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The Do’s And Don'ts Of Wearing A Waistcoat

1 month ago

The Do’s And Don'ts Of Wearing A Waistcoat

It’s a fact: waistcoats were hitting the men street style lately. Jeans, chinos, shorts, or trousers have made evolved this dress vest that was traditionally associated with older gentleman or just elegant occasions. Increasingly popular, waistcoats look great in any kind of size and weather. Have you taken note?

Maybe it’s because of the Southgate waistcoat fever during the 2018 Football World Cup, but the England manager has proved something to all of us: a waistcoat can bring up elegance, eye-catching, and aesthetics anywhere. Along with Pep Guardiola popularizing the suit, tie, and jumper combination in sporty contexts in Barcelona and Manchester, Gareth Southgate’s example has led a lot of young men to include a waistcoat in their outfits to add a touch of elegance.

Why should you include a waistcoat in your wardrobe this year? They are practical for those days when a jacket is too much and without it, you can be cold. But they are not just used for keeping us warm, as they can be combined for a perfect casual smart look, way ahead between sporty and classic. If fitted right, a waistcoat can suit well in any type of bodies and shapes: short, tall, slim, fat… there’s always a right type of waistcoat for any body shape – and it glams you up just as much as you like!

It’s great to see waistcoats in everyday contexts too, but young and old men should be aware of some basic rules for wearing a waistcoat correctly.


The Do’s Of Wearing a Waistcoat

1. Waistcoats (and cummerbunds) are ideal to complete a formalwear outfit – formal suits are incomplete if they are not included.

2. Ideally, a lighter waistcoat with solid colours works better with suits or jackets because they bring up the whole suit – you would look magnificent!

3. Avoid fabrics or shoes that can produce sounds – a squeaking or creaking sound will disrupt the occasion and you would feel embarrassed.

4. A well-fitted waistcoat is long enough in the front to cover the man’s waist (hence, waist-coat) without an underneath shirt showing between the belt and the waistcoat. The shoulders of the vest should always lie flat against your body and below any collar points.

5. If you’re wearing the waistcoat with a suit jacket, the V-shape of the vest should be narrower enough that the suit lapels don’t hide it entirely. Sides and back will be cut a little higher and may show some shirt.

6. Avoid strong perfumes or after-shave lotions – not everybody likes perfumes.

7. Be sure to wear a well-fitted shirt tight enough to fabric ‘ballooning’ from under the waistcoat – you might not want to draw attention to that part of your body!

8. Why is the bottom button on a waistcoat left undone? Tradition says men should leave undone the bottom button on a waistcoat for more movement, and this same rule usually applies to jackets. This tradition originated with King Edward VII, who always left the bottom button of his waistcoat undone to better accommodate his large stature.


The Don’ts Of Wearing a Waistcoat

1. Some men would argue against wearing a waistcoat with a T-shirt underneath. However, adding a casual waistcoat or an unmatched waistcoat to an informal outfit can be OK to get a rock star look. Those waistcoats with lapels or backless waistcoats should be reserved for formal events and never with a casual look – that’s a big NO.

2. We’ve already mentioned it, but it can’t be emphasized enough: there should be no shirt visible between the bottom of the waistcoat and the top of the trousers. Traditionalists would recommend wearing a waistcoat only when wearing a suit or sports jacket.

3. Many traditionalists say that a belt should never be worn with a waistcoat and that braces should be used instead because a belt can disturb the smooth lines of a three-piece suit. This is a matter of some debate and we’ll leave it up to you!

4. If you wear coloured waistcoat, it should be the only coloured piece in the ensemble. If you want to add a coloured waistcoat with a dinner jacket then greens and burgundies are ideal.

5. An open collar shirt is too casual for a formal three-piece suit. These waistcoats have to be cut lower to show more of the dress shirt front.


What would be a good three-piece suit without a waistcoat? Clearly, each of us decides their style. There are waistcoats for all occasions and outfits. We're fans of waistcoats here ourselves and we’d love to see how you wear your waistcoat in newer fashions. Share your pictures on our social media profiles (#WaistcoatWednesday) and help inspire more waistcoat wearers!