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Wear a Three-Piece Suit Here…But Not Here


There are times when you’re expected to wear a three-piece suit. Maybe you’re a groomsman in a wedding or it’s National Three-Piece Suit Day (okay, we made that day up, but hey, write to your congressperson, maybe we can get it done). But there are plenty of other occasions when a three-piece suit would work. And what about the other days, the average Tuesdays when nothing special’s going on? Who says you can’t wear a three-piece suit then?

If you’ve got a three-piece in your closet, consider this your official guide to how to get the most out of it. And if you don’t have one in your closet, then you’ll probably want to add one to your collection after you see how easy they are to wear and how great they can look.


Do wear a three piece suit to work when you’ve got a presentation


Usually, when you’re standing, we suggest you button your jacket, and when you’re seated, we suggest you unbutton it. When you’ve got a three-piece suit on, the vest means you can leave the jacket open when standing and still look put together. So if you’ll go from sitting in a meeting to presenting in a meeting, the three-piece handles the sitting and standing with ease. Or, you can drop the jacket altogether in some settings. For instance, if you are rolling up your sleeves and brainstorming, you can literally roll up your sleeves and keep the vest on for a look that says, “I’m all business, but I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.”

Don’t wear a three piece suit to a job interview

A three-piece suit is a little much for a job interview. In an interview, confident looks good, but a three-piece is a bit bold. When you’re looking for interview suits, be careful not to step on the gas pedal too hard with your suit. A simple, two-piece suit, white shirt and an unassuming tie is the way to go. After all, you don’t want your clothes upstaging you.

Do wear a three-piece suit to a wedding you’re not in


Many guys think a three-piece suit is necessary for the groom and groomsmen and they pigeonhole the look as appropriate only for that one event. But when they’re not in the groom’s party, the three-piece sits in the closet. The truth is, the three-piece suit looks great on anybody at a special occasion like a wedding. It’s not only stylish, but functional. After all, what’s a wedding without a little dance floor action at the reception? Ditching the jacket and hitting the floor leaves a lot of guys looking like a sweaty mess by the time the cake is served. But the vest helps you keep your look classy and keeps your tie from flying around when spin around like James Brown getting on the good foot. Stay classy people.


Don’t wear a three-piece to a beach wedding

Despite what we wrote above, there are some weddings where a three-piece suit isn’t appropriate. Don’t be the guy who busts out a three-piece suit at a beach wedding while everybody else is in chinos and sport shirts. Not only will you be sweltering in the heat, but you’ll likely be showing up the groom. The same goes for a barn wedding or just about any destination where the vibe is more relaxed.

Do wear a three-piece suit
to the office with a dress shirt and tie


Just about any time you would wear a suit and tie to work you can make it a three-piece suit. Adding the vest adds a bit of gravitas to your look. Nobody’s ever been mistaken for an intern in a three-piece suit. So when you need a little boost, think of the vest as the performance enhancing drug of businesswear.

Don’t wear a three-piece to the office without a dress shirt and tie

There are some times when you’d wear a suit without a tie. Maybe you’re rocking the polo shirt and suit look. It should go without saying that a vest on top of a polo would look a little ridiculous. There is some room for debate when you’re wearing a turtleneck and a suit. The folks over at GQ seem to have fallen in love with this look of late, putting everybody from Idris Elba to Diplo in turtlenecks with three-piece suits and even dropping a rugged henley shirt under Corey Stoll’s three-piece suit. The vest-on-turtleneck look can come out color blocky and unflattering on most guys, and the henley just takes all of the wind out of the three-piece’s sails.

Three Pieces, Infinite Opportunities

Hopefully we’ve opened your eyes to the wide range of choices you have for wearing your three-piece suits. When one fabric is made into three pieces, putting together the outfits couldn’t be easier. If you’ve got the parts, you’re most of the way there. If not, check out the three-piece suits from Black Lapel!

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17 thoughts on “Wear a Three-Piece Suit Here…But Not Here”

  1. Duane says:

    Is it ok to wear a three piece suit at a funeral?

  2. Bill says:

    I’ve been wearing three piece suits since 2005 (I was 18 then)! And honestly they’ve never let me down!

    On my last job interview I showed up in a three piece suit. They all seemed impressed at the office. The next day I got the job, so I think it somehow helped..

    It has become my personal style and no one seem to bother, and why they should be since that’s what I like to wear.

    So I definitely recommend to anyone out there to try a three piece suit anywhere they like!

    Three-piece-suit-up guys! 👔

  3. Chris Pederson says:

    I like how you said that a three-piece suit looks good on anybody at a wedding. I am getting married in April. I am trying to come up with a style for my groomsmen. I’ll see what my wife thinks about having all of them wear three-piece suits.

  4. Clate says:

    Good stuff! I’ve been wearing three-piece suits since I was twenty (1997)–long before the current revival. Some think they’re a bit much, and I’ve gotten the gratuitous “aren’t you hot wearing that?” comment–from little boys who assuredly can’t dress themselves. Whether people notice or not, I always feel like a million bucks when I’m wearing one.

  5. John says:

    The article mentions gravitas, and I agree. If you are wearing a three-piece suit, you can take off your jacket at work and still project authority.

  6. James Smith says:

    What a load of absolute bollocks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Which part!?

  7. Michel says:

    Thanks for the advice! But I was also wondering, is it okay to wear a three piece suit just casually? Like on a saturday when you just walk around the town and have a drink? Or at night when you go out with friends? And for my age (20)?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Michel, the honest advice is while it’s okay to wear your suit any way you like, a three-piece for a night out might just seem too much, especially for a younger man. You may come off a bit stiff, is all. Lighten it up and have some fun dressing it down and wear a blazer out instead. You’ll pull the right amount of attention while also giving off enough of a laid-back vibe.

  8. Dan says:

    I was wondering if you think a 3 piece suit or a double breasted peak lapel suit is more formal. Is one more formal than the other or are they of equal formality? Your thoughts and opinion is valued and appreciated.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Dan! Even though the double-breasted suit has a peak lapel, the 3-piece suit will still be more formal!

  9. Khoi says:

    The charcoal brown, blue overcheck three-piece is a thing of beauty. I just got it a few days ago and Justin was right…I was in good hands. It fits flawlessly. Will be doing a review for sure. Cheers and Merry Christmas to the Black Lapel family!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our Justin doesn’t mess around. Thank you for the kind words. 5-Star reviews are very much like a Christmas gift to us 🙂 Cheers to you!

  10. Guptil says:

    Some great ideas here, will surely be trying these out on Christmas day i.e coming around! basically I was looking for a guide on men hairstyles as I am only able to have my hair where i want if there is product in it. i have only used pomades with my hair and i want to messy/disconnected styled undercut like so:

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like you’re looking for a different article, Guptil. While we focus on clothing style, we’ve written about grooming too in articles like our Hair Products Guide.

      1. Jason says:

        I think this is probably a spam comment. It doesn’t fit the article at all, and it has a link.

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