Harvey Specter’s style is legendary.
Portrayed by Gabriel Macht in the hit USA network show Suits, if there’s one thing New York’s best closer is associated with most, it is his power suits and formal wear.
From the 3 piece suits to the peaked lapels, there’s always something to set his sartorial looks apart.
In this article, we’ll cover Harvey Specter’s formal suit style, accessories, and black tie style, and how you can incorporate it into your formal wardrobe.
Harvey Specter’s Style
One of his best quotes is “people respond to how we dress”. From this, we can connote that he doesn’t dress up because he wants to, but because he has to to get ahead.
As a result, Harvey’s Specter style is very refined and classic, but may be considered boring to some. He doesn’t dress the way he does because he enjoys it, but because it is functional. On top of this, the field of law has conservative dress standards which he is required to stick to. Both of these facts mean that his wardrobe is ‘safe’ and versatile.
So if you’re looking to improve your clothing game, Harvey Specter is the prefect person to look towards for establishing a good base wardrobe.
However, despite the apparent conventional nature of his wardrobe, he does opt for particular details in his clothing that help him to exert dominance, assertiveness and confidence.
But enough from me, here are some words from Gabriel Macht about Harvey Specter’s style:
Harvey Specter Suits
Harvey’s suits are usually in dark, professional colours, like navy or grey (and on a few cases brown or champagne), and as aforementioned, usually all feature similar details:
- Two buttons
- Wool material
- Subtle or no pattern
- Slim cut
- Wide peaked lapel
- Ticket pocket
- Double vent
- Structured shoulders
- Side adjusters
- Medium rise trousers.
- Full break
- Trouser cuffs.
You may be thinking ‘whoa, that’s a lot to take in’. This next section will explore this anatomy of a typical Harvey Specter suit in detail, explain what each part is, and how you can get it.
If you want to view a specific detail, click on the bullet point above.
His suits are usually constructed from worsted wool, presumably from historical Italian mills.
Some of his suits in the later seasons also feature a subtle shine, suggesting a blend with a material such as silk.
His suits are regularly just block colours, like navy, blue, or some shade of grey.
However, he sometimes brings in stripe patterns or checks, like pinstripe or a prince of wales check.
These are equally as formal as block colours, but work to add a bit more visual interest to his conservative attire.
All of his suits feature a trimmed cut, and sit close to the body.
An exception is some of his early suits, where the trousers could perhaps be slightly oversized and flair out.
How to Get The Look – Slim Cut
Harvey would still look good in a suit, even if it didn’t have all of his special detailing, if it fit him correctly.
You can find a good resource on how a suit should fit here.
When you’re out buying your suit, make sure it fits properly, or take it to a tailor to have it adjusted.
If there’s one thing you take from this article, please let it be this, as it will apply to any piece of clothing you wear.
In the present days scenes, almost all ensambles feature wide peaked lapels.
They increase the formality level of the suit, broaden the shoulders, and add to his already masculine physique.
On top of this, it’s a clear indication of premium clothing and works to cement his place as a leader in his field, and show he is at the top of the rank hierarchy.
More practically, wide peaked lapels add just enough visual interest to make his otherwise typical jacket stand out.
Like the peaked lapels, a ticket pocket is usually an indicator of quality clothing, and makes the suit jacket stand out slightly.
It’s found on Harvey’s right, above the regular pocket, and is a traditionally English nuance.
How to Get the Look – Wide Peaked Lapels and Ticket Pocket
For wide peaked lapels and ticket pockets, you can try the designer brand Tom Ford, the company who produced his original suits in season one. However, these can be hard to come by, and command a high price tag.
Alternatively, you can opt to get a bespoke, custom garment made for you, and instruct the tailor to include as many features as you like.
However, if you live in the west, this too will usually have a high price tag, not to mention investment of your time and energy.
The final option I can recommend would be a speciality retailer, such as Suitsupply, who sometimes offer suits with very similar styling.
Suitsupply’s Washington line features most of the items on the list, including a peaked lapel, ticket pocket, and on select models side adjusters and turn ups.
However, Suitsupply don’t sell mix and match separates, so if you’re of a atypical size (like me), the average sized suits will probably not fit you, or will require a lot of tailoring to fit right.
Most suit jackets feature a ‘double vent’, that is, two slits at the back of the suit jacket that create a flap.
Harvey’s suits are no exception.
The double vent gives the greatest mobility to the suit wearer compared to other vent types. Therefore, you should aim for your suit jacket to also have double vents, unless you are wearing a tuxedo.
Fortunately, this shouldn’t be such a hard task as it is the standard for most suits.
All of his suits feature strong, structured shoulders that again build up his frame. This is achieved by loading up the shoulder area with padding.
Most of Harvey’s trousers feature tab side adjusters.
Though they are only seen when he takes his jacket off, they are, in my opinion, one of the best details of his sartorial wardrobe.
Not only are they an indicator of quality tailoring, but are very functional, allowing you to adjust your trouser waist to fit you exactly (helping you survive after a large client lunch).
How to Get The Look – Side Adjusters
Though typically uncommon, trousers with side adjusters can be found at speciality retailers.
On top of this, it is actually possible to add side adjusters to suit trousers that don’t initially have them. All you will need is a good tailor, and some extra suit fabric.
So, if you find a suit that you like, and it doesn’t have side adjusters, get a longer pair of trousers (to get the extra fabric), and have a tailor take your trousers up, and use the removed fabric to create side adjusters.
It’s what I’ve done for some of my trousers, and the results are awesome.
Most of his trousers feature a full break, the most classic trouser finish.
How to Get The Look – Full Break
Most brick and mortar suit shops will pin your trousers up and ask you what type of trouser finish you want.
Simply ask for a ‘full break’, or show them a picture of one of Harvey Specter’s suits, and they should be able to emulate the style.
Occasionally his trousers feature turn ups, which look to be about 5-6cm in depth.
This classic detail is another indicator of premium clothing.
On top of this, they evidently show that he has taste, and practically work to weigh the trouser leg down to produce a more flattering line.
Outfit Example: Blue Suit
His suits usually come in darker shades of blue, such as navy.
As usual, this specific example incorporates all of the mentioned details, with the fabric looking to be of a sharkskin weave.
This image alone cements the importance of fit when it comes to looking good.
Harvey Specter’s 3 Piece Suit
Sometimes he opts to wear a 3 piece suit, which means the inclusion of a matching waistcoat (or vest) along with the jacket and trousers.
This raises the formality level of the suit, and again reinforces his stance as a confident character, as many men shy away from this item.
Though, he does sometimes make the mistake of buttoning his jacket while wearing a waistcoat.
I would suggest not emulating this detail, as an open suit jacket when wearing a waistcoat produces a much more flattering look.
- Are always single breasted
- Never feature a lapel
- Always match exactly with the suit he is wearing (he does not wear odd waistcoats)
- Usually have 6 buttons
- Usually have the bottom button unbuttoned, as per correct vest etiquette
Harvey Specter’s vest is especially welcome as his trousers feature side adjusters, which, unlike a belt, do not break the line of the waistcoat.
On occasions, specifically throughout season 6, Harvey wears a three buttoned suit.
I personally feel it doesn’t work well with the peaked lapels, and produces a strange, overly elongated look.
Where does Harvey Specter get his suits?
Many wonder what brand of suits Harvey Specter wears.
Harvey famously wears Tom Ford suits. However, it is believed that this is only the case for the first season, with Harvey being dressed in the later seasons by a bespoke Canadian tailor.
Conclusion – Harvey Specter’s Suit Style
It’s going to be hard to find a suit with all of the features found on Harvey’s suits, but it can be done – they all work together to produce a certain ‘style’, so if a suit has one, it will likely have some of the others.
Hitting all of the suit nuances is a difficult task, but that’s why it’s so powerful – you will likely be the only one with the styling options, setting you apart.
Harvey Specter’s Shirts
Keeping in line with the rest of his wardrobe, Harvey Specter’s shirts usually come in muted colours, and are very versatile.
His shirts usually have the following details:
- Semi-spread collar
- Button OR french (cufflink) cuffs
- A subtle grey ‘H.S.’ monogram on the left cuff
Harvey Specter Shirt Colours & Patterns
His shirts are usually white, but can also be light blue.
However, on occasion, most notably in the earlier seasons, he does wear striped shirts.
These shirts sometimes stick to the grey scale approach he is known for.
However, though still appropriate to wear with the rest of his attire, in some of season one, these striped shirts introduced colour.
These striped shirts bring some much needed warmth into Harvey Specter’s style and outfits, and in my opinion elevate his style greatly.
If you’re looking to bring some of his style into your wardrobe, I would recommend looking into these type conservative, striped shirts. They brighten you up and make your look more personable than a ‘down to business’ white shirt, but retain much of the formality.
His shirts fit pretty well, though I feel are sometimes slightly on the baggy side, and could do with slight tapering in in the midsection.
However, this enables comfort, and the excess fabric doesn’t look too bad as it hangs rather well.
That said, his shirts, especially the through the arms, the sleeve length and neck, all fit perfectly.
Matching Shirt and Ties Like Harvey
Admittedly, there’s not much matching when it comes to Harvey Specter’s style.
After all, most of the time his shirts are white or light blue, which anything will match with.
But in this instance, he has introduced patterns into both is tie and shirt:
Though both patterns are stripes, he makes sure to keep the patterns to different sizes.
So, his shirt has finer stripes, while his tie has thicker, and further spaced stripes.
This actively differentiates between the two, and provided the colours within the items work together, they will look good.
Some of Harvey’s shirts feature a monogram in the non-traditional location of the left cuff.
This very ‘typical’ Specter detail is usually accomplished in a blue, as pictured above, or in a more subtle grey.
The best thing is that some shirtmakers, such as Charles Tyrwhitt, actually offer this service, so you too can emulate this detail rather easily.
Harvey Specter Ties
His ties are usually in muted colours, and are either solid, or feature small repeating patterns.
This is understandable though, as the profession demands this sort of professional dress code.
He typically wears ties with grey, silver, navy or burgundy colours.
Harvey Specters’s ties all look to be made from silk, the most typical and versatile tie material.
Some may be a wool-silk blend.
The Harvey Specter Tie Knot
Specter usually ties a his tie using a full Windsor knot.
Gabriel Macht released this video showing him tying his Harvey Specter tie knot:
However, given his semi-spread collar, I would consider the fill Windsor knot too big for his collar, and of incorrect proportions.
However, there is no question that Harvey’s Windsor knot commands authority, and is yet another way how he shows his status through his clothing.
If you are looking at bringing the Windsor knot into your wardrobe, I would recommend looking at shirts with cutaway or extreme cutaway collars, as there is more space to fill that can be provided by a Windsor knot.
To add to this, his tie knots almost always feature a tie dimple, which gives it a third dimension and draws the eye to the face.
Harvey Specter is said to wear ties from the Italian fashion house Brioni, though it is likely other brands have made their way around his neck.
In accordance with his general styling choices, Harvey’s ties look to come in at around 8-9.5cm, which is on the wider, more conservative and classic side.
Harvey Specter’s Accessories
He can usually be seen sporting a classic white pocket square with a ‘presidential fold’.
However, sometimes a pocket square is absent from his ensemble.
You should always wear a pocket square when you are wearing tailoring – it doesn’t cost much, but it makes a huge difference.
Interestingly though, despite typically sporting an easily wearable white pocket square, he has also been seen to wear pocket squares in unusual colours such as navy, or ones with a slight sheen.
Harvey Specter Watch – Patek Philippe 5004p
Now it may be a surprise to you that Harvey doesn’t wear watches.
And, it’s not because it doesn’t suit the character, but something a bit more practical.
According to Gabriel Macht in an interview for timeandtidewatches.com, “the reason we have not put Harvey in a watch since then [season one] is because the suits look better without.”
I disagree – but I think it’s all to do with the type of watch they were trying to get him to wear.
The season one Harvey Specter watch he was referring to was the Patek Philippe 5004p, and is seen in the opening scene of episode three.
There’s no doubt that this allegedly $400,000 watch is a stunner, and actually fits the character. However for you I would recommend a sleeker and dressier watch to wear with a suit.
Macht added “it’s a good choice for Harvey because his dress and presentation is quite aware of itself. I could see a Patek being part of his arsenal to put someone off guard” and “with all the changes that we go through in a day, it became too much without enough success of getting those shots in”, confirming that timepieces would make a greater part of the character if the demands of television production allowed it.
Harvey Specter’s Shoes
Like the rest of his wardrobe, he likes to keep it simple when it comes to footwear.
Harvey Specter’s shoes are usually of the oxford or wholecut variety, and sometimes feature subtle brogue patterning.
Throughout the show, Harvey is seen to wear shoes in a large variety of colours, such as black, dark brown, tan and oxblood.
So, he has really brought every colour to the party.
However, I have always found the shape and last of his shoes to be slightly unflattering, and is something that could easily be improved.
Harvey Specter Tuxedo Style
Harvey doesn’t just kill his formal game in the office.
At black tie events, he also continues his mantra of being impeccably and classically put together.
His typical tuxedo style includes:
- Wide peaked lapels (like his suits)
- Satin facing lapels
- Jetted pockets (Without a flap)
- A diamond tipped bow tie
- A pleated tuxedo shirt
- Mother of pearl buttons
- A pointed collar
All in all, Harvey follows all the rules of conventional black tie, however there are things that you can improve upon.
I feel his collar is too pointed, and sticks out from under his bow tie, creating an unflattering look.
On top of this, though his tuxedo shirt’s buttons are mother of pearl, he is not wearing any studs, which would complete the look.
The Harvey Specter Overcoat
New York can get cold. Really cold.
Harvey Specter’s overcoats usually follow the same rules as his suits, and feature wide peaked lapels, a ticket pocket, and structured shoulders.
This particular overcoat features a covered placket, meaning the jacket buttons don’t show.
The jacket is likely made from wool or cashmere, and conforms to the body well.
Throughout the show, he is seen to wear a multitude of overcoats in different colours, like the above pictured black, medium grey, and aubergine.
However, each time to finish his overcoat look, he wraps scarf, presumably made from cashmere, around his neck. These scarfs include dark purple, camel and grey, and provide a stylish contrast between the rest of his outfit.
This shows the power of a uniform – each look is the same ‘style’, but different in colour. He knows what sort of image he wants to portray, and sticks to it.
In season 3 episode 5, Harvey wears this black trench coat.
We’ve previously seen how he protects himself from the rain in his casual clothing, but this dressier option shows us how he does this when rocking a suit.
Water proof trench coats are typically easy to find, and can be acquired for many shops such as as Zara or H&M.
Harvey Specter Style – Conclusion
This article has covered how Harvey Specter dresses in smart, dressy situations.
But it doesn’t cover the whole picture.
He maintains an awesome wardrobe and look in all situations.
However, that said, he dresses for function – if it isn’t an important part of how people perceive you, I’m sure he wouldn’t pay any attention to his appearance.
And this means that, though he’s put together well, it’s as simple as possible.
It’s mostly a uniform (apart from some of his striped shirts and colourful ties in season one) that sticks to a rigid style and colour pallet.
I tried this once, and got ridiculously bored.
So, if you’re more into style like myself, I wouldn’t recommend copying Harvey Specter’s style exactly, but bringing in pieces of it, such as peaked lapels, or larger knots.
But if you just want to use clothing as a tool to get ahead, his wardrobe is a good place to start.