When the word “sweater vest” is spoken, a lot of people’s minds are invaded by images of a horrible knitted monstrosity handmade by Aunt Gertrude with rainbow yarn. And then, horror of horrors, your mom made you wear the grotesque thing to family gatherings. But don’t despair. If you find sweater vests reappearing in the collections of many popular designers, there’s good news ahead. Today’s sweater vest is much more sophisticated and easy to wear than some of its predecessors.
Sweater vests are a quick and inexpensive way to dress up any outfit. For guys, add a sweater vest to a fitted tee (even one with stains from those hot wings you had a while back) and you have instant class. Throwing on a sweater vest can avoid the “dress shirt and tie” scenario and still keep one looking polished. For girls, a long, textured sweater vest can keep off the chill of early spring or autumn mornings – and delay the arrival of the bulky winter coat.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when shopping for a stylish addition to your wardrobe.
• Both guys and girls should choose a sweater vest style that is fitted, not loose and shapeless. The current silhouette is mostly tailored, so the sweater vest should hug your body while still allowing enough room for a t-shirt or other shirt underneath.
• Generally, choose sweater vests that are of a solid color or a very subtle print. Anything else could conjure up images of Aunt Gertrude’s rainbow sweater vest we mentioned above, and run the risk of making you look dated. A solid color will not only look modern, it will also add more flexibility to your wardrobe because you can pair it with a wide variety of outfits. Ladies, check out this black, open-front sweater vest by Calvin Klein which can go casual or dressy, depending on where you’re headed.
• The thickness of the sweater vest you choose should be determined by your personal preference and the overall climate of your area. A down-filled puffy vest can be a great way to stay warm when the temperatures start to fall. Try a winter white vest over a long-sleeved t-shirt and tailored jeans for a classic cold weather look. For the summer, sweater vests should be downsized to lighter fabrics such as cotton or silk.
• Girls can pair sweater vests with everything from jeans to skirts. Go for a preppy look by wearing a crew-necked sweater vest over a crisp white shirt and plaid skirt, and top it off with some great high-heeled boots. Guys can create a dressy casual look by wearing a sweater vest over a fitted t-shirt and jeans, or go more formal by wearing it over a long-sleeved button-down shirt and slacks. The possibilities are endless!
• Sweater vests and t-shirts are a marriage made in heaven, so have fun mixing up your wardrobe combinations. Try long-sleeved and short-sleeved tees with sweater vests of different fabrics and textures appropriate for the season.
Sweater vests are a fabulous way to add both function and style to your look. They’re also quite affordable, so have fun experimenting with them!