A vest is a popular close-fitting garment that buttons or zips down the front to the waist. Known as the “ultimate” mid-layer, vests were originally designed for men to wear underneath their suits, jackets, and sport coats. However, over the years, vests have evolved into many different types and styles, resulting in widespread acceptance among people of all genders. Today, vests are worn for a variety of purposes by both men and women, making them one of the most popular and versatile types of clothing.
FUN FACT #1: Historians trace the origins of vests back to King Charles II of England (1630 – 1685), who is said to have introduced vests to his English court during his reign.
Types of Vests
Vests are unlikely to go out of style as the garment is constantly evolving, and listing them all out here would be impossible. So instead, we’ve listed our top 5 favourites from among all of the amazing and stylish vests available on the market today!
- Suit Vests
- Fur Vests
- Denim Vests
- Woven Vests
- Fleece Vest
FUN FACT #2: Bulletproof vests, one of the most popular types of vests, are often misconstrued as being actually bulletproof due to their name. In actuality, bulletproof vests are bullet-resistant rather than bulletproof.
Vests vs. Waistcoats
If you’ve ever looked up either vests or waistcoats online, you’ve almost certainly seen the other one appear alongside your search for the other. Don’t worry; it’s not just you.
The debate over the distinction between vests and waistcoats is a tale as old as time – one that we’ll be looking into today.
For starters, both vests and waistcoats are classified as upper garments. Upper garments are clothes that cover your body from the waist up. T-shirts, tank tops, crop tops, blouses, and jackets are the most common types of upper garments.
Next, in terms of tailoring, which is an important aspect of garments, both vests and waistcoats are sleeveless. So, at this point, you would probably think that vests and waistcoats are similar – hence, interchangeable. Well, in all honesty, you’re not entirely wrong or right.
Simply put, vest and waistcoats do differ, but so slightly that it is overlooked. Perhaps the most noticeable distinction is that vests are commonly worn for casual occasions while waistcoats are worn for formal occasions.
FUN FACT #3: In common parlance, vests and waistcoats are, in fact, used interchangeably, with vests being the American English (AmE) term and waistcoats being the British English (BrE) term.
Wearing a Vest Right
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to the important part of this article: how to properly wear a vest.
1. Colour Coordination
Vests should always be colour-coordinated with the apparel they are worn with, especially suits. The majority of men prefer to wear the same colour vest and suit. Contrasting colour combinations are also acceptable, if not preferred, as long as they appear flowy – either from dark to light or light to dark.
When wearing your vest, it’s important to be mindful of its length, as a vest that is too long may somewhat appear awkward. The ideal length is one that extends about one inch past your pants’ waistline.
When wearing a suit vest, the bottom button should always be left unbuttoned. We know it may sound strange, but it’s a fashion gospel that has stood the test of time!
No vest, whether made of cotton, fleece, or any other fabric, is immune to the effects of wrinkles. While there is no way to completely eliminate wrinkles, there are methods for removing them, such as garment steamers and wrinkle release sprays.
FUN FACT #4: The most common pieces of accessories that are paired with vests are ties, watches, Albert pocket watch chains, and pocket squares.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There will always be wrong ways to do things when there are right ways, and the same is true when it comes to wearing a vest. So, here are the 3 common mistakes to avoid when it comes to wearing or styling your vest.
1. Pairing vests with short-sleeved t-shirts
Vests should be paired with long-sleeved t-shirts rather than short-sleeved t-shirts, and here’s why. Vests, as we’ve previously mentioned, are primarily used as a mid-layer that provides warmth to its owner. So if you’re wearing a t-shirt, it means it’s not cold enough to warrant a vest.
2. Pairing vests with polo shirts
A polo shirt is a type of top that has a collar, a placket with a couple of buttons, and an optional pocket. There are several ways to style a polo, and none of them involve vests for a simple reason: button-ups just don’t go well with vests.
3. Putting on vests without a shirt
This one is a little more debatable. Putting on vests without a shirt was a big no-no back then. However, with vests evolving into a variety of styles and colours these days, more and more runway models and celebrities are beginning to wear them without t-shirts underneath, and it appears to be gaining traction. So we’ll leave this one up to you!
Customising Your Own Vests
If you’ve scoured the Internet for the perfect vest but haven’t found one that fits your style or personality, here’s a tip: customised vests!
Custom Prints & Apparel offers high-quality apparel printing and customisation services for a variety of apparel, including polo shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, caps, face masks, and, of course, VESTS! The best part is that we offer not one, but two types of vests: business vests and safety vest Singapore.
So, if you want to customise your own business or safety vest Singapore, or buy custom safety vest, feel free to contact us at +65 6362 2440 on any weekday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.Alternatively, you can also click here for more information on our custom vest printing and customized safety vest Singapore services.