Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Prior to WWII three piece suits were the norm. After somewhat of a hiatus in the 50s & 60s (I don't really count the 60's trend of different colored vests), from about the mid-70s to early 80s they were extremely popular again. After that, they only seem to pop-up sporadically.

I'm seeing them advertised and in stores more frequently. David Letterman is also wearing one on the "Late Show" at the moment. Now, I've never considered him at the forefront of style, but it's the first time I've ever seen him wear one.

So just another invitation to speculate from yours truly: is the three piece suit making yet another comeback, or is this a flash in the pan?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
I believe that it is both coming back AND a flash in the pan. Men's fashion has become much more cyclic and trend driven (more like women's in that regard). Much like the three button suit (not to be confused with 3/2), the three piece suit is coming back because designers need a "new" look to sell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Until the early 1980s almost all winter weight Brooks Brothers suits came with three pieces. I remember my closet having a number of unworn waistcots hung together at the forlorn end. I was clearly not alone as BB dispensed with the third piece entirely by 1985. as an aside, I also remember their upper end suits haaving a loop on the inside of the lapel on the button hole side that was for securing boutonnieres. Imagine that!

Cheers to all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
three pieces were never out of style, just out of fashion.
Agree.

"After somewhat of a hiatus in the 50s & 60s (I don't really count the 60's trend of different colored vests), from about the mid-70s to early 80s they were extremely popular again. After that, they only seem to pop-up sporadically."
then in the 90's - mid 2000's - out of fashion
mid 2000's -present - in fashion
2010 or 2015 - out of fashion

I only have one 3-piece suit and have only worn the waistcoat with it about 3 time. My next and last 3-piece would been a dinner suit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^ I have to disagree slightly in that I do recall seeing them sold/advertised a little bit more around '94-'95. But it was a fleeting thing.

As for cumberlandpeal's comment: LOL- My dad had a bunch of suits where he'd set aside the vest as well- I always wondered why he didn't just buy a regular two piece suit. Must've been hard to come by at that time, from what you've said. Were the BB jackets with these sack? For some reason, I think of the 3-p (after about 1947, at least) as going with a 2b darted jacket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Throughout the 1980s, JAB offered a few 3-piece suits every fall/winter season. The catalogue included instructions for ordering a vest for those suits which did not already include one.

Remember--at least at the beginning of the decade, Bank was still making traditional clothing in the USA, and was a decent source for Harris tweed, cavalry twill, and navy blue serge.

Enjoy the weekend.:icon_smile:

hbs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
J.Press used to sell alot of 3-pieces - I had lunch with a friend yesterday who had an old J. Press 3-piece which was a really nice Donegal tweed in gray.

It was a 3/2 sack with side vents.
Forward Pleat Trousers.


Nice, I'd like to see those in the line up again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
J.Press used to sell alot of 3-pieces - I had lunch with a friend yesterday who had an old J. Press 3-piece which was a really nice Donegal tweed in gray.

It was a 3/2 sack with side vents.
Forward Pleat Trousers.

Nice, I'd like to see those in the line up again.
J. Press had a couple of that very suit (it looked a bit more beige Donegal to me) on sale for 70% off in the most recent sale. Same set up - 3/2, side vent, forward pleats.

Very cool suit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I've never abandoned the waistcoat.

I've been having my suits made for me, for more than 20 years now, and for the past 15 years or so my standard look has been a double-breasted suit with a vest: a look that can't possibly be bought off-the-rack. That third piece completes a man's turnout, makes him look neater and more prosperous.

A contrasting vest with a single-breasted suit can be a very smart look, if somewhat studied. An off-white vest with a dark suit can be quite striking; so can a black vest with a lighter grey or black/white nailhead, or even with a glen plaid suit. A navy blue vest would look well with a lighter blue/grey suit. However, it is not a "trad" look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
J. Press had a couple of that very suit (it looked a bit more beige Donegal to me) on sale for 70% off in the most recent sale. Same set up - 3/2, side vent, forward pleats.

Very cool suit.
Really? In NYC?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Three piece suits will be dead in ten years. They will go the way of the bow tie -- eccentric -- and the way of the club collar. Sometimes, styles just die. It is sad, as I like the look of the three piece. But this is the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I agree w/ who said above that the three pieces we're seeing now is a result of clothing companies needing a new look to sell. I'm not sure they're catching on though. Granted it's harder to tell now w/ most men wearing top coats outside in the cold but I see only very few men wearing three piece suits out and about here in Chicago.

That said, I like them and my next suit will be probably be a brown three piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
I agree w/ who said above that the three pieces we're seeing now is a result of clothing companies needing a new look to sell. I'm not sure they're catching on though. Granted it's harder to tell now w/ most men wearing top coats outside in the cold but I see only very few men wearing three piece suits out and about here in Chicago.

That said, I like them and my next suit will be probably be a brown three piece.
All looks cycle in and out. It does not matter how classic an item is, the fashion powers that be move on and then reintroduce things from time to time.

An example is the cardigan sweaters or the shawl collar sweaters that everyone on this board loves so much now. Cardigans made a big comeback in the late 80s. I have a couple, but by around 1995, I thought I would never wear them again. They were very out of style when everyone was wearing Amjack striped shirts. If you wore one, people would have asked why you were impersonating Mr. Rogers or Steve Urkel. Guess what, I am wearing them again now. Vests seem to follow this trend also.

The three piece suit is a classic that is never really out of style, only out of fashion. There are a few men out there who wear them all the time. It is also not a style that everyone looks good in. I think it helps to look a little bit like John Houseman above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,021 Posts
Your timing is perfect . . .

. . . please check "What Are You Wearing Today" in the Fashion Forum, as I am wearing a brown three-piece suit today - it was BB GF from a couple of seasons ago. Hope that you like mine.

I like three-piece suits, I am eccentric in matters of dress, and today, with 14F degrees out in NYC, I liked having an extra layer of clothing.

I agree w/ who said above that the three pieces we're seeing now is a result of clothing companies needing a new look to sell. I'm not sure they're catching on though. Granted it's harder to tell now w/ most men wearing top coats outside in the cold but I see only very few men wearing three piece suits out and about here in Chicago.

That said, I like them and my next suit will be probably be a brown three piece.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top