Never Under Estimate the Power of a Three Piece Suit


Spring is in the air and in spite the inevitable cold snap, which is as sure to return as the snow which accompanied it last April, it will soon be Summer. But what attire should grooms of the season be considering, particularly if they suffer from the heat?

Well, let’s be honest, we all suffer from the heat when it’s hot do we not, particularly if we are wearing a suit. The obvious choice is surely to wear shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, but I would imagine that even for suit dodgers like myself, your wedding might present you with an opportunity to own a suit, let alone one that you might actually want to wear!

And who can blame you. I think we all agree that men generally scrub up well in a suit; they slim us, they make us appear taller and afford us an air of elegance, even when they are off-the-peg. But this suit you get to design yourself, with some assistance of course, choosing your own cloth and trim – lining and buttons, as opposed having them dictated to you by an in-house design team.

Of course, the comfort of a suit is tantamount to the style of a suit, and you’ll not be comfortable if you are too hot. Some of us run hotter than others and whilst some of us break a sweat, others never stop sweating. But it is unlikely that the weight of your suiting cloth will be the cause of your sweating on the Big Day – it will surely be the excitement of it all, no?

But let me ask you a question; if you sweat so much that it might show through your clothes, then surely it is more likely to show through a lightweight cloth, particularly one in summer shades such as powder blue. Would it not be safer to wear a cloth that will stem the flow of the glow, as opposed reveal it to the congregation when you stand to deliver your speech?

Morning dress, which is the traditional modus operandi for weddings, will certainly be made of a cloth heavy enough to do this. And if you are wearing morning dress, you’ll have no choice but to sport three pieces, regardless of your predisposition to the heat. But I’d proffer that those who have been spared this buffet of monochrome and buff colours and therefore have the choice of what to wear – the desires of their betrothed notwithstanding, of course – will almost all plump for a three piece suit.

Ironic it may be, regardless of the heat that an additional layer will bring to the reception party, three piece suits are unquestionably the suit of choice for grooms. Perhaps not least because they conjure up images of suits worn by some of our favourite sartorial heroes, whether they be David Beckham, Gandi or even Niven. But not to be sniffed at is the fact that, after the formalities, the groom will be able to ditch his coat but remain distinguished from the congregation because he will be sporting his waistcoat and trouser ensemble – ideally in the same cloth/colour, albeit contrasting waistcoats are jaunty, they require a little more consideration to provide the impact of a three piece suit made from one piece of cloth.

For those not amused by the three piece suit, other ensembles are available. For example, there is the classic two piece suit which lends itself to a summer wedding, not least because of the omission of a waistcoat, which can be replaced/accessorised by a pair of braces, if desired. Other accoutrements which should be considered are ties, a pocket square and handkerchiefs, in the event of a tear being shed (typically the boys).

Separates are another consideration. Given the present sartorial revolution, there is no end of inspiration for us between the virtual pages of Pinterest. Another reason for the resurgence of separates I shouldn’t wonder, has been the demise of the suit in certain business environments and the rise of smart casual which, let’s face it, we Brits have struggled to master since we replaced the sporting uniform of flannels (trousers made of flannel), a shirt, tie and blue brass buttoned blazer with jeans and tee shirt!

Regardless the choice of your outfit or ensemble, it is for many something that requires some thought and more than likely some assistance. Not only is there the cloth with which your suit will be made, there is the colour, the pattern, the texture and the substrate i.e. wool, cotton, linen etc. to choose before weight and the suitability of that weight of cloth for the season/your wedding to consider.

But this is what your tailor will assist you with. For sure some will consider weight before anything else, while others the cut of your jib or indeed the crafting of your suit which are all of utmost importance. But I will leave you with this, if you are to look at your wedding photos for the rest of you life, what will you notice the most; the cut of your jib, or that the colour of the cloth made you look like the morning after your stag and that you are visibly glowing buckets..

And while I take none of these decisions likely, not least the decision to actually commission the making of a suit, it is interesting to note that, given the number of grooms whom I meet that are concerned about how hot a suit might make them feel on their wedding day, the majority will be tying the knot during the height of summer, on a farm, which will invariably have no shade – is it me?


Brown in Town