Sunday, October 2, 2011
Let’s face it: the waistcoat has long been a dead item for most men, but thanks to a resurgence in its popularity in men’s street wear the waistcoat is back with vengeance. And it’s back as a statement piece, a piece that says that you, the wearer, is sartorially savvy and are likely to be a cut above your peers.
The three-piece in 2011 / 2012 is all about cohesion; forget the mismatching style prevalent in the early parts of the 20th Century and in the 1980s. The return of the three-piece means that the waistcoat has to be cohesive and, thus, in the same fabric as the suit’s other two pieces.
Tip: If you do want to venture outside the realm of three matching pieces, stick to a cohesive colour palette; you may want to pair a pinstripe black suit with a pinstripe charcoal waistcoat. Personally I’d embellish a two-piece suit with a cotton or wool sweater vest / tank top as opposed to a mismatching waistcoat.
On selecting the perfect three-piece suit I’d recommend looking for a waistcoat whose V shape breaks somewhere between the sternum and the base of the rib cage. I’ve seen waistcoats that accompany three piece suits from the likes of Giorgio Armani which don’t sport the V shape at all, simply finishing just under the collar; these are going to be a lot harder to wear and ignore the conservative subtlety this revival depends upon. Moreover, such a large waistcoat won’t convey a slim waist as effectively as one with a deeper neck, though they may imply more height on a particular figure.