I work at a relatively conservative-dressing law firm, and I’ve seen a few women, at my institution and elsewhere, wearing suiting vests — as in, the middle part of a man’s 3 piece suit — usually over a white button up. I think they look great. What do you think of suiting vests? Do you know where can I find them?
Interesting question — we have occasionally featured suits with matching vests in our Suit of the Week feature, but not often — I’ll admit it’s a hard look to pull off. Personally, I prefer the most classic vested look — a close-fitting, almost shrunken look. In product catalogs a vest is often featured as a shell, with nothing beneath, but I wouldn’t advise that for the office. Instead, layer it on top of a button-front blouse or even a simple t-shirt (I’d suggest going for a scoopneck, jewelneck, or U-neck, not a crew or V) for a sophisticated, almost monochromatic look. Wear the blazer + vest combo with jeans for a dressed-up but casual look, or go for a vest-like look with a suit by layering a sweater the same color as your suit (either a shell, a proper sweater vest, or a regular, sleeved sweater) on top of a blouse.
That said, there is a trend right now that has long vests, meant to replace blazers (rather than be worn with them). I can’t wrap my head around the trend — it just looks unspeakably ugly to me, honestly. Here are a few pictures for illustration, all available at Nordstrom should you disagree with me: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4. Note that bare arms at the office are a KYO situation — I really don’t like looks 1 and 4.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on vests for the office — either the older, shrunken versions or the larger, drapier versions? Do you like to wear either kind of vest to work?
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