The Right (and Wrong) Way to Wear a Short Suit

If you keep abreast of men’s fashion, you’ve probably heard some chatter on the subject of short suits—and have quickly formed an opinion. However, as the avant-garde trend has picked up speed, many tastemakers are taking the look for a spin, with mixed results. Here’s a quick review of the do’s (and dont’s).

Two examples of short suits have caught our eye in particular—the periwinkle suit worn by Matt Lauer on The Today Show, and the indomitable Tartan number, made by Wallace & Barnes, that Nick Wooster modeled for J. Crew. Each of these suits offers a unique take on the trend, and (curiously) a fairly accurate look at the style’s strengths and weaknesses.

Our insights can be summed up in one simple mantra: Your short suits should never resemble your standard ones. Take Matt Lauer. With its slim-notch lapel, classic color, and two-button format, his suit has all the makings of a killer summer two-piece—and that’s just the problem. It looks like a zealous tailor chopped the legs off an Yves Saint Laurent.

By comparison, Wooster’s number is an exercise in irreverence—it sports an offbeat three-button setup, wrinkled linen, and, of course, an eye-catching tartan pattern. The result is a suit that truly breaks the mold and, most importantly, doesn’t invite comparison with a standard sartorial garment. Then again, with a man like Nick Wooster, you can expect nothing less.

Image Credit: J. Crew

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