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When To Wear A Vest

September 24, 2011
TIE SNUG
Regardless of your shape or size, you should definitely have at least one vest in your wardrobe. A vest is a key piece because while you can find ones for an inexpensive cost, it is a piece that can make a tremendous difference in your appearance. A vest can make you look like you spent more time and effort putting your outfit together despite the fact that it is one small, easy apparel item. There are numerous great ways to wear a vest in order to fit any occasion.

Business casual: A v-neck sweater vest is a great piece for a business casual look. Try layering a pullover sweater vest over a button down cotton shirt in a complimentary color. For example, a blue shirt with a cream colored pin stripe would look nice with a light yellow sweater vest. A sweater vest can also add visual interest to a basic button down and sport jacket look by adding an extra layer. For example, you can layer a cream colored cotton button down with an olive green sweater vest and a medium brown wool blazer for a nice earth-toned look.

Relaxed date night: A vest is a great way to add extra polish to a date look while still appearing relaxed and somewhat casual. Try out this look for a movie date: Layer a pullover burgundy sweater vest over a red and gray plaid shirt, with dark gray denim pants and a nice gray loafer. You'll look put together and appropriate without looking particularly "dressy." For a look that is a little more appropriate for night time, such as drinks out at a bar, try dark wash jeans and a gray cotton button down with a black tuxedo vest.

Outdoor Wedding: I always recommend wearing a three piece suit with a vest to an outdoor wedding. This way, if you get hot, you can take off your blazer and still look polished. If you are wearing a dark colored suit, avoid wearing a plain white button down underneath (as this look is often favored by catering and restaurant staff). Instead, opt for a pin stripe or windowpane patterned shirt, or a shirt in a light or bright solid color. A gray three-piece suit with a white pin stripe is a nice look for an outdoor wedding. This can be paired with a white oxford shirt and a blue diagonally striped tie for a formal look that still reflects the lightness of an outdoor affair. You can, of course, experiment with different tie styles. A plain black skinny tie can also be a sophisticated look when paired with a pin-striped vest.

Artsy Event: For an event such as an art show or a gallery opening, snatch that gray pin striped vest from your three-piece suit and layer it over some other pieces. For a monotone look that still has great interest, select a pair of dark wash jeans, black fashion sneakers (such as Diesel or Pumas), a gray button down shirt, and a dark silver or gray tie. If the event is more casual, go for the same jeans with a classic Converse One Star shoe and a silk screened tee shirt. Or, try the pin striped vest with a plain white v-neck tee shirt and a pair of suede loafers or oxfords. The vest is that integral piece that will pull your whole look together.
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