You’ve decided you need to buy a vest but are not sure exactly what to look for in a vest or what will suit you. Whether you’re planning on buying men’s vests online or in a store, this article will cover some key things to keep in mind so you make the right choice.
Vest Or Waistcoat – Is There a Difference?
There really is no difference except the name. In other parts of the world, a vest is called a waistcoat, while in the United States and Australia the garment is commonly called a vest. So don’t get confused between the two, as they are just different names for the same clothing item.
Casual Vest and Suit Vests
Casual vests are not as popular today as they once were, however, you can still buy them, and they look pretty cool when worn with designer jeans and a simple plain T-shirt.
It’s a different story when it comes to the suit vest. For formal attire, the vest has always been a staple and it’s no different today. Vests are especially useful for men who need to wear a suit to work in cooler climates, as they offer an added layer of protection from the cold.
Another really cool thing to point out about the suit vest is you can remove the jacket and just wear the vest over a business shirt for a more semi-formal look, or simply just to get more comfortable while working at your desk.
Single and Double Breasted
Just like with suit jackets, men’s vests predominantly come in two varieties:
For business vests, buttons are used to fasten the vest at the front. Some more casual styles of vest may have a zipper instead of buttons.
The most common style of vest is the single-breasted vest, but some men prefer double-breasted, particularly if they are wearing a double-breasted suit jacket.
Men’s Vests – Colours and Fabrics
You can buy a suit vest as part of the suit package (3 piece suit), or you can purchase them separately. When purchasing a vest on its own, you’ll want to make sure the colour and fabric match up with the suit you intend to wear it with, otherwise, it’s going to clash somewhat and possibly look a bit out of place.
Men’s suits come in a variety of colours, but there is even more choice when it comes to semi-formal and formal vests. Colours range from white to black and practically everything in between. You can buy vests in a single, solid colour, or ones in patterns, such as damask or checked.
Many vests are made from a polyester/viscose blend, while others might be made from wool, cotton, nylon or silk.
How Well Should a Vest Fit?
For starters, the vest should be long enough to cover your waist (hence the name waistcoat). You shouldn’t be able to see any of the underlying shirts above the belt if the vest is the right length. You also don’t want your vest to hang too low either.
Preferably the shoulders of the vest should lie flat against your shoulders and not be bulging up. You also want the vest to fit fairly snug when the buttons are done up, otherwise, it’s going to look rather lumpy beneath your suit jacket. If it feels too snug when seated, you can always undo the buttons.
How Much Should You Pay?
A good quality suit vest will generally cost you a minimum of a hundred dollars or more. If you going to pay hundreds, or even thousands, for a nice suit, then it’s worth investing some cash in a really nice vest to match.
When it comes to casual vests you might pay less, but formal attire worth buying is always going to be a little more expensive.
Tips When Shopping Online
Make sure the online retailer has some clear sizing instructions on the site so you can accurately choose the right size for you. You’ll also want to see some fairly detailed information regarding the cut and style of the vest and the materials it’s made from.
A return policy is very handy when shopping online, just in case the vest is not quite right when you get to see it in real life and try it on.
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