Whether you call it a vest or waistcoat, you should have one (or five)! You don’t need to buy a three piece suit to get one either (although you usually won’t pay much more than a two piece suit, so they are the best deal in the store). Vests are available more and more often these days as separates and you should pick some up to Up Your Fashion Game.
I love vests and here’s why. You really have a lot of options when wearing a vest. It can be used in so many ways that there isn’t a reason you shouldn’t own one.
Here’s a list of ways to wear a vest in order from casual to formal:
- Wear it with a t-shirt, buttoned or not
- Dark jeans, dress shirt
- Dark jeans, dress shirt, tie – My personal favorite
- Suit pants/chinos and unmatched vest
- Three piece suit minus the jacket (more formal with a tie)
- Three piece suit (most formal with a tie)
Last, here are some general things to know about wearing a vest:
- Never button the bottom button. This tradition goes back all the way to when King Edward VII started to get fat and unbuttoned it. Everyone copied the then Prince of Wales, so now we don’t button the bottom button.
- It’s a great opportunity to wear a pocket watch.
- It can have lapels or not. That style choice is up to you.
- Look for vests as part of three piece suits in thrift stores. Just get the vest if it fits but the suit doesn’t. (Little trick here. Just take the vest up to the counter and tell them that you found this and it doesn’t have a tag!)
- If you’re feeling rakish, try a pocket square in your vest’s breast pocket if it has one, like in the picture above!
Get out there and get a vest. You’ll immediately Up Your Fashion Game. And don’t be surprised if you get compliments everywhere you go. It comes with the territory…
“Just make sure it fits well. You don’t want the loose vest. A vest should be a little snug because they were originally designed to be worn under a jacket.” – Adam Rapoport