The final flourish - waistcoats and accessories

As our head of menswear Julian will say, "A shoddy morning suit can often be disguised by an excellent waistcoat, but a excellent morning suit can be ruined by a shoddy waistcoat!" That's why it's imperative to always take the time to assess not only your waistcoat options, but also your ties and pocket squares because really they make up the sartorial holy trinity.

One question we often get asked in store is whether or not to mix or match one's waistcoat with one's tie and pocket square. The question is usually posed in relation to morning dress for a wedding but we feel that the answer is just as applicable to all types of sartorial style, whether it be a business suit or semi-casual tailoring. And the answer is quite simple... mix!

The key here is in the definition of "mix", which is to say that you choose a waistcoat, tie and pocket square that are different from one another and yet complement each other. "Clash", therefore, is not "mix"! So one could choose a colour, say blue, and have his triumvirate adhere to different tones within a blue palette - for example, a navy blue waistcoat, sky blue tie and navy polka dot pocket square. Or if the waistcoat is pink, the tie could be a red polka dot style with a cream pocket square.

Parade Pink Double Breasted Waistcoat

Parade Pink Double-
Breasted Waistcoat

Honey Douppion Silk Tie

Honey Douppion
Silk Tie

Cambridge Spot Pink/Cream Silk Pocket Square

Cambridge Spot Pink/Cream
Silk Pocket Square

Whether you are wearing morning dress for your wedding or Royal Ascot, or want to dress up a lounge suit, the waistcoat considerations remain the same. Single-breasted or double? This largely comes down to personal preference, but the double-breasted style is widely considered the smarter, more traditional option, but do bear in mind that the squared off front can be unflattering if you are quite portly. The single-breasted style is perfectly smart and the uniformity of the single row of buttons looks excellent with a morning suit. When wearing a lounge suit, the decision relies more upon personal preference - are you a double-breasted or single-breasted kind of guy? Only you can answer that!

Black Clarence Check Wool Double-Breasted Piped Waistcoat

Black Clarence Check Wool
Double-Breasted Piped Waistcoat

Cambridge Spot Navy/Silver Silk Tie

Cambridge Spot Navy/
Silver Silk Tie

Windsor Pale Pink Silk Pocket Square

Windsor Pale Pink
Silk Pocket Square

The next consideration is plain or patterned. When perusing our collections, you may notice that there are fewer patterned options for double-breasted waistcoats - this is not an oversight but rather an aesthetic principle - the asymmetry of the DB just doesn't hold pattern as well as the single-breasted waistcoat. With its single row of buttons down the front, it is just perfect for more elaborate designs.

Navy Hardewick Linen Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Navy Hardewick Linen
Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Cambridge Spot Sky/Cream Silk Tie

Cambridge Spot Sky/
Cream Silk Tie

Victoria Champagne Silk Pocket Square

Victoria Champagne
Silk Pocket Square

The great thing about a patterned waistcoat is that it opens up lots of different tie and pocket square configurations. The multi-coloured aspect of the waistcoat pattern means you can use one or two of those different tones to influence your colour of tie and pocket square, creating a really interesting and complementary triumvirate. As ever, we would suggest heading down to our waistcoat store in the Piccadilly Arcade and trying a few different patterned styles on to get the measure of them!

Shop Waistcoats          Shop Accessories