Polished Style: How to Layer With a Vest
I’m sharing ideas of how to layer with a vest, after the request to showcase outerwear without looking like the Michelin man (does that analogy date me, haha?)
Quote of the day: “The strategies that made you successful in the past will, at some point, reach their limit. Don’t let your previous choices set your future ceiling. The willingness to try new ideas allows you to keep advancing.” James Clear
Trying new things always seems so scary, but the fact of the matter with clothes and style is that you get to change it out daily. Therefore, if you put together an outfit and it doesn’t seem to work, it’s no biggie. You won’t get arrested by the fashion police and you never have to wear that outfit again.
Unfortunately, I do think we tend to fall into ruts with our style. For example, I used to dress very seriously and professionally and I thought that was the way every woman should dress. Luckily, I have evolved to realize that style is as unique as each of us. Therefore, there should be no rights or wrongs. Style should focus on what we like and how we feel.
On the topic at hand of how to layer with a vest, I brought in the idea of dressing up a puffer vest. While most of the time you think of this piece as casual, I made it more polished with statement sleeves, silky joggers, and a necklace.
Secrets of How to Layer with a Vest
Personally, I didn’t use to wear many vests because I only thought to wear a vest over a blouse. It was truly an aha moment to realize that I could wear it over so many other pieces like:
- Hoodies. I showcase that here.
- Jackets- The great idea of wearing a vest over a jacket is that it can look like one piece. For example, you have to look closely to see that we wore different kinds of jackets under our vests.
- BUT DON’T forget you can layer over a vest too. It’s something I haven’t done a lot yet, but now that I’ve thought about it, I’m going to work on some styling with vests this way. I have worn my vest once under my white denim jacket here (scroll down to the bottom photo of this post to see it). It’s okay to let it hang out under the jacket. There’s no reason to hide it.
DIY Your Own Vest
The best thing to remember about vests is that they are basically a shirt without sleeves.
You might have some vests in your closet without realizing it.
- Any sleeveless shirt could be worn as a “vest”. I wore one of my shirts as a vest over a turtleneck here.
- Even a sleeveless shirt dress can be considered a vest. Would you have realized that in my example here?
- Or take a jacket or shirt and remove the sleeves. This burgunday quilted vest is a perfect example of that trick. You can do this yourself or take it to an alterations person.
Pants: Entro Naomi & Ruth Boutique ~~ Vest: Merona. It was bought as a jacket and I took the sleeves off ~~ Top: Banana Republic ~~ Shoes: thrifted ~~ Necklace: thrifted ~~ Earrings: ~~ Purse: thrifted
How to Layer with a Vest
One of the best reasons to think of how to layer with a vest is when you have an item and the sleeves are something special. Yet you also want to add a layer for warmth.
Just think with these bell sleeves that if I added a cardigan or jacket, the sleeves would be balled up PLUS you wouldn’t get to appreciate them.
It is the same idea as when I layered a faux fur vest over my sweater with the embroidered sleeves.
The best time to layer with a vest is with the milder temperatures like the fall and spring. However, keep in mind that vests provide more warmth than you realize.
Have you ever taken off a vest and realized how cold it is?? That’s because that extra layer around the core of your body really helps heat you up.
Quilted Puffer Vest
Let me first start off to say that this quilted vest was purchased as a jacket. However, after having it for months and never wearing it, I decided to cut off the sleeves and make it into a vest instead.
While the puffer coats and vest tend to add bulk to the overall look, when there is more quilting on them, it creates a less poofy silhouette. That was the reason I purchased this jacket in the first place.
Insider tip: Another factor with vests not being too bulky is if they have an elastic band at the waist on the back. If you look at my photo from behind, you’ll see it looks like I have a waist.
For styling this casual vest, I decided to button the top three snaps only and let the rest of it hang open. This creates an asymmetrical line in the middle of my body and counteracts the half and half proportion to a degree.
What Accessories Go With a Vest
Even though a puffy vest is something you consider casual, there is no reason not to add sparkle and shine to it. The idea of dichotomy in an outfit is very modern and really and truly fun!!!
I found this multistrand necklace at a thrift store and it can be worn short like this or long. Maybe you can see how I knotted the ends of the beige material to keep it short? It’s composed of different colors of pearl beads, and therefore, I wore a long pair of pearl earrings with it.
Insider tip: I would suggest you could add a fun necklace like this even to your fleece vests or jackets to give them more personality. I bet most of you have a pearl necklace, so why not pull it out and wear it?
I also grabbed my beaded green purse that is also preloved. The beading on the purse mirrors the pearl beads in the necklace and dress it up nicely.
Vest and Joggers
One of the bigger trends in pants that is still going strong is the joggers. Most joggers are athleisurewear but it’s also easy to find them in other materials. For example, this pair of joggers is a satin material. I purchased them from Naomi & Ruth Boutique and have already worn them many times. They are lightweight, yet have a wonderful sheen to them. I figured they would be wonderful lounge pants yet I’ve worn them more for going out than anything.
Insider tip: I have proven with a different pair of joggers that they can be worn from working out to the office.
You can see this exact same pair of joggers with a faux fur coat here.
What Shoes to Wear with Joggers
Because these joggers have an elastic fitted cuff, any low-profile shoe would work. Since I was working on dressing up with this outfit, I grabbed a pair of khaki heels. The interesting thing about this pair of shoes is I picked them up at the thrift store but wasn’t sure I would wear them much. However, I have found that they really go with so much and are quite comfortable.
Insider tip: If you buy something you aren’t particularly sure about, make sure to try to style it right away and with three different outfits. Then you’ll know whether they are going to work in your closet or not.
Other shoes which would work wonderfully with joggers?
- Sneakers. Nancy, Lesley, Charlotte and me showcased that here. Even Mireille (who has her own blog now) was a guest model in that post.
- Sandals. That’s how we’ve styled them before.
- Low profile ankle boot.
- Brogues. I wore brogues with my joggers for the work environment outfit.
- Mocassins. These are what I wear with them when I am just lounging at home.
- And don’t forget your slippers if you are at home!
Variety of Methods to Wear Our Outerwear Without the Bulk
All three of us incorporated different ideas of how to wear our outerwear without looking too bulky.
Lesley showcased a boiled wool cardigan and along with that, I shared many ideas of slimming ways to layer your clothes.
Then Charlotte incorporated a leather jacket for her look. In that post, I incorporated ideas of other clothing that help prevent the bulk.
And I thought using a vest was smart because then you aren’t adding more layers to your arms. Even though I showcased a puffy vest, I think I proved that not all puffer vests are created equal.
Other Ideas of How to Layer with a Vest
In order to have a ton of variety in your closet, keep in mind the secret of layering a vest!! Not only can you layer under it but also over it.
- The Magic Lightweight Summer Vest: Hide Your Belly This type of vest could work perfectly for the cooler temperatures too.
- How to Wear a Sweater Vest in a Modern Way You can layer a vest over a jacket AND belt it.
- 5 Different Green Vest Outfit Ideas. More ideas that include over a cardigan sweater or a wrap.
- Useful Way to Make a Long Vest Outfit Fitted. Longer vest ideas when it seems overwhelming.
Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.
My hope is that you get ideas and inspiration from Charlotte, Lesley, and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?
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