Shannon popped this guy into the suggestion box:
I’d love a tutorial on wearing classy vests. I have a very menswear style vest in my closet that I love, but have no idea how to wear it. White button-down shirts look awful on me for a number of reasons and would look too “suit-like” besides. Any ideas?
I’ve got a couple of menswear-ish vests myself, but they don’t come out to play often because, like Shannon, I find them a bit tough to style. In fact, I’ve drawn upon looks from my fellow bloggers to illustrate some successful vest ensembles!
Here Lisa from Solo Lisa combines her menswear vest with a plaid shirt and full-length pants. Although Shannon said that white button-downs don’t work for her, I’m throwing this option into the pot regardless: Vests look so natural with button-downs, and patterned shirts are a great alternative to whites. Here, Lisa has gone for all-out on androgyny,with slim slacks and oxfords to complete her look.
If you decide to try this one out for yourself, do as Lisa has and include some fun embellishments like a brooch, bracelet, or necklace. Or, on the flip side, go a little bit slouchy and totally tomboy.
Lisa’s final outfit shows a version of the previous with some great tweaks. She has swapped in cuffed jeans for her slacks, and low heels for the oxfords. She’s also added that adorable brooch at her collar, bowtie-reminiscent without being an actual tie.
Since that specific brooch is unlikely to be languishing in your jewelry box, try swapping in any brooch with some heft to it. An interesting piece right at the neck will look cool and interesting. And if the button-down is a dealbreaker, skip the brooch altogether and try a long-sleeved tee instead. It should work with the laid-back vibe of the cuffed jeans.
Since both of those options involved button-downs, let’s look to Audi of Fashion for Nerds for some less formal options, shall we? Here, she’s chosen a graphic tee with an allover print, jeans, and cowgirl boots to pair with her menswear vest. The resulting outfit is fun, funky, and fabulously edgy.
Our first vest-skirt pairing! Audi unifies her top and bottom halves by utilizing that lovely, dark burgundy in her tee, tights, and boots. The hat and skirt echo each other, and the buttons on the skirt and vest create great parallels. This ensemble has some pretty specific pieces, but is still a great source of inspiration. If you were to recreate this outfit, I’d recommend including at least one textured piece (here, the tights), a shirt that can remain untucked, and garments that read more cute and fun than refined and formal. In my opinion, doing a vest and skirt together as a dressy work ensemble is tough, but a playful weekend version should be easier to create.
In Audi’s final look, she’s picked a long-sleeved tee, wide leg pants, and a lovely scarf. Of all five ensembles shown here, I’d say this one is the cleanest, most versatile, and easiest to emulate. The wide legs are balanced beautifully by the fitted vest, and the scarf makes a gorgeous flourish at the neckline. Any trouser or jean could sub for wide legs, and I recommend scrunching your sleeves just as Audi has for added interest.
Fitted vests are such fabulous pieces, but they can be a bit challenging to style. Hopefully these great outfits have sparked a few ideas that you can try with pieces from your own closet.
Top image via Thisisnext