I don't know why but I used to really hate vests. You would think that I would have really been into them given that I grew up in the era of Beverly Hills 90210 and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Vests were everywhere! Short shirts, long shirts, crop tops, jeans, skirts... you name it.
These days, it really is no different, especially for males. What better way to look business casual than to throw a suited vest over an every day outfit with some immaculate shoes? It could have something to do with the fact that pre-30s, I spent a lot of time wearing uniforms or adhering to certain dress codes for work that a vest wasn't exactly appropriate.
So what has happened that I finally decided to give vests a try now that my work wardrobe is way more flexible and I can dress as myself? First, I've been able to relax more in denim.
Prior to September of 2018, much of my wardrobe had to be business professional. Absolutely no jeans allowed for managers unless you got called in with little time to change or found yourself attending a meeting "off the clock" because it was your day off. I didn't wear jeans too much on my days off either because taking care of your children under 5 sometimes requires more flexibility than jeans are willing to give.
I now have this awesome and comfortable distressed vest that I have available on my Editor's Cut site and Ebay, where I sell some of my favorite items from vendors. I've worn this both open and closed, with and without shirts underneath. I have pulled this out on hot days when you need that venting that a sleeveless jacket provides as well as when I want to feel a little more "street".
The second reason I've given vests a go is I'm way more into skirts and loose pants than I used to be. I think vests provide a beautifully balanced silhouette to the body when you have some flare happening on the bottom. It's almost like hugging yourself with snug fabulousness of fabric! This military style one below was love at first site that I found this season at Zara!
She reminds me of the American Revolutionary War uniforms but for women with taste! This one I paired with one of my button ups I bought from H&M last year.
The third reason I am slipping vests on is we still have months to go before we get back to fall and winter, but even into those seasons what is acquired now will still be useful. Circa 2008 -2010, I went through a phase where I was all about the blazer. Then I ended up getting a job where a blazer was professional but not functional for me and I switched to cardigans.
I finally allowed myself to buy a blazer again (white for the summer and lightweight) to try it out but I know that with Virginia Beach heat, I'm going to need those free arms. On days I want to be a little more "tailored" but a blazer is too much, the vest will be my next best friend. Right now I've got my eye on something like this sequin vest available at Nordstrom Rack that fits my 2020 Shine kick that I've been on to get dressed up or casual.
photo via peruvian connection
I'm also hoping for options of long styles like this BCBG MaxAzria version I love that's available at Bloomingdales. Vests like these would be perfect for running errands in some leggings and stylish flats or mules. One thing I can tell you now about vests, there are plenty of great fall ones that are on sale right now with various retailers. Stock up on two or 3 now that have thicker textures so that you'll be set come October without paying full price!
And don't think I forgot about the male readers that I have! You don't have to be the artsy type or a socialite to enjoy wearing a vest or using one to add a layer of interest to your outfit. A printed yet simple, cotton vest over your favorite basic tee or henley for a quick lunch with friends or an outdoor event such as this version by Ralph Lauren.
And for those occasions that you do feel the need to be a bit more snazzy without overdoing it, you could also reverse the last method and pair a simple vest with a printed shirt, as in this Ted Baker look from Bloomindgales. You could utilize spring/summer colors as well like this rasberry look by Paisley & Gray.
photo via thefashionisto
Additional options for both ladies and gents for rainy days or cool summer nights would include a lightweight sweater vest. I love looks like this CRYYU cable-knit one with pockets... lovely with jeans or a skirt and umbrella! What guy wouldn't be look like he knows what he's doing if he shows up in something similar to this Merino Wool textured version of a waistcoat that transitions through virtually every season.
How do you feel about vests? Have you once given them a try and given up like I did or have they always been a staple in your wardrobe?