A classic fit suit is quite often referred to as the traditional or American cut. It is highly characterized by its comfort and the fact that it is very easy to wear.

These types of suits are cut generously throughout the waist and chest area. In general, this cutting style is the reason behind the possibility of moving freely, with less constriction for body movement.

With the ease of movement and comfort that classic fit suits provide, they are often preferred for men who work in a busy, corporate environment.

Advantages of a Classic Fit Suit

Why should you pick a classic fit suit? There are lots of reasons.

Firstly, they’re easy to find. Most stores will stock this particular cut, so you’re bound to find one to match your budget and size.

Classic fit suit example

If you’re an unusual size or shape, they’re one of the easiest styles for a tailor to adjust. A classic fit suit is also great for men who aren’t comfortable in a slim-fit style and prefer a more timeless look.

The classic shape is never out-of-date and is ideal if you only wear a suit once a year. Classic suits offer a time-honored fit that’s ideal for everyday wear.

Plus, they are suitable all-weather wear for every season. You can easily slip a warm waistcoat underneath for an extra layer in colder weather.

Every guy who cares about comfort should have at least one classic fit suit in his wardrobe. And if you wear suits to work, you’ll probably need this timeless cut in various colors and different materials.

Nowadays, you can get classic-fit suits in crease-resistant fabrics that don’t even have to be dry-cleaned. How’s that for making your life easier?

Two vs. Three-Button Classic Fit Suits

Men’s classic style is all about detail. It’s the little touches that are going to express your personality and sense of style. Here’s where your suit buttons come in.

Look for a classic suit with buttons made from quality materials such as wood or bullhorn. This will immediately set it apart from lesser suits with plastic buttons.

The number of buttons you choose is also important and can significantly affect how your suit fits.

Although one and four-button suits are available, most classic-fit suits will have two and three-button jackets.

two-button suit

Two buttons tend to be more flattering because of the low placement of the buttons. This makes the lapels longer, which visually lengthens the torso and slims the figure.

So, if you’re on the short side, a two-button classic fit suit is the obvious choice for you. It’s also the best option for portly gentlemen who like to look a little slimmer.

three-button suit

Three-button suit jackets are considered more old-fashioned and slightly eccentric, but in a good way. The button placement is higher, giving the front of your suit a shallow V-shape when buttoned up.

Three buttons do not have the lengthening effect of a two-button jacket. They are best worn by taller guys looking for a more proportionate and balanced effect to counteract their height.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re hesitant and unsure between the two options, go for a two-button classic fit suit. It’s a more standard option and is widely accepted. 

However, as many buttons you choose for your jacket, always, without exception, leave the bottom button undone. Suits are deliberately cut to be worn with the bottom button undone.

one vs. two vs. three button suits

Fasten the button, and you’ll spoil the shape. You’ll also appear a little nerdy because this is a long-standing tradition. In fact, it goes all the way back to King Edward VII, who was too fat to do up his buttons.

As a result, society followed his lead, and the trend continues to this day. Talk about a fashion icon!

How to Fit the Classic Suit Cut

Classic suit jackets are cut with broader shoulders. That’s because they have more room around the chest and waist than their slim-fit counterparts.

The armholes and sleeves are also a slightly wider cut. A classic fit jacket is a little longer than other styles and usually goes below the middle waistline. It’s also less taken in at the waist.

The jacket length: waist guide

The pants are relaxed around the thigh and seat area. They’ll fit a little wider, too, to maintain a well-balanced appearance. The waistband fits around the natural waist and should not require a belt to hold them up.

That said, a classic fit suit should never be baggy, especially pants.

The butt wrinkle

To learn more about how a suit should fit, we strongly advise you to read the complete suit wear guide or the suit fit guide.

Classic Fit Suit Color Combinations

You can either wear the matching pants and jacket together or mix things up a little. For a more business-like, traditional appearance, the jacket and pants should match in color and material.

For an offbeat, bolder look, feel free to mix the overall outfit colors. Bear in mind, though, that it’s probably best to stick to some predefined color combinations that work best for classic suits and dress shirts.

Keep a classic fit black suit for formal occasions or weddings, and always wear black shoes with it.

For the office, navy and charcoal grey are your go-to colors. Add dark brown shoes and a shirt in almost any color to look sharp and stylish without overdoing it.

Classic fit navy men suit

What about suits in summer? Navy and charcoal grey work anywhere, anytime.

But it’s nice to have a couple of lighter-shaded suits for the warm weather, like tan or light grey. They’ll reflect the heat and create a fresher appearance overall.

Try light grey with a powder blue or white shirt. Blonde or grey-haired gents will look sophisticated in a baby blue teamed with a white shirt.

Khaki is also perfect for summer but keep it for daywear as it’s not as formal as other colors.

When autumn comes along, rich burgundy or berry shades make a statement while still being classic. A white shirt and black shoes pair well with these colors.

When to Wear a Classic Fit Suit

Your classic fit suit is ideal for so many occasions you’ll probably discover you need more than one. Here are just a few examples of when the classic look is never out of place.

For Business

The business-professional dress code demands traditional attire colors. Navy, charcoal, and medium grey will always look professional and polished. Thus, pick a dark-color classic-fit suit if you plan to wear it for business occasions. 

Harvey Specter wears his business professional suit

A classic fit suit will take you effortlessly from your office to the boardroom. Then out for dinner and drinks with clients. Plus, it will ensure you’re comfortable throughout your busy day.

If your business is slightly more casual, wear your suit pants along with a dress shirt and vest. Or wear your trousers and jacket with a polo neck sweater.

Date Nights

Your date is sure to be impressed if you show up in a classic jacket and trouser combination. If you don’t wish to be quite as formal, exchange the suit trousers for a pair of dark, well-fitting denim jeans.

first date outfit ideas for men

You can also show off the playful side of your personality. Simply wear your classic suit with a vibrant-colored or patterned dress shirt.

Formal Events

These are the perfect times to pull your suit out of mothballs. A black suit and white dress shirt are traditional for formal occasions, but you can veer off the tracks a little here if you have confidence.

Feel free to experiment with jackets in unusual fabrics, such as velvet in vibrant colors, like maroon or burgundy.

Burgundy tuxedo worn as a wedding attire

Finish your look with accessories like bow ties, patterned neckties, or interesting, eye-catching shoes that match your suit.

Weddings

Weddings generally have a formal ambiance. Some might even require wearing a tuxedo. But most of the wedding dress codes require a classic suit.

For example, for a daytime wedding, pick a wedding suit in a lightweight fabric such as cotton or linen. Wear lighter colors in neutrals or pastel shades.

Keep your shirts pale too, and you’ll cut the perfect outdoorsy figure.

Alexander Stoicoff
Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.

Stay in Style!

Stay in Style!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest style trends.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest