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Women over 50 in the sweater vest trend

How to Wear the Sweater Vest Trend for Every Age Group

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Sweater vests style for casual

How to Wear the Sweater Vest Trend for Every Age Group

Since the sweater vest trend is going strong for this fall and winter, the three of us wanted to show some fun options. My Magnificient 8 group of women whose ages span from women in their 20s to women in their 80s are all styling vests, so I hope you check out all of the women.

Quote of the day: “It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute…that gives meaning to our lives.” Anthony Robbins

I talked about the Fall 2021 trends in this post with ways to make them affordable. I think this trend is definitely one you should give a try especially if you already have some vests in your closet. In fact, I have ideas of how to wear them below and not look dated.
If you don’t have any vests and are worried about how to make them work in your wardrobe, then I have some tips.

Different styles of the sweater vest trend

Tips for What to Wear with the Sweater Vest Trend

The sweater vests are a layering piece that is ideal for cooler weather. So what is the easiest way to wear them? The three of us ALL wore a white top under it. I’m sure EVERYONE has a white top and this would be a great way to style any vest of any color.
But let’s explore some other ideas to style a vest you may own.

  • A long sleeve t-shirt–Even a hoodie would work
  • Chambray shirt–Denim goes with everything.
  • Wear it over a dress
  • Try it over a tunic with leggings–This could also be an oversized shirt or man’s shirt.
  • Wear it over a jacket–I have many examples of this in the similar posts that I’ve linked at the end of this post.
  • Don’t forget that you can layer OVER it. Try wearing it under an oversized blazer.
  • Add some fun accessories. Don’t be afraid to layer a long necklace on it especially if it’s a solid color.

Even though the three of us wore ours with pants or jeans, they can certainly be styled with skirts as I’ve worn here.

Woman over 80 wearing sweater vest and white blouse

Jeans: Chaps~~ Vest: Anthropologie~~ Top: Mom made it~~ Boots: Madeline Stuart~~ Earrings: from the 70s~~ Purse: from Argentina

Charlotte’s Sweater Vest Aesthetic

Charlotte recently found this sweater vest at Anthropology when I introduced both Lesley and my mom to this store that they had never visited.

This vest is full of texture and color which works wonderfully if you tend to wear solid colored pants and tops. By adding this third piece, you instantly add interest to your look.

My mom was noticing that this sweater vest is more oversized and she was wondering if she should take it in. My thought is to leave it as it is because the other vests in her closet are fitted.

Insider tip: It makes your closet much more interesting if you vary the silhouettes of pieces in your closet. While I believe strongly in having things “fit”, if everything is the same length or tight, then you always look the same.

Her purse is one that my husband and I brought back from Argentina over 14 years ago as a gift. She had never used it and found it buried in her purse cabinet.
The earrings are basically a vintage pair that my mom bought at a street fair in the 1970s. She considers them “hippyish” which works wonderfully since the 70s decade style is coming back around.

Don’t forget you can always layer OVER your sweater vest too. Charlotte did that with this same vest here.

Print mixing with plaid and polka dots

Pants: Liz Claiborne-thrifted ~~ Vest: Chicos~~ Top: JJill~~ Shoes: Sperry Topsider~~ Purse: Maruca

Lesley and the Sweater Vest Trend

For Lesley’s sweater vest, she grabbed this hot pink one. We have blogged about wearing pink in October before, and it’s a great way to add color to our more subdued pieces.

Lesley gets a pat on the back for the print mixing in this outfit. Maybe you don’t notice it from far away, but the blouse is a windowpane print and the pants are polka dots. Having the vest on top of the print top breaks up the two prints.

Insider tip: The other reason this sort of print mixing is easy on the eye is that the windowpane print is subtle and from far away almost looks like a plain white blouse.

Hand knit sweater vest aesthetic

Jeans: Dear John~~ Vest: I knitted it~~ Top: Banana Republic Factory~~ Shoes: Target~~ Earrings: Mariposa Skies~~ Purse: Patricia Nash won in a giveaway~~Hat: thrifted

Getting Creative with the Sweater Vest Trend

One of the reasons I’m so excited about the sweater vest trend is I have knitted quite a few vests. In fact, I recently wore one of my husband’s knitted vests. This yellow plaid vest is one I knitted about 15 years ago.

Insider tip: Oversized vests can be thought of as a sleeveless tunic and would be wonderful with leggings or skinny jeans.

I think of this vest as being somewhat conservative and classic, so I wanted to add a different type of style to it. Thus I layered it over a sheer blouse for something a little more feminine and slightly sexy. See 4 other ways to style a sheer top here.

The corduroy jeans give off a fall vibe, and the shoes and hat bookend each other with the darker brown color.

Insider tip: I’ve posted 5 different kinds of outfits to wear with these brown shoes. While they are no longer available at Target, there are others that would work just as easily.

How to Wear Vests and Not Look Dated

Just last summer I polled a group of millennials to ask them what style they considered frumpy (you can see the entire list here). Since one of the popular responses was vests, then the question could come up on how we wear this newer trend without looking dated.

I figure that some of us might still have some older vests in our closet and it’s only smart to pull them out while the trend is going strong. Yet there are ways to look modern even with vintage items:

  • Don’t try to match all of the colors in the outfit. This gives off a dated look.
  • Mix and match styles. If the vest seems conservative, add an edgy item to it. Maybe get a pair of faux leather leggings to wear with a men’s vest?
  • Make sure you pair the vintage piece with something more modern. For example, layer your vest under a shacket. (Don’t know what a shacket is? Don’t worry, we will be blogging about it soon enough. But FYI, it’s a shirt and jacket combined into one)
  • Wear stylish shoes!! Shoes can have a huge impact on an outfit. If you need comfy ones, make sure to check out my Comfortable Shoes Post where I keep adding new brands that I discover.
  • Wear a longer top under it so it peeks out from the vest. This is one reason you shouldn’t shy away from the cropped versions.
  • And remember, have fun!! There are no rights and wrongs because it’s your style which should be unique from everyone else’s style.

DIY Your Own Vest

Since a vest is a sleeveless item, then you can take a sweater or a jacket and make your own vest by removing the sleeves.

I have done (and had my mom remove the sleeves) on various items in the past. It does require a little bit of sewing but it’s not usually hard.

Why would you do this?

  • Sleeves are too tight but the body of the piece fits fine
  • The material is tearing under the arms
  • It’s too warm for where you live
  • The sleeves are wonky
  • You don’t wear the piece as is, and want to experiment with the vest trend.
Sweater vest trend with white tops under it

Similar Vest Styling Posts

So what do you think? Do you like the sweater vest trend and aesthetic and how would you style it?

Sweater vest trend for older women

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

Magnificent 8

The Magnificent 8 is a collaboration among 8 stylish women, each in a different age bracket, ranging from their early 20’s to their early 80’s. The mission of this collaboration is to show you just how ageless style is, how we can each dress however we’d like, and in ways that make us feel fabulous. There are no age restrictions on style. So wear what you want, when you want, add a smile, and strut your style with confidence.

And be sure to check out all of these amazing women!
But not every post goes live at the same time, so if it’s not up when you check them out, I hope that you will check back later!!! It’s hard when we are all in different time zones.

Magnificent 8

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