Men's 2-Piece Suits: Everything You Need to Know

Men's 2-Piece Suits: Everything You Need to Know

Even if it's not part of your work dress code, you'll probably need to wear a two-piece suit at some point during your life. From weddings and graduations to job interviews, black-tie dinners and other formal events, you'll eventually need to wear one. Unfortunately, not all men are familiar with two-piece suits, let alone know how to wear them. If you're still trying to grasp the concept of this classic men's formal wear, you should read the following. In this post, we're going to reveal everything you need to know about men's two-piece suits and how to wear them.

What Is a 2-Piece Suit?

A two-piece suit, by definition, is a formal outfit for men consisting of a suit jacket and matching suit trousers. According to Wikipedia, origins of the modern two-piece suit can be traced back to the late 1700s England. While new styles have since emerged, the overall concept remains the same. A two-piece suit includes a formal suit jacket with a pair of matching suit pants. It's a simple yet stunning combination that looks great when worn correctly.

What Fabrics Are 2-Piece Suits Made of?

When shopping for a two-piece suit, you'll discover that they are available in a variety of fabrics. Not surprisingly, cotton is a popular fabric used to make two-piece suits. It's soft, supple, relatively durable and easy to care for. But you can find two-piece suits available in over a half-dozen fabrics, each of which has its own characteristics. Wool, for example, is often used to make warmer men's suits, which are typically worn during the late fall and winter months. Wool is thicker than cotton, so it's able to offer a higher level of warmth and protection from the cold. In addition to cotton and wool, other fabrics in which two-piece suits are made include linen, tweed, corduroy and polyester blends.

What's the Difference Between a 2-Piece and 3-Piece Suit?

While two-piece suits are by far the most popular formal attire worn by men, another, less-popular option is a three-piece suit. The difference between these styles is that a three-piece suit includes a waistcoat, whereas a two-piece suit does not. Three-piece suits still consist of a suit jacket and matching suit trousers, but they also require a waistcoat (vest). The presence of a waistcoat increases the formality of the suit, making three-piece suits recommended for highly formal events. But unless you're getting dressed for a highly formal event, you really don't need to wear a waistcoat, in which case a two-piece suit will suffice.

The 4 Ways In Which Suits Are Sold

Although there are exceptions, you'll probably find that most men's two-piece suits are sold in one of the following three ways:
  1. Ready to Wear: The most common way in which men's suits are sold is ready to wear. Also known as off the rack, ready-to-wear suits are sold without any modifications to the size of its jacket or trousers.
  2. Made to Measure: With made-to-measure suits, you specify your preferred style and size, which the designer or seller will use with a pattern to create a custom-fitted suit.
  3. Bespoke: Finally, bespoke refers to the complete customization of a suit. The designer or seller will take your measurements and then create a suit from raw material -- without using a pattern -- to fit your body perfectly. Bespoke suits
Of course, a lesser-used fourth way in which men's suits are sold is known as "suit separates." Basically, suit separates consist of a suit jacket with non-matching trousers. It's the same as a two-piece suit, with the only difference being that the jacket and trousers don't match with suit separates, which is why they are known as "suit separates." Suit separates are less formal than two-piece suits with a matching jacket and trousers, so it's best to avoid wearing them for formal events. 

Choosing the Right Color for Your 2-Piece Suit

Aside from fabric, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a two-piece suit is the color. If you choose the wrong color, you may struggle to create a cohesive and attractive outfit that reflects positively upon your image. Black is an all-around great color for two-piece suits. It's sleek, formal, and perhaps most importantly, it conceals stains. If you happen to spill a drink on your black suit, it won't stick out. The same can't be said for lighter-colored suits, which often reveal stains and blemishes. In addition to black, other great colors to consider for a two-piece suit include navy, gray and olive. You can still choose a two-piece suit in a color that isn't listed here; just remember to make sure it matches your personal style as well as the rest of your outfit.

Don't Overlook the Importance of Formal Footwear

You can't wear just any sneakers or tennis shoes with a two-piece suit. For a truly formal appearance, you must wear formal shoes. Formal shoes, such as Oxfords, have a naturally dressier appearance than casual shoes, making them ideal to wear with a two-piece suit.

How to Accessorize Your 2-Piece Suit

Wearing the right accessories with your two-piece suit will help you create a cleaner and more cohesive outfit. Unfortunately, many men pay little or no attention to their accessories when wearing a two-piece suit, resulting in a subpar style. So, what type of accessories should you wear with a two-piece suit? At minimum, you'll need to wear a necktie. A good rule of thumb to follow when choosing a necktie is to match it with your shoes. If you're wearing black shoes with your two-piece suit, for example, wear a black necktie. A necktie isn't the only accessories with which you can wear a suit. Many men also wear a pocket square. Pocket squares are small pieces of fabric -- usually in a bright or bold color -- that are folded and placed in the right-side breast pocket of a suit jacket. A pocket square isn't necessary, but many men wear them because they introduce new color into their outfit.