Should the mercury in the thermometers (which I'm certain few homes still have) continue its annual descent, we're left with little choice in the battle against the cold. We, collectively, traverse the bone-chilling cold streets, swathed in natural fibers, stopping for occasional respite at obscenely over-priced, mediocre chain coffee shops. The enjoyment from this presumed misery for the dressers; the men who appreciate clothing to a near maniacal degree, is the beginning of the season of layers. Chief among these is the three piece suit.
I'm not suggesting that the elegance of a coordinating jacket, trousers and waistcoat are solely limited to autumn and winter, rather there's more of a need, a utilitarian purpose for them during these months.
There's a proper formality to the three piece. When the jacket is casually tossed off -or, ideally hung- the wearer still appears better dressed than his billowy shirt counterparts. More than practicality, it looks damned good. However, for the pragmatists, the additional layer, fixed closely to the body is another, more tasteful option to trap in heat during cooler months.
Consider, for the bulk phobic, a three piece in a heavy, say 18 ounce tweed, paired with gloves and a scarf may keep the wearer just as warm as an overcoat, but without the added garment.
This combination yields infinitely more tasteful results than the ridiculously unstylish, high-low trend of the puffer or fleece vest with suit I've seen on the streets of midtown Manhattan. My own predilection is to employ muted suiting fabrics, as I favor a reserved appearance. The furnishings are equally-and harmoniously-underplayed as well. All of this allows the cut of the suit to take the center stage in a way not jarring to the eyes. Details like the crocodile oxford and the gold By Elias pin are small touches that bring visual interest to an ensemble heavy in navy.
The season for adding layers is now. Rather than tip toe into the fall, enter pridefully with the elegance of a three piece suit, or the addition of one. Will a three piece make you look a little more dressed, a bit more put together? Certainly. That's the point.
Photos by Bevin Elias