Waistcoats are not just for men.
Say it out loud and repeat. Say it as many times as you need to cement the idea in your head.
For centuries, we have been conditioned to believe in male and female clothing, but it’s 2021, and the fashion lines are blurring in a wonderful way.
More and more brands are designing for a gender-neutral fashion base and items that were once deemed ‘male or female’ are now free for all.
And thank the sartorial gods because fashion is more fun that way.
The waistcoat is one such item to migrate between both realms. It first appeared for women in the 1970s and eventually, by the late 1990s, became a mainstream wardrobe addition.
In recent years it lost its appeal – but now it’s making a powerful resurgence.
A surefire way to look effortlessly cool, waistcoats are not as difficult to style as you might think they are.
In fact, a waistcoat is the perfect transitional piece. Wear on its own in warm weather and expertly layer when the days become shorter.
In fashion terms, they are a ‘no brainer’ buy.
So to help you on your waistcoat journey, here are six of the best to invest in and how to style them.
Archive black pinstripe waistcoat, Urban Outfitters
Get it for £34 at Urban Outfitters.
Nothing screams ‘waistcoat’ more than a pinstripe design. This Urban Outfitters beauty is suitably sexy and versatile. Pair with baggy jeans and trainers for lunch and, once the sun goes down, bust out your favourite black mini skirt and heels.
Crop fitted waistcoat, Labelrail x Hana Cross
Get it for £33 at ASOS.
The ‘Canadian tuxedo’ was the butt of many fashion jokes over the years, but now the double denim aficionados are the ones laughing. Wearing denim on denim is now considered fashion and take it one step further with this wondrous cropped fitted waistcoat by Labelrail x Hana Cross.
Cropped boxy vest, & Other Stories
Get it for £55 at & Other Stories.
A neutral waistcoat will never do you wrong. Simple yet exquisite, this & Other Stories option is transitional fashion at its best. Pair over a light knitted polo, tailored wide leg trousers and finish with an oversized blazer this winter.
Jersey suit waistcoat, ASOS Design Curve
Get it for £14 at ASOS.
If you want to define your waist, opt for a tighter-fitting waistcoat such as this ASOS Design jersey wonder. A smart-yet-sexy choice, wear with leather pants and high heeled boots for streamlined look.
Tweed pocket vest, Mango
Get it for £49.99 at Mango.
Add a pop of Chanel to any outfit (without the hefty price tag) with this Mango tweed pocket vest. With pearl elements, keep the rest of the look elegant. A satin midi skirt, demure heels and a classy bag are your go-to options.
Avier suedette fringed waistcoat, French Connection
Get it for £76 at ASOS.
Waistcoats don’t have to be boring. Update the classic with a western feel. This French Connection fringed waistcoat will serve you well as the last of the summer festivals come to an end but can add gusto to winter #ootds. Layer over a knitted black midi dress come October – you can thank us later.
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