Two Piece Suit

The two piece suit is considered the most common type of suit.  However, its only been relatively recently that they’ve become the standard.  Still, for a beginner or a first suit,  they are definitely a good choice.

For a long time, the standard business wear was much more formal.  In Europe, especially Britain, men generally wore many more layers.  The morning suit for formal affairs, and the three-piece, were standard issue.  In a cooler climate, without great heating, it just made sense to have vests, long coats, hats, and the like.  However, WWII reduced the amount of cloth available to clothing houses, the suits started to get cut back.

After WWII, a lot of men and office jobs started opening up, and with that, officewear.  A lot of men wore three piece but the late 50s and 60s started a trend of more casualwear, by the standards of the time then.  The show Mad Men shows this quite well, with a mix of three and two piece wear.  By the 1980s, the 2 piece was by far the most popular, and has been since, especially in the US.

Over time, the 2 piece would come to be known as the lounge suit.  The idea was that men would wear that at home or on the weekends instead of the more dressy work suit.  You could wear it out to dinner, to church, or out for a Sunday drive.  It might seem a little silly now, but suits were much more common then outside of the office.

Of course, today, the two piece suit is the first thought about suit style, and the most accepted.  In most settings, even business, the three piece can look a little bit too formal and stodgy.  While it should remain the favorite for a while, some other styles are getting a little more popular.  Many actors, rappers, and celebs are starting to get back into it, with guys like Usher and Justin Timberlake wearing them in videos and on TV.

For a first suit though, they are a good bet.  A basic two-piece suit will be cheaper and easier to fit than other styles.