"How to Wear & Style Your Vests"
Fashion vests have excellent layering capabilities and give an instant spiff to your outfit.
You could say that womens vests (second to cardigans) are some of those pieces that can transform your clothes into multiple outfits.
Courtesy of Theory/Zappos
Womens vests range from edgy denim to preppy sweater vests, pretty sequin to casual knit vests. They can be worn alone (with a fitted cami of course!) or layered over your sweaters, tops and dresses - yes and even over your lightweight jackets for a cool look!
How you should wear a vest is entirely up to your personal style - but if you're still clueless in that area, let this page give you some outfit ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Want to look for the latest fashion vests and shop instead?
Look Your Best by Dressing Your Body Figure
Had enough of my body shape-tips?
Head straight to the vest styling tips!
Now first things first: The fact is that some vest styles, if worn incorrectly, can make some women frumpy. But don't worry! It's possible to make any vest work for you no matter body shape and problem areas. It's all in selecting the best material and style - and of course, how you wear it.
Courtesy of Macy's
I'm not usually this specific about some garments, but fashion vests need this. Let's just say that I've witnessed many women wearing it wrong, looking bigger than they really are :)
So before jumping into the vest-department, take a note of your problem areas (full bust, wide shoulders, round tummy) around your upper half - from hips and up.
Take a minute to determine your body shape. This will give
you clearer idea on what to look for when purchasing a vest and how to style it.
More tips on buying womens vests:
- Choose a universally flattering necklines such as V or low scoop-neck to look slim and trim
- Secure fashion vests in dark and light neutrals - they'll go with the rest of your wardrobe
- Make sure to select a vest that doesn't have straps that sit far out on your shoulders. Showing off your bra straps looks funny.
Not in a good way.
Also check out the recommendations for each body shape in these guides:
More fashion advice on Sweaters:
Back to Top
Now that I've covered the styling basics, let's take a closer look at some outfit ideas with fashion vests:
Stylish Ways to Wear Womens Vests
With a Basic Top
For the warmer months - pair cotton vests with a plain tank top or a cute camisole. Wear it either open or buttoned up.
This is very basic styling, but here's how to chic it up a notch:
Via Macy's, Urban Outfitters, Bebe
- Accessorize your bare arms with a statement bracelet. With me, I would add my favorite multiple bohemian charm bracelet. If you want an edgy-cool look wear the vest open and put on a a trendy gold or silver bangle bracelet - or a sculptural clasp metal bracelet on your overarm
- Wear a print tee underneath the vest. Instead of the plain solid white or black tee, add some texture and interest with for example versatile stripes, floral or polka dots. Button up the vest and throw on a long pendant necklace
- Look glam and expensive. With a pair of tailored slim fitted trousers, a long & flowy fashion vest and large sunglasses. Go for a spring resort look with a wooden bangle bracelet and vest and top in light and breezy colors
With a Dress
A vest helps dress down a dress - and adjust it to a semi-formal to casual setting. It also adds a modern twist to your outfit. My favorite is the summer floral short dress with a long cotton vest.
Here are a couple of ideas on how to style a dress with a vest:
Via Style&Co at Macy's, Polyvore, Bergdorf Goodman
- Inject edge to a pretty maxi dress. Go for a vest style that is opposite from the mood of the dress. Like for example a casual denim vest.
- With a party dress. This is a great way to achieve a sexy-cool look. Just pair a short dress with an open vest - and don't forget the jewelry!
- Complement a print dress. If the print has lots of colors, pick out a vest in one of those colors. To polish the look wrap a skinny belt around your waist.
With a Blouse
Depending on the type of look you're aiming for, fashion vests work great as an accent or sleek layering to a blouse or dress shirt! Sharpen the look by wearing it buttoned, or go the casual-route with the vest open.
Let's look at a couple of ideas:
Via American Rag at Macy's, Alfani at Macy's, Free People
- Opt for an American Rag look. Take a pair of jeans with a casual white blouse or shirt and top it off with a Southwestern-inspired vest. Or switch out the white blouse with a palid shirt. If you're liking the bohemian fashion style - include a pair of feather earrings
- For office work. Try a long, knit vest worn over a white dress shirt and sleek trousers. If you need to look extra polished go for a black (or dark navy blue) dress vest instead. Add a metal bracelet or statement necklace for a chic but professional look
- Bohemian twist. Try a suede vest on top of a romantic, bohemian-inspired lace top. Roughen up the look with a pair of ripped jeans
Office Work Outfit Ideas
If you're an office gal, then consider adding fashion vests to your workwear. Secure at least one dress vest in a dark neutral (preferably black, charcoal gray or dark navy blue) and one simple and long knit vest to keep your office work wardrobe covered. A vest in a light neutral is also perfect for the warmer months.
Here a couple of tips on how to wear vest for work:
Via Imdb, Alloy, MK2K at Ssense
Back to Top
- Corporate from top to toe. If you've seen Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in Batman: The Dark Knight, then I'm sure you noticed
how she wore a black dress shirt vest. She paired it with a classic white tailored shirt
and a sexy black wide leg dress pants - and she looked amazing but professional. Just make sure to keep it chic by adding a couple of jewelry and unbuttoning the 2-3 of the top buttons. Click here for more styling tips for your dress shirt
- Semi-formal. Take your pretty ruffle or a pussybow dress shirt and layer it with a long black knit vest. Wear it open. It looks super-slimming
- Summer chic for work. Simply invest in a light-colored vest and wear it as you normally do. Try it with a pencil skirt! It looks best with a slim tank top, but baring your shoulders may be a no-no so consult with your office's dress code first. You can also try wearing it with a short-sleeved white blouse - very summer fresh
Layer The Vest With Accessories
You can make your own stylish twist on the fashion vests with three superb accessories: A statement necklace, belt and your favorite scarf (not all together!)
A chic way to wear a vest is to showcase a statement necklace. The sweater frames the jewelry piece and makes it the focal point of your outfit. For maximum style impact opt for a plain and solid top underneath it while wearing a bold statement necklace on top.
If you really want to make the jewelry pop then wear it with a top and vest in a neutral color (black, white, dark blue, etc.) in contrast with the color of the piece.
If you want to look extra slim on top, you can add a long pendant necklace instead.
Click here for more fashion tips and advice on fashion jewelry
A belt has many purposes - such as creating curves, making your waist look thinner and also for looking polished!
The trick is to wear it around the thinnest part of your waist. If you have a short waist and/or are Petite then I suggest you to select a skinny belt as wide belt can make you look shorter.
If you want to look curvier, make sure that the vest is long enough to give a little volume at the bottom. This is a quick-fix that can give you curvy hips, luscious booty and a defined waist! I personally find that belts look best with longer vests because they don't bunch up that much around the hips.
You can also use the belt to make a too-big vest look like it fits.
Click here to learn more about womens fashion belts
If you have a favorite scarf that isn't too big, but long enough to wrap around your waist - then swap up the belt and create a sash for your fashion vest!
This is perfect for gals who want to bring attention to their defined waist. If you have a full or wide waistline I recommend you to opt for a darker colored scarf for this styling technique.
You can also wear the scarf loosely around your neck, letting the ends flow freely on your chest.
Click here for more fashion tips and advice on fashion scarves
Back to Top
More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
Also check out the Style Makeover Shop!
Back to Top
Go Back to Shopping & Style Guide to Womens Sweaters
Leave Outfit Ideas with Fashion Vests and Return to Homepage