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How To: Wear a Vest

Be honest, when putting on your suited or tuxedo outfit, the last thing on your mind was probably, am I wearing this vest the right way? Yeah, that’s what we thought. But that’s okay, because sometimes it’s the simplest things that seem to go over our heads.

A vest is an accessory that dates pretty far back in history as something worn with a tuxedo for a classic and polished look. In today’s fashion, vests can be worn with tuxedos still, but also with suits, without jackets and even casually with jeans. It’s all about how to style the vest and the circumstance for wearing it (if any).

Knowing this, there are so many different types of vests that range from casual to formal, full back to backless, etc. Knowing which type of vest is appropriate to wear, then how it should fit, and how to match it with the rest of your ensemble is what ultimately makes for a successfully accessorized vest.

So, when opting to wear a vest, here are some important things to remember:

  • When deciding on a vest, they can either match your pocket square (with a fun or stylish print), or they can remain solid. This will likely depend on the event and the dress code of the event.
  • When wearing a 3-piece suit, the vest should be the same color and fabric as the rest of the suit (yes, that’s where the name came from).
  • When selecting a vest size, take into consideration how much activity you will be doing when wearing the vest (dancing, modeling, running a marathon… the usual.) It’s also important to remember you’ll be wearing the vest overtop of other clothes (like a dress shirt) so find a good fit. The vest should not be tight!
  • The vest should also be long enough to cover the waistband of your pants – hence the original name “waistcoat.”
  • Don’t be afraid to use the back belt on your vest to adjust for comfort, that’s what it’s there for.
  • Always. Always remember to leave the bottom button on the vest unbuttoned.
  • Wearing a vest is an alternative to wearing a cummerbund, this should be an easy one to figure out, but never wear both. One or the other.