As we welcome fall, we also say, "hello," to some new styling challenges. As a personal stylist for women, I'm hearing a lot of questions about vests. Should I wear them? Can I wear a vest indoors? What's the point? After all, there are no sleeves.
And the list goes on. I fell in love with vests a few years ago with my first leather vest. I picked it up on sale at Nordstrom and wasn't sure if it was for me. Quickly, I discovered the magic of vests and have been rocking them on the regular ever since. Here are a few tips if you think you are ready to try out this trend. (If you think you might be, that means you actually are, by the way.) FYI- Vests of all lengths are pretty spectacular, depending on styling. I'm focusing on long vests in this post and will offer up suggestions on shorter options in future posts.
6 Ways to Wear a Long Vest
1. Over a sleeveless top.
It can be challenging to navigate our weather. When clouds turn to sun and back again, try a vest over a sleeveless top. A long vest (tunic length) is ideal with skinnies, culottes or joggers and a heel. Opt for silk, cotton, leather, whatever weight of fabric is just right for the weather that day. After all, you can wear your vest all day, whether you are inside or out.
2. Over a bulky sweater or with long sleeves.
When the temperature cools down, that same outfit just needs a cozy sweater to seal the deal. The vest takes your outfit to the next level, giving it polish. If you are going for a long vest, try one with a belt. Wear it closed outside and open it up while you are at the office. I like to tie the belt in the back pulling the vest back just enough to show off your waist and keep the vest from flopping around throughout the day. If you get hot, take off your sweater and put your vest back on. Also, if I haven't mentioned it, make sure there's a turtleneck in your closet for fall.
3. Over a body con or sheath dress.
If you are looking for an outfit that can go from the office to drinks, this is it. Try your long vest over a form fitting dress. You know the one. You wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it to the office without something over it. Yup. Now, toss your vest over top and tie it at the waist. You look sophisticated and can just peel your vest off for a night on the town. Your dress can have sleeves of any length or be sleeveless. Finish it off with a heel. Any stellar shoe with a heel will work. Go for ankle boots, over the knee boots, pumps, wedges, whatever you like. It should work equally well for the workday and your hot date.
4. With leather or vegan leather pants.
If you are looking for yet another way to bring your vegan leather leggings out of the closet, a vest is the ideal solution. Pair your leather (or vegan leather) pants with natural fabrics. (Denim, cotton, cashmere, wool, etc.) If it's rainy outside, try your leather leggings, a cozy sweater, your long vest and ankle boots. For a casual day, pair with hip sneakers instead. I like New Balance, Nike or Converse, for example. Really, you are just looking for something low profile. Your vest can be camel, grey, navy, rose. Any color works, but neutrals are especially polished. If you like more color, a bolder vest is a absolutely appropriate, too.
5. With a maxi or midi dress.
Reserve this approach for the day you are ready to take things to the next level. A maxi dress with a tunic length vest can channel Stevie Nicks. If that's your jam, do it! If not, avoid the similarities by keeping things tailored and luxurious. I like my long sleeve silk teal Vince dress with my long black leather Vince vest. A high open toe heel finishes the look. Boots and maxi dresses can work, but it's a tough look to pull off without that 70's vibe. To stay on the safe side, open toe shoes that have a fall vibe (dark colors, heavy heels) work best.
6. As a dress.
If your vest provides enough coverage, consider rocking it as a dress. Try a slip dress underneath to make sure that you are feeling secure and simultaneously a little bit sexy. This is a great option for travel as you can rock your vest one day with jeans and a tee and another as a dress. Feel free to wear long or short sleeves underneath depending on the weather.
As always, let me know how it goes!
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