Mens clothing is a lot less complicated then women’s, but I’m still surprised at the number of men who just don’t understand what the various pieces are. I saw this time and again as I looked around for prices and info for my last post. Here are some definitions and comments on them.
Suits are either 2 pieces, trousers and jacket without a vest; or 3 pieces, with a vest. The most common variety is the 2 piece, which is what I have. I prefer 3 piece suits but they are hard to find and tend to cost more. All the pieces of a suit are made from one fabric. That fabric is usually a good wool of some kind or, more these days, a cotton fabric. You usually will not see really high end fabrics in a suit. In many mens fashion spreads you will see jacket, trouser combinations, these aren’t suits and will often cost much more then most suits.
Jackets, Sport Jackets or Blazers are cut much along the same lines as a suit jacket. They often have more decretive buttons, and are made from different, and often much more expensive, materials then suits. It should come as no surprise that Jackets often cost more then suits. Hickey Freeman’s cashmere and silk blazers cost more then any of his Worsted Wool suits.
Trousers, slacks or just pants follow the same rules as Jackets. It is less common to find a pair of trousers that cost more then a standard wool suit, but it does happen.
A complete outfit is often confused with a suit in ads. Some handsome man is wearing a knockout outfit and when you check the prices it adds up to some crazy number. Its the prices of the individual items that is important, not the total. Except when that isn’t true. If you buy a suit you will be wearing it with other things. The total cost of all the other parts usual adds up to some significant percentage of the base item, lets say a suit. But, you may already have them, so you don’t necessarily have to buy them again.