Five ways to wear a vest

Model 2 in a Country waistcoat in camel from Samuel Windsor

There’s a vest for every occasion
Image source: Country waistcoat in camel from Samuel Windsor

Vests first made their appearance in 17th century Europe, and they’re still a great choice for the dapper dresser. An excellent way to add a smarter note to your outfit, there are lots of styles and fabrics to choose from. In fact, there’s a men’s vest for every occasion – here are five ways to wear yours.

1: A vest for a traditional sporting vibe

Model 2 in a Slim-fit jacket and vest in Thurston check from Samuel Windsor

A tweed vest perfectly complements your tweed sports coat
Featured product: Slim-fit jacket and vest in Thurston check from Samuel Windsor

A vest is a traditional favorite designed to fit perfectly under your jacket as part of a three-piece suit. It’s quite simply the smartest way to dress up, and is a great choice for a wide range of occasions from weddings to job interviews, smart lunches, and more.

If it’s a slightly more relaxed country look you’re after, try a tweed vest and jacket combo with a pair of khaki or stone chinos. But remember to leave the bottom button of your vest undone. It’s a throwback to days gone by when comfort in the saddle was a must and allowing a little extra freedom of movement was a bonus. It’s arcane and it might seem a little pointless now, but still, doing up your bottom button remains a dress code no-no.

2: A vest to add pattern

Model 2 in a Navy paisley waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

A paisley vest helps you stand out from the crowd
Image source: Navy paisley waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

The dandies of yesteryear would sometimes wear two vests, but while that’s overkill, their habit of adopting patterned fabrics still works today. And what better way to give your look a boost than by going for a subtle paisley patterned vest?

Originally from India, paisley swirls are opulent and classy without ever slipping into garishness. This is a great option for wearing beneath your tux, offering a low key, yet effective way to bring your whole ensemble up a notch and get you noticed for all the right reasons.

3: A vest to add color

Model 2 in a Mustard-colour moleskin waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

A vest adds color and interest to your ensemble
Image source: Mustard-colour moleskin waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

Color is another way to make your outfit shine – try opting for a bright claret or mustard yellow vest under your jacket. Contrasting hues give your ensemble a real wow factor and are a brilliant way to make your standard separates even more versatile.

Colorful country vests are really all about layering, offering you the ability to break up an otherwise monochrome look and giving your suit or separates an extra dimension. How? Once the after dinner speeches are over, or the band strikes up, simply remove your jacket and switch to a full blast of party mode vibrancy.

4: A vest to add texture

Model 3 in an Emerald velvet waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

Make an impact with green velvet
Image source: Emerald velvet waistcoat from Samuel Windsor

Summer linen; Fall tweed; winter velvet – don’t be afraid to experiment with textured vests. Not only does a vest offer the opportunity to try different colors and combinations, it’s also a way to jazz things up by offering a contrasting fabric.

A velvet vest is a means of adding real depth to your ensemble. If you feel the cold, this is also a great option for you – and the perfect solution for smart outdoor events.

5: A casual vest

Model 3 in a Claret knitted vest from Samuel Windsor

Use your vest to give a casual outfit a touch of class
Image source: Claret knitted vest from Samuel Windsor

Think of your vest as lending a certain panache to less formal proceedings. Is it date night? Wear a knitted vest over a button-down Oxford shirt for a smart look that shows you care how you look for your partner. Enjoying a weekend lunch with friends? A knitted vest stands in for a light sweater, giving your ensemble a touch of formality without going crazy.

For a more laid back look, pair your vest with your favorite jeans or cords; add chukka boots and you’re good to go.

A vest is an extremely versatile item of clothing which belongs in every well-dressed man’s closet. We love to hear from you. Head over to our Facebook page and post an image of you wearing yours.

Posted in Men's Style Guides.

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