The Odd Vest

October 4th, 2013

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Three-piece suits are bossy, no question. But anybody can match a jacket, trouser and waistcoat of the same fabric – that’s a no brainer.

It takes a little more style and grace to use an odd waistcoat as a complementary fabric with another suit. It’s also a great way to start slowly introducing layers as we move into Fall.

Here’s three examples from my personal wardrobe, along with some tips on how to pull it off.

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1. Pattern Play

01

The waistcoat is a very underrated piece in menswear, especially in the corporate business world where there are limited “acceptable” items to play with.

Tailoring can be fun and creative if you understand traditions and “rules” but don’t take them all too seriously.

03

This grey/brown/cream/orange waistcoat is from one of my boldest three-piece suits. It’s a wool/silk/linen fabric that caught my eye and made me discover Ariston: a family-operated fabric mill in Naples that’s known for small-batch designs that are unique, eye-catching and always tasteful.

The Fall color palette of the waistcoat makes it a perfect accent to this lightweight taupe suit (also Ariston fabric) that my man Angel Bespoke made for me this summer, complete with his signature soft shoulder, 3-roll-to-2 closure, and accentuated taper at the midsection.

06

Nothing finishes off a badass 3-piece like a pair of classic captoes in genuine crocodile.

05

  • Tortoise shades Vintage by Hugo Boss x Carrera via Brandon at Noel Vintage Boutique
  • Taupe suit custom made by ANGEL | BESPOKE (fabric by Ariston)
  • Windowpane check waistcoat (part of suit) by Michael Andrews Bespoke (cloth by Ariston)
  • Grey stripe contrast collar shirt by Ralph Lauren Black Label
  • Navy/orange geometric floral tie Vintage
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
  • Crocodile captoe lace-ups by Scarpe di Bianco
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  • http://www.tedwilliamsmenswear.com/ menswear

    Love the pinstripe, very retro and those captoes are insane!

  • Big Jon

    That second look was awesome. Pinstripes rule!

  • Laura

    Loving all of these and a bit jealous. Boys get to have all the fun when it comes to vests. I’m constantly on the lookout for nice tailored vests to no avail.

    • Anthony

      Laura, get one made to measure or bespoke. My first piece of MTM clothing was a lapelled waistcoat, and it was surprisingly cheap: they use very little suiting fabric compared to a full suit, and a lot of the craftsmanship and hence cost of a suit is associated with attaching the arms to the shoulders and this is simply avoided in a vest.

  • Cristian Mari

    Very beautiful outfit, I love it, congratulations to the wonderful job you are doing with this site, I hope you do not mind but I try to inhale as much of your outfits.
    I wish you a nice day.

  • John

    You really do love that pinstriped gangsta suit, don’t ya?

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Yea, I do. The strong wide pinstripe is a classic power suit. Its true, it really does make you feel more powerful…especially when it’s well tailored.

      Thanks for reading John.

  • John B

    I was thinking about “breaking” a navy suit with a grey vest the other day! I really like the third look, tweed suits are awesome!

  • Rob –

    On some true Mad Men sh!t rightchea!

  • Alan

    I love the Lane Pryce ‘odd waistcoat’ look in theory, but it doesn’t always look so great with the jacket off – it greatly changes the ratio of suit fabric: waistcoat fabric and so what starts off as a lovely pop can become a bit cloying. Rule of thirds is perhaps in play here.

    • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

      I never noticed how often Lane Pryce wore mismatched vests, but now that I think about it I can’t picture him in anything else! Man, I can’t wait for the final season.

  • Harrison

    Dan – look (1) is really incredible with the pattern mixes & fall color combinations. Talk about a “boss” look. Brown is such a great suit color. I also really appreciate the fabric texture mixes in looks (2&3).

    Thanks,
    H

  • Michael

    3rd look is killer, including the tote bag.

  • Gazman

    Great looks all. I think with waist coats the key is to have one that buttons quite high, like those seen in these pics. A long vee neck does not look as elegant and the ones with a low scoop neck are an abomination.

  • TimL

    I love these looks.
    The first look on Dan is awesome and that is my favorite waistcoat along with the jacket that matches.

    I did the monochromatic color scheme this summer with my jackets, shirt, waistcoat and pants in brown-tan-cream and got lots of compliments

  • Pony Marshmallow

    Look one is exceptional! Great work!

  • Daniel

    Looks 1 and 2 are straight fire. Flyest looks I’ve seen in ages.

  • Jason

    Damn

  • Badger

    All three looks are fantistic, but DAMN, that donegal suit. I am HUNGRY with WANT THAT.

  • Pete

    Fop: a man who is concerned with his clothes and appearance in an affected and excessive way; a dandy

    Would the others of this site consider themselves fops?

    • Pete

      authors*

    • Rob

      I would think that neither the authors, nor the readers of this site, are particularly concerned with (or interested in) your opinions of them, or your quotes from dictionary.com.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Hi Pete. I’m the author of this site. Never heard that term before, so no.

      Thanks for reading!

    • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

      To be fair, a fop is not the same as a dandy. Traditionally a dandy was a man, usually self-made (as opposed to coming from money) who put an excessive amount of time and interest into his clothing and his speech/mannerisms, as to appear aristocratic. Now though the word dandy has evolved to describe a style or genre of dress, usually involving floral patterns and bow-ties. I always associate the term dandy with the rococo movement in art history. Anyway, the word fop is more of a pejorative that implies that a person not only is excessively concerned with the way he dresses but also is an idiot/fool.

      The more you know.

  • cam

    hey dan hope all is well…do you think the same tips here apply to a cardigan in place of the waistcoat?

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Absolutely! That reminds me of a post idea I wanted to do…

      Thx Cam.

    • TimL

      This is my favorite time of year to pull out the cardigans and all of my sweater vests with sports coats and suits.

  • Shawn

    Damn, those crocodiles are incredible!

  • Joe

    Been sold on the odd 3-piece ever since Brady in http://tsbmen.com/28117/3-piece-spring-suits-ft-brady-ocallahan/2/

    Great looks and nice tips. I also really like the busyness of the different patterns in the tie/shirt/vest in look 1, since it’s framed nicely by the earthy, solid-colored suit.

  • Alex

    That donegal suit is murder. I loved it when I first saw it in the original post and love it now.

  • SL

    Awesome looks as always, especially that first one, vest + suit combo is sweet

  • http://undefined Joshua

    Just wow to all three looks. Especially 1 and 3 (which I actually remember from its orginal post)…

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Thanks Joshua!