Image Credit: Allie Claire Creative

Three Piece Perfection

The proverb ‘all good things come in threes’ has many meanings. Some think it means that things that come in threes are fortunate, others think it is simply more satisfying and effective than other numbers. Some people think that the number three has magical properties or powers. Well, whatever you think the proverb means, we can all agree that there are many great things in this world that come in threes. From the Bee Gees to the Musketeers to the primary colours, our world is filled with threes. So why not incorporate this fortunate, satisfying and possibly magical number into your wedding attire? Melbourne Wedding & Bride’s Emily Axford sits down with Angelo Salerno, owner at Mens Suit Warehouse, to talk about the ever-sophisticated three-piece suit, why you should wear one and how to add your own personal touch to this timeless look.

Angelo Salerno knows a thing or three about suits, having been in the wedding and suit industry for over thirty years. The first Mens Suit Warehouse store opened in 1995 and has now expanded to have four stores across Melbourne, all working to help grooms, their families and groomsmen get suited up for the special day. “It’s always a pleasure helping families get sorted for such a special occasion and our vision is always to do so with simplicity in mind,” details Salerno. Mens Suit Warehouse boasts the best selection of brands, so it can cater for all budgets and looks. “When you’re shopping for your wedding party, you want to have enough options to complete your look within the theme you’d like and keep within your budget,” Salerno explains, noting that this is something that Mens Suit Warehouse excels at.

Three Is The Magic Number

So, what exactly is a three-piece suit and why should you get one? A three-piece suit is a jacket, vest and trouser combination that is best suited for formal occasions as it exudes elegance and sophistication. The ensemble is more refined than your everyday two-piece suit but is still subtle enough to not stand out too much. For example, you can use a three-piece suit to subtly differentiate from your groomsmen while keeping a cohesive formality and aesthetic. Due to the addition of the vest, the look retains its sophistication and neatness even when you remove your jacket – so a three-piece suit is ideal for boogying on the dance floor.

Much like a two-piece suit, there are certain recommendations that should be adhered to when wearing a three-piece suit. “The vest sizing and fit needs to be consistent with the suit, so it’s best to stick with the same brand for all three pieces or invest in tailoring to get the fits all consistent,” Salerno recommends. 

On top of that, the vest should always be buttoned up, lest it lose its timeless sophistication. It is also recommended that there be no gap between the vest and trousers as it ruins the harmony of the suit – opt for high waisted pants to prevent this!

Mix Or Match

Hooray! You’ve decided to go with a three-piece suit… but what colour are you going to get? What pattern or fabric? Salerno answers these questions quite succinctly; “It all depends on your wedding theme and dress code. A classic theme may opt for matching the colours and fabrics for all pieces of the suit. In contrast, a more casual or expressive wedding theme may involve mixing some tones and colours together.” According to Salerno, the mixing of tones and fabrics is quite common at Mens Suit Warehouse and looks “unique and awesome when it’s done right.” Naturally, it is important to keep in mind the colour theme that you and your partner chose for the wedding when picking your three-piece suit so the entire wedding party can have one cohesive look.

It is important to make sure the fabric of your chosen pieces, whether it be velvet, cotton, tweed or wool, is of a high quality, otherwise you run the risk of looking cheap. Like colours, the fabric you choose can also increase and decrease the formality of your look, with velvet being one of the ultimate black-tie looks and tweed being of a more casual nature. Additionally, you may consider a patterned material to add intrigue into your attire. To name a few, checkered or glen plaid offers a more relaxed look, self-stripe is subtle but effective, or you can go all out with a brocade pattern that offers a textural and visual treat. The choices really are endless.

Bring the Bling

Like any other suit, you can accessorise a three piece suit to add your own personal touch. A tie and dress shoes are recommended to complete the look of the three-piece suit and, if you can help it, it is recommended that you don’t wear a belt to ensure a clean, no-fuss finish. “To make the look more personal, you can add cufflinks to your shirt or bring in a lapel pin that has some personal meaning to you,” Salerno notes. Additionally, “a really popular addition at the moment is the pocket watch.” By adding a pocket watch instead of a wristwatch, you enhance the elegance of the look or, if you do not want to have a pocket watch but want the same look, you can add a chain accessory.

Of course, you can’t go past the humble pocket square. In a matching three-piece suit, the pocket square helps break up the blocks of colour and having one that complements the tie or bowtie is advisable, otherwise it could look tacky. If you choose to wear a different coloured vest to your jacket and trousers, then a pocket square of the matching colour will bring the whole ensemble together.

Image courtesy of Country Mile Photography