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A Guide On How To Style three-Piece Suit For Men

A three-piece suit entails a vest or waistcoat in addition to a jacket and trousers. Traditionally, a three-piece suit is considered a formal counterpart to a classic two-piece one. But you can easily style it in casual settings as well. And due to this versatility, a three-piece suit for men is an essential outfit.

However, this style has its own set of rules and expectations. And if you truly rock the look, it is vital to consider them when wearing a three-piece suit. In this article, we will take you through a comprehensive guide on how to style a three-piece suit with some key considerations to win the look and create suave.

Why should you wear a three-piece suit?

A three-piece suit is a perfect ensemble to reach if you want to stand apart from the crowd at a social event. Three-piece suits complement people who are stylish and confident about their fashion statement. The vest creates a perfect finish to a sophisticated and stylish look. It becomes an integral part of the ensemble when worn over a dress shirt.

Moreover, this entire ensemble offers you a variety of styling opportunities. Depending on the formality of the occasion, you can omit a suit jacket and wear a waistcoat only, achieving a seamless gentleman’s look. Or you can also wear it as a two-piece suit by leaving a vest at home.

How should a three-piece suit fit?

Fit is the most important aspect of rocking your three-piece look. Make sure your suit falls perfectly on your body. When it comes to fit, the old suit rules are universal and apply to this type of suit as well, with a few exceptions for the vest, of course. Let’s quickly go through these rules below.


Finding the right fit for the vest seems straightforward but could be tricky. Remember, your waistcoat should look great on its own over a dress shirt, as you sometimes may choose to omit the jacket. There are some factors that help you determine the perfect waistcoat size. The front hem should be long enough to conceal the trouser’s waistband. The waistcoat’s inch or two should be visible when the jacket is layered. Moreover, it should be narrower at the waist. But the sides should fall down straight. 


A suit jacket is a perfect fit if your shoulder pads end at your shoulder’s edges. Extending shoulders look phonier and break your entire look. Next, focus on buttons. The top button should not be lower than your navel if there are two buttons. If there are three, then the same applies to the middle one. Always leave the lower button undone. The jacket’s length should end at your hands. And the sleeve’s length ends at your wrist and thumb joint. Finally, your shirt should stick out half an inch from your shirt’s sleeves.


Your trousers should rest high on your natural waist. However, younger men may prefer a lower waist and slimmer fit. Avoid wearing a belt with a three-piece suit, as it may cause the vest to bulge. Instead, opt for suspenders, or best if you can keep your pants without support. Trouser length depends on personal choice. Short guys may prefer the pants’ hemline to just touch the shoes, and taller guys would want some creases down there.

Best colour combinations for a three-piece suit

Colour plays an important role in deciding the formality of your three-piece suit. Opt for navy blue or charcoal jackets with brown shoes for more formal events. The entire suit should be created out of a single fabric. For less formal events, you can try coordinating or contrasting vests.

Navy blue and light blue suits are perfect for weddings. You don’t want to wear something too dark or sombre for this. Moreover, white shirts are versatile and can go with every suit. They look crisp and clean and offer a nice background for every tie type. Besides, this light blue is also a great alternative to classic white shirts. And it goes perfectly with a variety of suit colours.

Points to ponder when wearing a three-piece suit

Opt for a single-breasted jacket.

Pairing a double-breasted jacket with a waistcoat could be tricky and almost impossible. Double-breasted jackets don’t give enough space for the vest to peep out and show itself. However, a skilled tailor could create the three-piece version of this suit type. But a single-breasted jacket is generally a smarter option for styling a three-piece suit for men.

Don’t skip the tie

An open-collared shirt styled with a vest could be a relaxed combination for casual events. But nothing is better than a tie to bring that traditional formality to a suit. If you want to embrace the formality of a three-piece suit, omitting a necktie will not help you achieve the impression you are looking for.

Ensure the vest covers your waist.

If you want to look crisp with a vest and trousers pair, make sure your waistcoat completely hides in your pant’s waistband. The exposed gap between your waistcoat and trouser will make your suit look sloppy and ill-fitting. Your waistcoat should be long enough to hire the waistband of your trouser.

Style patterned shirts with caution

If you are wearing a three-piece suit, you want to keep your vest in the centre of the focus. You may find many stylish shirts for men with distinguishing features like prints, patterns, stripes, or checks. While they seem to add character to your ensemble, they can pull the attention away from the fabric, style, and cut of your waistcoat. So at best, you should avoid such patterns on your shirt and stick to a solid formality.

Key takeaway

A three-piece suit for men has always been classy business attire that offers a sharp, confident look. It is a must-have piece in every man’s wardrobe. But when it comes to styling, make sure every ensemble of suits perfectly fits your stature. Choose colours that complement your outfit and suit the tone of the event you are heading to.

Moreover, opt for the right jacket style that gives enough space for your vest to show up and shine. Opt for the right tie and ensure your waistcoat is the right size. Lastly, there is a wide range of men’s stylish shirts in the market. But choose the one that goes with your suit without overpowering the ensemble. Keeping these things in mind will help you seamlessly style your three-piece suit.

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