The three-piece suit has been asserting itself with increasing frequency on designer runways, as well in the collections of traditionalists such as Hickey Freeman. They're now a fixture of men's fashion magazine spreads. And they're popping up more in pop culture, on celebs including Bradley Cooper and Usher, and on TV characters such as Roger Sterling of "Mad Men" and Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker) on "The Mentalist." They're even showing up on gangsters in HBO's period show "Boardwalk Empire."
The three-piece, a suit with a matching waistcoat (aka vest), is the most formal type of suit, long the provenance of dandies, 1930s film stars like Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Clark Gable, and later, bankers in London and on Wall Street. It's a fussy suit, one with an extra unit, which is why it disappeared for nearly 20 years after World War II as the result of fabric rationing.Share