The changing landscape of men’s formalwear brings with it many opportunities for expression and even innovation, but it’s often hard to keep up with new trends. There are a lot of options out there, from the tuxedo and traditional wedding suit to tweed, tartan and herringbone.
One timeless classic that appears to transcend most styles, and which has been a staple at weddings for generations, is the 3 piece suit. The traditional 3 piece suit is defined as featuring a jacket, waist-coast and trouser, usually finished with a pocket square and tie that either matches or complements. Sometimes the colour and material of all three is uniform, although a growing number are choosing to mix and match to create new looks and add depth to their outfit.
But as styles shift, is the 3 piece suit still the right choice for men in 2020? Well, whether it’s a Hollywood awards ceremony, a film premiere or just a formal get-together, the look certainly remains a hit for the world’s biggest stars and fashion influencers. Actor Henry Cavill is a fine exponent of the look and is rarely seen at events in anything other than a three-piece. The 36-year-old, who became a household name with his portrayal of Superman in 2013, usually keeps things understated, combining dark blues, greys and blacks to achieve a classic look on the red carpet. Fellow action hero Channing Tatum is another fine ambassador for the style, often utilising pinstripes, light checks and lighter greys to build a timeless outfit.
Other influential fashionistas helping to keep the 3 piece in vogue are model David Gandy, who typically opts for darker blues and blacks, and Mad Men star John Hamm, who recently caught the eye in a grey three-piece complemented by black contrast buttons and pocket square. But away from all that A-list glamour, the 3 piece suit remains the perfect choice for weddings as it provides formality, with no shortage of adaptability.
A classic dark grey jacket-waistcoat-trouser combo, paired with black tie and pocket square helps you achieve a clean contemporary look, while blues and lighter greys are equally strong candidate colours. The popular tweed suit style also works great in a 3 piece and allows wedding guests to strike an effortless autumnal look by combining browns, blues and yellows.
Consider a blue-yellow check waist-coat and pocket square, alongside a brown jacket and trouser, and white linen shirt to achieve a timeless rustic style, or take a classic light blue trouser and jacket, and pair with a grey and black check waistcoat for something more traditional yet eye-catching.
By building a wardrobe featuring a range of jackets, trousers and waistcoats, you can mix and match to create new looks, without the need to buy a new suit each time.
Colours to look out for in 2020 include green and burgundy, offering a modern twist on the classic wedding blue suit, while bold checks, either throughout the outfit or just in the waistcoat, are expected to be an increasingly common sight.
So although the classic men’s suit is forever changing, it seems the classic 3 piece suit truly is here to stay.