There is a vest for all seasons, so here’s our guide to wearing gentlemen’s vests – from tartan waistcoat to the timeless tweed waistcoat.
“The King hath yesterday in council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how,” wrote the diarist Samuel Pepys of King Charles II’s new fondness for waistcoats in 1666.
Pepys used the 17th-century terminology – the “vest” – and it’s not the only element of this wardrobe essential that has evolved since the Restoration period. There are a plethora of styles suitable for all occasions, from the knitted waistcoat, to the tartan waistcoat to the timeless tweed waistcoat. But how to wear them? Let us explain – from brocade to bottom button.
Stripes, plains or patterns?
When selecting the vest styles, one should take an admiring gaze in the mirror. Fond of cheeseboard and claret? First: enchanté! Second: we’d suggest sticking to plains or patterns, which add a flattering visage for the fine-living gentleman. Perhaps this striking, floral brocade vest – straight out of the Georgian dandy’s look book and ideal for a niece’s nuptials.
Those with slimmer physiques, tip of the hat to you, may prefer to seek out stripes or geometrics for their vest.
Ring the bells with our floral brocade vest
Live, laugh, length
Whether purchasing a tartan vest for a Highland wedding, or casual vest for a coastal amble, the length is of paramount import. Ensure the bottom of the vest alights just under your waistband: around an inch is the *chef’s kiss*. You want to ensure that no shirt – and certainly no flesh – is visible through the button.
Hit the sartorial highlands with one of our four bespoke tartan vests
Bet your bottom button
It is one of the great debates to rage across our heathered hills: should one’s bottom vest button be fastened? The answer is simple: resolutely not.
This quirk of tailoring was originally introduced by King Edward VII. He was a man of legendary appetites who decreed that the waistcoat’s bottom button – when done up – did not bestow enough space for his midriff. Nowadays, vests are designed with this affectation in mind so keep it unbuttoned…and your plate full.
Buttons up with these casual vests
Let your lining do the work
There comes a point in any gala where one’s jacket is hoisted upon the nearest hook or chair. At this juncture, it’s requisite that the hitherto unseen lining makes a statement. The back of the tweed vest – with bespoke duelling hares stitched amidst shimmering satin – is the perfect way to attack a landmark evening with roguish elan.
Make it a case of waist not, waistcoat, with our cache of outstanding vests
Keep it knitty
Whatever the time of year – from midwinter to midsummer – evening layers can be a crucial addition. The knitted vest is made from 100% Italian Merino wool and ensures you’ll not get caught out by unforeseen chills. Looking to make a statement? The purple merino vest is a sight for the sorest eyes. Otherwise the navy vest will adroitly twin with any outfit.
Stay unctuously warm with our knitted vests
Have a peek across our ample selection of gentlemen’s vests. Pick up a knitted vest, a tartan vest or a perennially modish tweed vest today.
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