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OK, let's talk about Steve Harvey's suggestion that you can flip five suits into 75 outfits. 🧵

I should note this thread is going to run into a problem because I don't criticize non-famous people. There are lots of TikToks showing Harvey's advice in practice. But I won't post people's pics as examples of bad outfits. So you have to work with me on this limitation.

If you haven't seen, this is the famous clip of Harvey suggesting you can turn 5 suits into 75 outfits. The idea is that you can mix and match the jacket and pants, resulting in almost limitless combinations. Please watch it in full before going on with the rest of this thread.

First, no one needs a black suit. Black worsted wool can look harsh in direct sunlight. Black is also a somber color. Unless you're a funeral director, black suits are best used in the evening (esp as a tuxedo). Most men are better off buying a navy suit.

But that's an aside. Let's talk about the heart of Harvey's argument—that you can mix and match five suits endlessly. Before we go on, which of these two outfits look better to you?

How about these two outfits? Which do you like better?

If you picked the second in both examples, then we have the same aesthetics. In that case, here is a guiding principle: Your ability to wear a suit jacket on its own depends on whether it can convincingly pass as a sport coat.

What is the difference between a suit jacket and a sport coat? Well, a suit is a garment where the jacket and pants are cut from the same cloth, and the two are meant to be worn together. A sport coat is intended to be worn pants cut from a different cloth.

If you wear a suit jacket on its own, it has to convincingly pass as a sport coat. It can't look like an orphaned suit jacket, which is a suit jacket that has lost its accompanying pants. This is why tailors often recommend buying two suit trousers (for when one wears out).

These outfits look bad because it looks like the person spilled something on their suit pants and had to change out of them.

Contrary to what Harvey suggests, your ability to combine jacket and pants isn't just about color theory. It's about subtle details, such as texture, sheen, pattern, pocket style, stitching style, and buttons. All of this forms a kind of social language.

Even if people don't know this language, they know when an outfit "works." Hence why I asked you to identify which outfits you liked earlier. Let's take these two examples. Which looks better to you?

If you choose the second, it's because that's a sport coat. What makes it a sport coat? For one, the fabric is more textured, which makes it more casual than the smooth, shiny worsted on Ron's jacket. It also has patched pockets, which are more casual than Ron's flapped pockets.

While it's hard to tell in the original photo, the jacket also has swelled edges (see the edge of the lapel). All of these details—the patched pockets, swelled edges, and textured fabric—make the jacket a little more obviously a sport coat than a business suit jacket.

In tailoring, there are countless details like this. Tonal buttons, shiny fabrics, flapped or jetted pockets, and smooth edges are dressy details. Conversely, contrasting buttons, textured fabrics, patch pockets, and swelled edges are casual details.

Even patterns have their own language. Pinstripes are strictly reserved for business suits. Glen plaids can be used for either suits or sport coats, although the smaller the scale, the dressier the fabric (conversely, the larger the scale, the more casual).

So your ability to break up suits in the way Harvey suggests depends on your ability to read the formality in tailoring. It's not just about color, but all these subtle details. Otherwise, you will end up looking like DeSantis and Gaetz here.

Can some suits be broken in this manner? Sure. A grey Donegal suit jacket will look perfectly natural on its own because nothing is more inherently rustic—and thus casual—than a tweed sport coat.

Similarly, a corduroy suit will look very natural broken up because we are used to seeing corduroy sport coats and corduroy trousers on their own. The same is true for some linen suits (although not all are so easy to break into separates).

And this gets into my final point: it makes no sense to maximize combinations in this way. If you were to follow Harvey's advice—which is wrong—and combine it with my points about paying attention to details, you could still wind up with nothing to wear.

Why? Because unless your job involves posting fun TikTok videos or Instagram photos of you in your outfits, you will need to pay attention to *how* you plan to use your clothes. What is your environment, lifestyle, climate, etc.

If you buy five suits made from four-season wools, but live in New York City, you will be sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter. You need seasonal fabrics like tropical wool when it's hot and heavy flannels when it's cold. These fabrics can't be combined.

If you work in a conservative law firm, you don't need a brown or tan suit—those are casual colors! You need grey or navy suits in different seasonal fabrics and subtle patterns/ weaves. This is what's appropriate for your environment.

Conversely, if you work in a casual office, you probably don't even need suits! If you want to wear tailored clothing, you should prob focus on sport coats. Get the appropriate fabrics for your climate. Start with a navy sport coat and maybe a brown tweed if it gets cold

The point is to figure out why some outfits work and some don't. In tailoring, much of this has to do with cultural language and history. Once you understand that language, build a wardrobe that works for your purposes. It's not about maximizing random combos.

OK, let's talk about Steve Harvey's suggestion that you can flip five suits into 75 outfits. 🧵I should note this thread is going to run into a problem because I don't criticize non-famous people. There are lots of TikToks showing Harvey's advice in practice. But I won't post people's pics as examples of bad outfits. So you have to work with me on this limitation.If you haven't seen, this is the famous clip of Harvey suggesting you can turn 5 suits into 75 outfits. The idea is that you can mix and match the jacket and pants, resulting in almost limitless combinations. Please watch it in full before going on with the rest of this thread. First, no one needs a black suit. Black worsted wool can look harsh in direct sunlight. Black is also a somber color. Unless you're a funeral director, black suits are best used in the evening (esp as a tuxedo). Most men are better off buying a navy suit. But that's an aside. Let's talk about the heart of Harvey's argument—that you can mix and match five suits endlessly. Before we go on, which of these two outfits look better to you? How about these two outfits? Which do you like better? If you picked the second in both examples, then we have the same aesthetics. In that case, here is a guiding principle: Your ability to wear a suit jacket on its own depends on whether it can convincingly pass as a sport coat.What is the difference between a suit jacket and a sport coat? Well, a suit is a garment where the jacket and pants are cut from the same cloth, and the two are meant to be worn together. A sport coat is intended to be worn pants cut from a different cloth. If you wear a suit jacket on its own, it has to convincingly pass as a sport coat. It can't look like an orphaned suit jacket, which is a suit jacket that has lost its accompanying pants. This is why tailors often recommend buying two suit trousers (for when one wears out).These outfits look bad because it looks like the person spilled something on their suit pants and had to change out of them. Contrary to what Harvey suggests, your ability to combine jacket and pants isn't just about color theory. It's about subtle details, such as texture, sheen, pattern, pocket style, stitching style, and buttons. All of this forms a kind of social language.Even if people don't know this language, they know when an outfit "works." Hence why I asked you to identify which outfits you liked earlier. Let's take these two examples. Which looks better to you? If you choose the second, it's because that's a sport coat. What makes it a sport coat? For one, the fabric is more textured, which makes it more casual than the smooth, shiny worsted on Ron's jacket. It also has patched pockets, which are more casual than Ron's flapped pockets. While it's hard to tell in the original photo, the jacket also has swelled edges (see the edge of the lapel). All of these details—the patched pockets, swelled edges, and textured fabric—make the jacket a little more obviously a sport coat than a business suit jacket. In tailoring, there are countless details like this. Tonal buttons, shiny fabrics, flapped or jetted pockets, and smooth edges are dressy details. Conversely, contrasting buttons, textured fabrics, patch pockets, and swelled edges are casual details. Even patterns have their own language. Pinstripes are strictly reserved for business suits. Glen plaids can be used for either suits or sport coats, although the smaller the scale, the dressier the fabric (conversely, the larger the scale, the more casual). So your ability to break up suits in the way Harvey suggests depends on your ability to read the formality in tailoring. It's not just about color, but all these subtle details. Otherwise, you will end up looking like DeSantis and Gaetz here. Can some suits be broken in this manner? Sure. A grey Donegal suit jacket will look perfectly natural on its own because nothing is more inherently rustic—and thus casual—than a tweed sport coat. Similarly, a corduroy suit will look very natural broken up because we are used to seeing corduroy sport coats and corduroy trousers on their own. The same is true for some linen suits (although not all are so easy to break into separates). And this gets into my final point: it makes no sense to maximize combinations in this way. If you were to follow Harvey's advice—which is wrong—and combine it with my points about paying attention to details, you could still wind up with nothing to wear.Why? Because unless your job involves posting fun TikTok videos or Instagram photos of you in your outfits, you will need to pay attention to *how* you plan to use your clothes. What is your environment, lifestyle, climate, etc.If you buy five suits made from four-season wools, but live in New York City, you will be sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter. You need seasonal fabrics like tropical wool when it's hot and heavy flannels when it's cold. These fabrics can't be combined. If you work in a conservative law firm, you don't need a brown or tan suit—those are casual colors! You need grey or navy suits in different seasonal fabrics and subtle patterns/ weaves. This is what's appropriate for your environment. Conversely, if you work in a casual office, you probably don't even need suits! If you want to wear tailored clothing, you should prob focus on sport coats. Get the appropriate fabrics for your climate. Start with a navy sport coat and maybe a brown tweed if it gets cold The point is to figure out why some outfits work and some don't. In tailoring, much of this has to do with cultural language and history. Once you understand that language, build a wardrobe that works for your purposes. It's not about maximizing random combos.

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