How to Wear a Vest or Men’s Waistcoat When Layering The Stylish Way – Gentleman’s Gazette

How to Wear a Vest or Men’s Waistcoat When Layering The Stylish Way – Gentleman’s Gazette


So first of all, what’s the difference between
a waistcoat and a vest? The answer is nothing, it’s exactly the same
thing. I’m wearing one right here and you can see
one here. Most of the time, men wear three-piece suits
which means it’s a matching vest and it’s the same fabric as the pants and the jacket. Now while it’s easy, in today’s video, we
want to discuss odd vest. What’s an odd vest? It’s basically a contrasting waistcoat or
vest that is different than the jacket and or the pants. Let’s start off with odd vest history. It has been around since the 1800s and it
was always an elegant way to add color to your outfit and to stand out. Often, they had artistic buttons and intricate
detailing. Interestingly, some people even wore two waistcoats
on top of each other simply to get a different look, sometimes you can see this idea of having
two waistcoats in formal morning wear when you add a slip which is a piece of fabric
that is buttoned behind your waistcoat and it’s like a piped border on the inside of
the waistcoat which adds to the formality and interesting contrast. So why should you wear odd vest and why should
you invest in them? Let’s say you have two jackets and one suit
in your wardrobe; adding another jacket gives you another outfit instead, if you take the
same money and invest in three odd vests, let’s say in a red one, burgundy, maybe blue
and green, all of a sudden you can create 27 outfits. That’s a huge increase in what you can do
and if you just change the vest, it’s a small capital investment but it has a huge visual
impact on the feel and look of your outfit. So first, let’s talk about lighter colored
odd vests. They’re really easy to combine with a darker
suit or darker garments simply because they add this contrast. Ideally, you don’t want the vest to be the
same color as your shirt, otherwise, it all blends in. That being said, a lighter colored waistcoat
looks great with so many different things and it will almost certainly be a winner no
matter what you have in your wardrobe right now. Historically, dapper gents would wear white
vests and you can still do that today but ideally, you go with maybe a striped shirt
or something that’s slightly contrasting, otherwise, you’ll just lose it and it looks
like a white block. In terms of material, I like a white or off-white
velvet or mole or doe skin, simply because it’s warm in the winter, it adds an extra
layer, and it looks magnificent with any kind of dark suits whether it’s gray, blue, or
brown. Alternatively, a buff waistcoat or a light
gray waistcoat looks really dapper as well, it also is appropriate for business suits,
as well as formal morningwear. You can exchange the vest with a stroller
suit which is the equivalent to a tuxedo for formal daywear or with a morning coat which
is the equivalent to white tie when it comes to daywear. To learn more about morning dress, please
check out our in-depth morning dress guide and it’ll answer any question you might have
about this wonderful dress code. If you get a waistcoat and let’s say a sand
color or a buff color, you can actually wear that with the most formal outfits as well
as striped suits, semi-formal suits, such as brown suits, as well as tweed jackets,
and combinations. It’s probably one of the most versatile color
for vests you can get. Now, a vest is a lot easier to fit than a
jacket simply because they don’t have sleeves and all that matters is the proper length
in the front and the back as well as your chest and ideally, you should have a deep
cut armhole because unlike with a jacket there are no sleeves and so a deeper cut provides
more comfort for your movement. The back of a vest is usually lined with the
lining fabric of the suit jacket or if it’s a standalone piece, it may be a contrasting
fabric that can be quite bold, or quite subtle, very similar in color. If you take it a notch up and you go with
a custom vest, sometimes they can use the same fabric in the front and the back. Now that may make you feel warmer but it has
the advantage that you can take off your jacket and wear just the vest in case you overheat
and you’ll still look very dapper. The most important thing when wearing a vest
is that you never combine it with a belt. Why? you might wonder. It a little layer underneath your vest and
makes it gap between the pants and the vest and it looks cheap and odd, therefore, either
go with side adjusters on your pants or with suspenders but never a belt. If you want to go with vests for your business
suits, I suggest you go with single breasted suits because double breqasted suits will
only show a very tiny bit of the vest on top of it. Also with a double-breasted suit and a vest,
you have lots of layers which makes you quickly overheat especially in an office situation. When you start, I suggest to go with solid
colored vests for business suits such as gray, maybe buff, light blue, or something darker. Let’s say you have a light grey three-piece
suit, you can also use that vest and combine it with a charcoal or navy suit. At the end of the day, you have to experiment
and see what works for you and the situation. For example in this outfit, I’m wearing a
charcoal Brown suit. To learn more about charcoal Brown, please
check out the article on our website. Overall, it’s a little less formal than let’s
say a charcoal or a navy suit, however, I increase the level of formality by adding
a white double-breasted waistcoat. When you have a striped three-piece business
suit, it’s much more difficult to combine that vest with other outfits simply because
the stripe usually requires you to wear at least the same jacket. A great way to split up your three-piece suit
is to wear the matching waistcoat and jacket with a different pair of pants. I suggest you don’t do that with a striped
suit because that’s usually a little more formal but you can do it with small pattern
suits such as a houndstooth suit. If you like to wear sport coats or tweed jackets,
you can basically go with any kind of fabric under the sun and every pattern you want. For example, the mannequin here has a regatta
silk and it’s quite formal so I try to pair it with a solid shirt and a solid jacket,
on the other hand, the jacket I’m wearing here right now is a tweed jacket in green
and I can wear it with another kind of tweed jacket for the vest. All you have to pay attention to is that the
scale of the patterns you incorporate into your outfit are distinctly different. So large tartan, very fine stripe, and a even
finer fabric that is just based on the weave; that way I pair a solid tie with solid pants
and everything works well together. Another interesting option that’s rather bold
for waistcoats is a tartan vest. It has its origins in Scotland and one of
the most popular fabrics is probably the Black Watch tartan. Some people like to pair them during holidays
maybe with a velvet jacket and I suggest to only combine bold waistcoats like that with
solid jackets, otherwise, it’s an overload of patterns and it’s not flattering. Another popular waistcoat fabric from England
is a so-called tattersall fabric. It has basically small cheques or mini window
panes in two different colors, on a lighter background such as pastel yellow, buff, or
sometimes even off-white. Most of the time, it comes in basic colors
such as green, yellow, blue, or red, for the cheques and it’s a staple that’s very bold
but because it’s classic you can wear it without a problem. Now, most lets you find these days are single
breasted and usually they do not have a lapel just like the one I’m wearing here right now. If you want to be a little different, you
can add all a lapel to your vest because it just adds another layer of something and it’s
interesting. If you want to make your waistcoat even more
formal, I suggest to look into a double-breasted waistcoat. Unfortunately, they’re very hard to find off
the rack and so it pays to have them custom-made; that aside, I really love double breasted
waistcoats because they add a different look to it and they’re just different. Because they’re a little more formal, I still
want to wear them with tweed sport coats. I make sure to get them in with fabrics they’re
a little more casual such as this velvet or doe skin or mole skin. In terms of fit for any waistcoat, it’s important
that it always covers your waistband, therefore, it’s better paired with pants with a high
rise. There’s nothing worse than wearing a waistcoat
that has a piece of shirt or tie peeking out from underneath of it. It just looks sloppy and amateurish. In my opinion, a fantastic addition to any
man’s wardrobe is a knit vest. it’s warm, it’s as comfortable as a sweater and maybe
even more so because it don’t have sleeves, and you can easily take it on or off, and
it a very casual character. Personally, I have a blue alpaca waistcoat
that I like to travel with, it keeps me warm and it gives me a lot of options in terms
of traveling and it never wrinkles. Snother popularsweater vest pattern is the
fair isle pattern. It was popularized by the prince of wales
and it works so well because it uses lots of different colors to create that pattern
that is so typical for that sweater or for the vest. And because of that, it combines very well
with all kinds of casual sport coats because chances are, some of the color in the vest
is also in the jacket. When you look at relatively inexpensive wedding
outfitters, you can see these intricately woven, jacquard silks, flashy waistcoats,
and I personally think they’re rather gaudy and I wouldn’t wear them myself. So, unless you really know what you’re doing
I would stay clear those vests and go with solids and classic patterns as mentioned in
this guide. So last but not least, where should you buy
your waistcoats? That’s actually a very hard question to answer
because not many stores have really good waistcoats on offer in different materials and patterns. So the easiest route for you will be to go
custom. I’ve also had good luck finding them at thrift
stores because back in the day, people would wear waistcoats a lot more especially odd
vests. That being said, we’re actually working on
a line of odd vests so stay tuned for those. At the end of the day, I think every man should
have at least five waistcoats in his arsenal because the more of them you have, the more
easy it will be to combine different outfits that look unique every time even though they’re
comprised of the same items in your wardrobe. in today’s outfit I’m wearing a vintage tweed
jacket that I picked up at a thrift store for under 20 bucks. it has pockets, with flaps that are buttoned
so that’s why I’m not wearing the pocket square because it’s a sport coat there’s a center
vent and so that’s perfectly appropriate even though you don’t go horseback riding. I combined it with a lighter colored waistcoat
which is a bit of a tweed which has like red flags but a khaki green undertone with brown
buttons. it’s single breasted and leaving a button
button undone because it’s a habit that was introduced by Prince Albert and you can learn
more about a tradition and the different theories behind it in our article on the website here. The shirt is red and white striped and it
picks up the red from the waistcoat and it goes well with a green. As I mentioned before, the pattern scale has
to be different in order for the whole outfit to work together. I’m adding a blue silk knit tie from Fort
Belvedere to the mix to even out the bold patterns and I throw in a dark brown pair
of corduroys from Ralph Lauren which just make the look warm and fall/winter like. the shoes are a pair of Allen Edmonds chukka
boots and they pick up the color of the waistcoat, they are contrasting to the pants, but consistent
because they go with the green and the vest. the socks are blue and red striped from Fort
Belvedere and they pick up the red in the shirt and a blue in the tie. my cufflinks are likewise from Fort Belvedere
and made out of a tiger’s eye which is brown and has a effect when you move it in the light
which is quite elegant and it works well with the brown pants as well as the waistcoat. my ring has a blue stone that goes well with
a socks and a tie that way it’s all tied together without being matchy matchy. if you enjoyed
this video please make sure to subscribe to our channel and sign up for a newsletter so
you get more information like this right your inbox.

100 Replies to “How to Wear a Vest or Men’s Waistcoat When Layering The Stylish Way – Gentleman’s Gazette”

  1. I always appreciate your perspective. My mentor recently informed me that there was no difference between the term vest and waistcoat so it was good to hear that affirmed here. I have a camel double breasted and a guncheck single-breasted with notch lapels. You've given me more inspiration so thank you. Question how big should the buttons be on a waist coat? I've always thought they should match the size of the sleeve buttons. Thoughts?

  2. Great video. I like your outfit but not a fan of the pant width and length. I'd prefer Slimmer and slightly shorter pants to look sharper and a bit more modern.

  3. Posting wherever I could asking this unanswered question ! Can I wear a vest with chinos? Is it a YES but it must be (black chinos/dark chinos) or is it a NO regardless the color of the chinos. Thanks

  4. I think I might give the vest a shot in the future. Not right now, because I just got my first custom-made suit, and it is great, but I also had to invest about $600.

    Raphael, do you have any tips on how to store clothes? I don't have too much space in my hangers and not too many drawers, and I was wondering if you had a couple of tips on how to store clothing (especially off-season ones), maybe in plastic boxes, etc.

  5. What kind of odd vest could one wear with a double breasted suit? I recently got a nice vintage fine herringbone brown double breasted suit but I feel like it's missing something.

  6. How is the odd vest line coming? I would be very interested!

    Also, the website Gentleman’s Emporium (Historical Emporium) has a good selection of odd vests from the Victorian era

  7. I have a charcoal grey pinstripe suit and I'm wondering what kind/color of vest would be good with that ? Plain grey with no pinstripe ?

  8. Hello, wow, I love your videos and very grateful for you sharing your knowledge. I'm an image consultant in England, I love quality and always advice my clients to buy second hand rather than cheaper new items. I bought Alan Flusser book, compliments what you teach. I love your two coloured over the calf sock. I want to buy my man all of them.
    I would love to work in your shop for a month or just hang out with you to learn more on menswear and quality lifestyle. I don't have much money, but I still manage to eat lobster or turbot and buy fresh flowers weekly. I have always loved quality and my little girl is the same, she only likes hungarian goose down pillows in a flax linen pillow case sprinkled with chamomile and lavender essential oil. We must have been princess in our past lives. Still hoping one day that people will get my worth and invest in my workshops where i teach the art of looking good.

    If you are ever in England is love to meet you and take you for a hike on the fells in the lake District which is where I live. Xxx x
    Jasmin Hall

  9. I really like the white, double-breasted waistcoat. Does it have peaked or notched lapels? I'd love to find one like it. I have started wearing more 3 piece suits, and will try mixing it up w odd vests. Thanks so much!

  10. would following combo work: white shirt + colourful tie + V-neck sweatervest (optionally: +dark blue jacket)?

  11. That moment when you find out that the way to wear a vest for business is without a belt and now you realize you need suspenders, but you're kind of excited about it because it's a new clothing item type. Thanks for another awesome video, Sven!

  12. How about pairing a double breasted waistcoat with a single breasted jacket? what is you opion on that?

  13. i never buy a suit unless its a 3 piece. call me old fashioned but i still regard the shirt as underwear.

  14. I love all of you videos, Aahhhhhh! However I can not tell which brands are in this video, or which brands are best for vests and trousers.

  15. I have been looking my whole life for your channel! Thank you for helping men to become Gentlemen all over the World! Style, Class, Beauty, Elegance and those special good manners! I hope a ˋHow to be a real Lady´ will start up, God knows they are becoming rare too!

  16. Thank you for your videos, always very informative. Not wishing to be pedantic, but the received wisdom on the fashion of leaving the bottom button undone, is that it originated with Prince Edward the Prince of Whales (later King Edward VII) not Prince Albert (his father). A small matter amongst the extremely useful content and I hope you won’t take it amiss.

  17. With all these vests, bow ties, flat caps and gloves, the only vehicle I can picture you stepping out of is a 1930's Duesenberg. Anything newer than that would look awkward.

  18. Sven intelligent and much useful video

    Love your work …very professional businesslike and to the point

    Prosperity to you Sven

    My Question: what is your opinion on wearing vest coat with double breasted suit ?
    Thanks

  19. Excellent video👍🏻 Would it be appropriate to make a three piece suit with the jacket having notch lapels and patch pockets while the vest would be double breasted with peaked lapels? I’m wondering this because the jacket would be a bit more casual style while the vest would be more formal.

  20. I just bought a designer vest ( D GNAK) for $100, regular $600, to has hoops and ribbons instead of buttons…it's stunning….the label says 38, it fits snug, not tight, but I'm a bigger guy, usually wear shirts in a large….my question is…How tight should a vest be?

  21. Sven, I love this video! Dapper as always and I've learned a great deal how to style the (should be) ubiquitous waistcoat. However, your online article on the buttoning of waistcoats has an error, I'm afraid. "Bertie" was actually Prince Albert, the former Duke of York, and Edward VII's brother; Edward's name and title prior to his accession as King was David, Prince of Wales. Edward VII abdicated the throne in the late 30's just prior to WWII over, what else, a woman he loved, namely Wallis Simpson. "Bertie" then gained the throne and ceased being Prince Albert the Duke of York, and became King George VI, ruling till the time of his death in 1952. Edward VII became the Duke of Windsor after his abdication, and remained one of the most stylish gentleman of his era. I hope this info was helpful, as your instruction to style is evermore helpful to me! Cheers.

  22. Hello, I just subscribed after viewing several videos today. I enjoyed this video on vest. I'm 64 years old and nice to see you have embraced some of the styling of the past. Best Regards, John

  23. You teach timeless outfits yet wear velvet, seersucker, sharkskin, and corduroy. all are not in and are not timeless. Tweed goes in and out as with wide and skinny lapels.

  24. I wore a belt under my vest today and no one minded because they were all wearing cargo shorts, flip-flops and superhero t-shirts. To them, I was wearing a tuxedo. It's all relative.

  25. It's a lot of style vids on youtube. But this channel is underrated. This video is maybe the greatest style video of all time.

  26. Gentleman Gazette this chanel is not a fashion trend chanel , this is the art of being a gentlemen

  27. Love the videos! Any advice for a medical resident who needs to dress as formal as possible while still having to treat and diagnose patients? Something to wear to the clinic. Thank you !

  28. I use to wear one all the time until people start handing me their bags when I'm in a hotel and asks for their checks when I'm in a restaurant 😀

  29. i love the videos, but when do you wear all of this nice clothes? i live in the south so unless it it Sunday, it is weird

  30. hey i wear waistcoats get that waistcoats and i wear them as i want to not because somee effete pillock says i should wear this or that or bend my pinky this way or that ffs lets ditch these self promoting pricks

  31. I have grey slightly patterned trousers an a lighter grey waist coat would that work and what colour shoes should I wear

  32. Thank you for your informational video about the vest. I’m interested to find out what type of material is the white double breasted vest that you were displaying in your video? Thank you and keep up the good work cheers!

  33. Yes I’m a girl and I don’t quite appreciate the prom tux all the silky flashiness was just dissed tasteful for me

  34. Love your videos and follow most of your advice. However, I have one exception on vests when it comes to men of a more full-figured, rotund physique. For us gentleman who are more built for comfort than speed, vests are a godsend. They make you look more uniform in shape and the hang of your clothes. However, a vest that ends just above the belt-line isn't as flattering, especially if you have a bit of a pendulous belly. I use a XLT for a little more length to cover that anatomical feature, and it works very well to make me look more streamlined in the front. However, the suspenders are a must! Keep it up, my fashion guru!

  35. In my opinion a brown jacket with a off-white vest looks really good with maybe a red tie or no tie at all.
    Great video though, i subscribed!
    Edit: this message is from a 13 year old!

  36. I predominately wear clerical suits which are black on black or charcoal grey, but I like to wear a vest. Embroidered black or purple, green or blue Victorian style brocades all of which with my gold pectoral cross and my pocket watch with gold chain. Topped with a black or grey Fedora in cold or rainy days and a panama hat on hotter days, plus I need a cane these days.

  37. So far I have really enjoyed my vests from Jos A Bank.
    I have 1 grey wool with a large knit pattern, a charcoal grey with their lower level fabric, both off the rack.

    In a week or so I have a 3 piece coming in that I’m pretty excited for.
    This’ll be my first custom vest (the whole suit is).

  38. Very nice explanation from the source of it's origin. I have subscribed to gentleman's Gazette online and share their wonderful tips on Men's dressing to all my friends. Bought a new waistcoat yesterday (charcoal grey front with sapphire back) and your video gave me the perfect tip to wear it.thank you gentleman.🤝🤝🤝

  39. I do have a suggestion and question my brother wears vests and he wants to wear a pocket watch do you have a video on pocket watch ?

  40. ive been looking for the red/burgundy waistcoat for a while but they are hard to find; so many color contrast possibilities

  41. waistcoat/vest is essential 👌🏻i personally hate waistcoats with the tie in the back though; they always look scrunched and gross

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