It may take a minute to actually dig it out of the depths of your closet, but it's finally time for the humble vest to shine. On the laundry list of classic seasonal pieces, it's definitely among the most underrated. And I get it—in the dead of winter, its sleeveless nature does require more of an effort to style. There's no ease of simply throwing it over whatever you're wearing like a coat or jacket. Especially if you're trying to make it a principal part of your cold-weather arsenal, you'll need to exercise a few layering tricks. That being said, it deserves more than collecting dust behind your wool coats and puffer jackets.
To show you the many sartorial possibilities of owning a vest, I made use of my current vest obsession and found all of the creative ways stylish people are wearing them now. If you already own the staple piece (or will soon), but you're not quite sure what to style it with, consider this your how-to guide.
1. Puffer Vest + Cargo Pants + Chukka Boots
If you're like me and never thought puffer vests could ever be cool, you're in for a rude awakening. Paired with a minimalist sweatsuit or loose cargo pants, a puffer vest amps up a low-key look in the most effortlessly cool way possible. As for shoes, we recommend sneakers (or chukkas for the experimental crowd).
2. Three Piece Suit
Last year saw the rise of the three-piece suit, and surprisingly, it's not hard to pull off. Traditionally a menswear staple, the three-piece suit was a defining trend of 2021, and we've seen insiders wear it a number of ways, including this sharply tailored version. To avoid looking like a character from Sherlock Holmes, style it with strappy heels and shiny bold jewelry.
4. White Long-Sleeve Tee + Denim Vest + Printed Pants
The most straightforward way to extend the life of your summery denim vests? Layer it over a long-sleeved sweater or tee. For an extra dose of the unexpected add in your favorite pair of printed pants.
5. Utility Vest + Utility Pants + Retro Sneakers
Utility vests put a sporty spin on the classic piece complete with larger-than-life pockets and rigid cargo material. Baggy utility pants make the streetwear vibe come full circle.
8. White Knit Vest Set
Turns out vests are also an amazing workwear staple—just take this matching knit set in a palette of crisp winter whites. If you want to make this cold-weather proof, style it with a crisp blazer or layer a thin ribbed sweater underneath.