I remember hating vests as a child–they were boxy, unflattering, and boyish. Today, when worn right, a vest can add a stylish punch to your outfit, particularly since menswear is such a hot trend lately. With so many different styles, each is more fashionable than the last. One important thing to remember – a vest should fit right. Overly cropped vests tend to look childish and a bit on the trashy side, but boxy vests do nothing for your figure. Look for fitted, nipped-at-the-waist styles unless the vest is a long cardigan style to be worn belted or loose.
A fitted vest can look sleek and fashionable. For a more formal look, the vest should either match your trousers or skirt (i.e. be made of the same fabric) or at least be in the same color family. The DVF Isletti Vest ($245) can be worn with black slacks and a feminine blouse to contrast the masculine vibe. For a softer, more business casual look, wear it belted over a patterned frock like the Bergen Silk Chiffon Dress ($365).
For a more cool and casual look, try a vest with a pattern; perhaps this denim herringbone vest against a colorful blouse or even all white ($70, was $98), or this unique Tapestry vest ($58) in a faux brocade print over a billowing dress.
A long, cardigan-like vest will be this season's most popular purchase simply for its comfort and versatility. Belt it around a dress or let it run free over wide trousers or stove-pipe pants. In a neutral color you can be sure that it will remain versatile. Try this Air-Spun Horizontal Cable Vest ($68) by Eddie Bauer or this Milly Cable Knit Vest ($475).