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a man’s guide to waistcoats

The waistcoat (aka vest) is a classic elegant fashion piece with origins stemming from King Charles II and British tailors around the mid 1600s. It has so much to offer including promoting a suit, an alternative to a jacket, and most importantly a waistcoat adds a sophisticated touch to an outfit all thanks to the elements – beautiful silk, handmade craftsmanship and bespoke design.

Fit
The staple in any fashion is fit. A waistcoat must be tailored to your body, no exceptions! Every feature of a waistcoat must be in harmony – armholes, neckline, buttons and circumference. Too big and the waistcoat may resemble a jacket without arms, not a nice look!

Styling
A complete outfit calls for 6 pieces – trousers, shoes, collared shirt, waistcoat, tie and jacket. When styling, remember a waistcoat is there to complement and lift your outfit. A neutral jacket and trousers like grey and black is safe. Our experience, via our Modern Bespoke service and Weddings service, is to match a tie and waistcoat. The same design looks stunning!

Fabric
There are a variety out there like silk, cotton and wool. A waistcoat made from silk is simply outstanding thanks to available colour combinations and the impact silk has visually when viewed by the naked eye.

Single breasted or double breasted
Single breasted waistcoats are modern and can be worn casually. Double breasted waistcoats are seen as traditional and formal. When styling either waistcoat, weigh up the look trying to be achieved, entire outfit and your body shape.

Button up and tighten!
Always follow etiquette and button up. So many times I see men wear waistcoats like open jackets, this is wrong! As for the bottom button, leave it undone. This will relax the fit, especially when sitting down. Don’t forget to tighten the waistcoat at the back using the fasteners!

Accessories
Here are 4 accessories that match nicely with a waistcoat:
– A tie that shares the same design with a waistcoat.
– Pocket watch on an Albert chain.
– A pocket square placed in a jacket’s top pocket.
– Pins which can be sentimental or a fun addition.

Our Modern Bespoke service and Weddings service which provides bespoke, custom waistcoats (and ties) for personal wardrobes and weddings follows one rule which has proved extremely popular – the designer experience. Clients love an exclusive one-off pattern that is woven from luxurious silk in England and handmade into a waistcoat with a matching tie! Visit Modern Bespoke service and Weddings service to find out more.