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Reimagining the Traditional Three-Piece Suit

Christina Garofalo

Menswear designers are reinterpreting the classic three-piece suit in new ways, making it an unexpectedly versatile item that easily goes from the boardroom to stylish casual environments. “This season, we imagined the three-piece suit in a much more relaxed environment,” says Justin Chang, the grandson of the founder of the Hong Kong–based menswear brand Ascot Chang. Here, he offers advice on new ways to wear the contemporary three-piece suit for spring. (212.759.3333, www.ascotchang.com)

—Christina Garofalo

RR: How did Ascot Chang make the three-piece suit fresh this season?

JC: We chose to create a deconstructed jacket with minimal padding and lining, and we used textured linens and cottons rather than wool to give it a more causal feeling. As a result, the suits not only work together as a three-piece, but each piece also works as a separate, adding versatility to a man’s summer wardrobe.

RR: How can men wear a three-piece suit in new ways?

JC: Our brick-red-colored cotton suit, for example, can also be worn as separates: the jacket with off-white trousers, the vest as an accent under a navy suit, and the pants like any pair of colored cotton slacks with a white polo shirt. This is something that you can’t do with a traditional three-piece, especially if it’s striped.

RR: How about the shirt? Are there collar styles that work best with the three-piece suit?

JC: Just about anything goes, but avoid the button-down—it is too casual, even with a linen suit.

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