Although I have always thought of these tailored and highly versatile tops simply as vests – they are also referred to as waistcoats, sleeveless jackets, and gilets. The down filled, leather and wool varieties might be worn as jackets, or under a coat to keep your core warm. They are great when layered over a sweater or hoodie if you want a less bulky freedom of movement for an active lifestyle.
There are people who are naturally warm blooded, and can wear a tank top almost anywhere and not be cold – but some of us unfortunately are just the opposite. Another vest advantage, is if you must take your coat off, yet worry about being cold, such as going out for dinner – a padded gilet is like a comfort measure you can add, to avoid freezing while indoors. They do not have any trailing parts that might dip into the food, like some bell sleeves and large wrap scarves do.
Regardless of whatever fashion trend is happening, I have always loved vests. They can be worn over a skimpy top to add a looser layer, or buttoned up to accent the waist and cover the tummy. In the summer months lighter vests can be worn buttoned up as a sleeveless top. They can be paired with skirts or blue jeans, with western wear, or to jazz up an evening outfit. In addition to being practical and comfortable, the coolest thing about them is how much intrigue they can add to almost any outfit.
Once you like the fit and look of a certain vest, you will be certain to hang onto it for a long time. Vests add warmth, colour and contour – and often have a much coveted extra pocket or two for a cell phone or keys.
Whether you are looking to a kick up an outfit for a night of line dancing, or like the cut and comfort of a certain style, there are many to choose from. The zippered and snap fronts are among my favourites. Have a look at the samples below to see what type of vest might suit your own fashion repertoire. Whether you lean toward comfortable chic, feminine toppers, jazzy western, outdoorsy layers, or dinner at the Ritz – these stylish additions are sure to have your back!