The word “waist coat” derives from the cutting of the coat at the waist level. Traditionally, it’s the 3rd piece of a 3-piece suit. It’s often referred to as a “vest”. It has long been preserved to only the most formal of events; most often paired with the more conventional suit. Some key places to wear them would be a white tie event, black tie event or at weddings to finish off your wedding attire. Nowadays, it’s blended with the casual to give a semi- casual or a semi- formal look.
When you’re wearing your waist coat, there are a few tips, tricks and rules you have to follow to achieve a classic aesthetic.
Get The Fit Right: In an outfit, fit is everything! This can’t be overemphasized. I have highlighted some points to guide you on the fit.
- It should be long enough in the front to cover the man’s waist.
- The shoulders of the waistcoat should always be flat against your body and below any collar points. If you are wearing with a suit or coat, the V-shape of the waistcoat should be narrow enough that the suit lapel doesn’t hide it entirely.
Colour Match Properly: Nothing is more distasteful than improperly matched colours. If you aren’t good with mix-matching colours, play safe with easy colours such as black, white, blue and red. These colours are easier to combine than other colours.
Button As Appropriate: I’m sure most people don’t think there’s a certain way to button up when you’re wearing a waist coat. Well, there’s! The basic waistcoat has 5 or 7 buttons closure- 5 for average height and 7 for taller individuals. It’s never an even number of buttons. Always an odd number. The last button of a waistcoat should always be left undone. This is to prevent the waistcoat from riding up and also to avoid stress to the garment caused by the expanding of the midsection when sitting down. You can leave the first button undone, if you feel more comfortable with that but it’s not advised to leave both first and last button undone at the same time.
Keep Everything Else Fitted: This is to complement your already fitted waistcoat. In addition, you can wear an overcoat or a blazer over the waist coat, if you’re going for the formal look; bombers or windbreakers if you’re going for the “laidback” look. If you’re adventurous with your style, you can try a biker jacket or jean jacket. Underneath the coat, you should go for an Oxford shirt or a Granddad collar for a retro finish. But note, if the shirt is plain, the waist coat can have some print but if it’s a printed shirt, keep the waistcoat plain. Never mix prints! If you follow the tips I have given, then you’re on your way to being a pro in styling waistcoats.