three-piece suit and as I mentioned last Friday, we’ll be showcasing it a variety of ways over the next couple of weeks. The waistcoat is always my favorite part of any three-piece suit.

houndstooth suit vest waistocat

Got to have a great pair of chelsea boots. They literally go with anything and are the perfect footwear to anchor a look like this.

brown leather chelsea boots

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • Seth Nelson

    Fantastic. I have long appreciated your emphasis on the versatility of three-piece suits, and it is great to see that practiced in this way, combining three 3-piece suits. Well done.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks, Seth! By the way, sorry we missed each other in SA. My allergies got the best of me and I was down for the count pretty much the entire time.

      • Seth Nelson

        Understood. Allergies are a problem down here in the Hill Country. But seeing as how we don’t have blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, etc., I don’t complain too much. Hope you fare better next time.

  • Travis Rozich

    Hi Brian! I have a question about the cut of the waistcoat that you’re wearing – unless there’s a fifth button hiding somewhere under the lapel, it looks like this a four-button style, exposing more of the shirt and tie than the more traditional 5+ button waistcoats that one usually sees (other than u-shaped formal waistcoats I suppose). As this is part of a custom suit, I’m guessing you consciously made the decision to opt for a 4-button waistcoat, and so I’m curious if you could speak to that choice? We’ll probably see it later, but how much of that waistcoat is visible underneath the accompanying blazer? Thanks!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Good question, Travis. The absence of the fifth button is due to the fact that I opted for lapels on the waistcoat. With the program I used, choosing lapels equals one less button.

      With the full three-piece, you can see about 1-1.5″ of the waistcoat when the jacket is buttoned.

      I wanted to get lapels on the this particular waistcoat because of the fabric, which pairs nicely with denim. Waistcoat lapels add a nice sartorially touch to heavier fabrics and I thought this was the perfect suit to do it with.

  • Tomboy

    I love, I will try recreate this :) .

  • Bob W

    Hi, Brian –

    Could you dress this down with dark brown chinos (like from Bonobos) or a dark brown pant with a looser jeans cut and accents (like Tommy Bahama)? And I have a John Varvatos waistcoat of this same color with a pattern to it that has six or seven buttons (can’t remember how many) – would that still work?