When clients contact us online to order a suit––or make an appointment to meet with us about a suit here in our workshop in Denver, Colorado––one of the first questions we ask is, “Do you want a vest?”

Navy Pinstripe Vest

A Classic Business Look

Around 75% of our clients answer “Yes.”

Part of this is just the fact that most shops don’t carry 3pc suits.  Here in Denver, one can visit the retail stores of some of the hottest international designers an not find a single 3pc suit.

Dressing up With Peak Lapels

And this isn’t because vests aren’t trendy.  3pc suits have been a major trend for the past 6 years.

The reason that one can only find 2pc suits is that not all guys want a vest, and it is just too much of a risk to stock vests in every size if half of the guys won’t want them.

But, as all of our suits are completely custom, we don’t have that problem.  So many of our clients contact us specifically because they know they want a vest and haven’t been able to find a suit that they liked anywhere else.

A Workingman Look

But for the client that isn’t sure which way to go, what kinds of questions should he consider?

The clients who buy 3pc suits fall into 2 categories:

1. Men who love a really formal look (and a vest completes this).

and

2. Men who like a more relaxed “working man” look.

If these reasons for wanting to add a vest seem to contradict each other, this is simply because one can take one’s jacket off in modern social situations.

Even Tweed Sportswear Can Feel Formal in 3pcs

With a jacket and a vest, even the most sporty plaid or houndstooth fabrics take on a very formal look.  A 3pc suit feels more formal and put together on virtually every occasion.

This is particularly the case if one is attending a daytime wedding or an important business meeting.

Contrast Vest

On the other hand, if one takes the jacket off and wears simply the vest and pant, the look becomes altogether sporty and casual.  The look transforms from  ”wedding attire” to “party attire,” from “garden party” to “picnic.”

The result is that a vest is a great choice when one wants to really “dress up” and for when one wants to “dress down.”

Wedding Vest

An Outdoor Fall Wedding

Whether or not a vest is the right choice for your suit really depends on where you will wear the suit and how many occasions one has at either of the extremes.

We sell the fewest 3pc suits to men who wear the suits simply for everyday business.

That said, if one is going to take off one’s jacket at work during part of the day, wearing a vest can certainly be an improvement over simply dressing in shirt sleeves.

For guys who are on the fence, we can always design a vest to go with your jacket and you can decide whether or not you feel that it compliments the look.

1920s Tweed VestWe are famous for our 1920s style vests.
The 1920s were a high point for waistcoats.1920s Tweed Vest
The vests of the period contain all of the classic details that would become more codified in the 1930s.
Linen Back Tweed VestBut in this earlier period there is still a wonderful flexibility and richness in style.
The images show some of our favorite 1920s style vests with emphasis on the “Workingman’s Style” pieces.  
Scottish Tweed Vest

Tweed Workingman's Vest

These pieces—that we make from heavy weight tweeds and melton wools—are perfect for an active lifestyle.Tweed Workingman's Vest

The pockets hold your tools (or memory sticks), the fabrics don’t rumple or crease, and the styles can be cut with linen backs for the ultimate breathability and comfort.
Moreover, each of our bespoke suits and vests is made one-at-a-time here in our studio in Denver, Colorado.
Not only do we take care to make sure that each piece is a work of art, but we can work with you to cut the vest exactly to your measurements and to pick the perfect style and fabric for you.
1920s Style Herringbone VestThe classic fabrics we use—which are often woven by hand in Scotland and Ireland–are built the way that fabrics were meant to be and make up into garments that weigh twice as much as made-in-Asia pieces where the only concern is making sure that the garments pack flat and weigh as little as possible for overseas shipping.
The process of making one of our classic “Denver Bespoke” vests, begins when you contact us by email (aj@denverbespoke.com) or through our Etsy shop (www.machetensons.etsy.com) to tell us a little bit about your sense of style and how you will be wearing the waistcoat.
Green Melton Workingman's VestThen we sketch up a vest just for you.

With A Custom Cap

The piece can be identical to something we already offer, or something totally and completely new.
Add or remove pockets, change the shape of the lapels, the fabric of the back or belts, the number of buttons—-work with us to get the design that is perfect for the way that you dress.

Next we send you a selection of fabrics and we keep looking until we find the fabric that is right for you.  

We can get thousands of fabrics for the vests.  So if you know that you want a flecked herringbone tweed in a cranberry color, for example, just let us know and we can likely find this for you.
We can also make many other garments.  So if you want a matching pant, fedora, or workingman’s cap, just let us know and these pieces can be created in virtually any style to match your vest.
Contact me (aj@denverbespoke.com) to talk more.

Photos by www.lynnterry.com

The Victorian era was an age of excitement, experimentation, science, and progress.
Everything seemed possible and imminent.  
The material world was like a door about to be unlocked.  The mind was a mystery that science could pry into.
We love to make steampunk clothing because it represents this moment and uncovers the analogies between the Victorians and today’s world.
The Victorians were simultaneously more certain than we are today and less certain.  
They believed that they were on a road to infinite progress and change, but were only just at the beginning of the path.
Today’s DIY and geek culture feeds off of a similar spirit.
We are all engineers hacking the material world, unlocking the potential of atoms through the power of bits.
Lianna and I are so much on the side of techne—on the side of a knowledge that allows us to do and to make.

Photos by www.worldstudio.ca

Our process of production and design combines computer CAD work for a completely custom fit, individual fabrics we design and print using advanced inks, and computerized machinery for cutting vinyl, with all of the traditional arts of tailoring and dressmaking that require nothing but a needle and a thread.Steampunk Clothing
Our muslin fitting process for the suits is again a combination of the old and the new.
We mail our customers traditional cotton mock-ups of the suit to try on before making the final pieces.
back belt victorian pantThe customers send us back digital photos of themselves trying the pieces on, and we feed this information back into the computer to change and manipulate the pattern until it is exactly right.
frock coat backThe pictures show many of the styles that we have made or are making for steampunk weddings along with some wonderful pictures of the weddings themselves.Chocolate Brown Frock Coat
The black suit with the red cravat shows what we call the “Steampunk Anime Suit”.

Brown Victorian Tux

This suit is made from a wool gabardine with satin face lapels.
The style looks and feels Victorian, but the details are completely modern.
The brown suit with red pinstripes and red satin face lapels, shows a Victorian style vest and pant, but with numerous Western style details and snaps.
The brown suit with a sage green piping shows a morning frock that cuts away into tails.

Photos by www.joshgruetzmacher.com

It has peak lapels, a pant with a back belt (which can be adjustable or decorative) and a handmade top hat to match.

Photo By www.MarkBrooke.com

The awesome wedding photos show two weddings where the grooms wore wool tailcoats and silk vests, a wedding with a double-breasted Prince Albert frock made from silk noil and velveteen pants (for a Victorian-era meets 1960s look) and an outfit with a black wool double-breasted vest with pearlized leather pocket welts.
The sketches show a bride and groom ensemble that we have in the works for this summer.

University Coats

It has a leather corset on the bride and matching leather tuxedo stripes on the groom’s pant, and also a set of concepts for modern looking university coats.
Contact AJ (aj@denverbespoke.com) to talk more about ideas for your wedding.

Be sure to check out the photographer’s websites for more photos.  Lynn Terry did the photos for the  wedding with the black vest and gold welts. Terry Martin the wedding with the skipping groom.

Josh Gruetzmacher the San Francisco wedding with the white slik frock.  And Mark Brooke, the groom with the tails and peacock lapels.