Ask the Tailor: Should I Commission a Two or Three Piece Suit?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re asking whether you should commission a two or three piece suit.

A suit consists of two or three pieces. The jacket and the trousers are necessary parts of the whole, but whether or not you choose to add a waistcoat is up to you. 

Most modern suits do not come with a waistcoat as standard. Whether for the office, weddings, parties or events, most gentlemen feel that a jacket and trousers is formal enough. 

However, waistcoats are far from obsolete. In recent decades this tailoring staple has come back in a very big way, and we’d say that three piece suits are back in favour.

The question of whether you should commission a two or three piece suit depends on a range of factors.

Do you enjoy wearing a waistcoat? 

This one might be a no brainer for you. If you are a big waistcoat fan and wear them often, adding a matching waistcoat to your bespoke suit order is likely to be money well spent. Alternatively, if you rarely wear them, you're unlikely to get much wear out of it.

Do you own a three piece suit already?

There are very few occasions where a three piece suit will be mandatory. If you already have a three piece suit you may not feel that you need another. Of course, we’ll add the caveat here that if you love your three piece suit and wear the trifecta often, you’re likely to love a second three piece suit just as much.

Do you attend a lot of formal occasions?

A waistcoat can be an excellent addition to your look for formal occasions. Not only will it elevate your look from your usual workday outfit, it will also add extra interest and individuality. If you attend a fair number of formal events, you may want to give yourself the option of adding this extra layer of formality to your look.

Still not sure? If in doubt, it may be wise to choose the three piece suit. After all, you don’t always need to wear the waistcoat with the rest of your suit, but it’s great to have the option for occasions when you want to look extra dapper. 

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to give us the lowdown on super counts. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.