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How To Style A Men’s Sweater Vest

Revenge. Revenge stories involve the protagonist being wronged in some way, and then finding a way to get back at the baddies. In this story, our protagonist is the long-maligned sweater vest, and the baddies are the Beastie Boys. Sort of.

In their music video for Fight For Your Right, Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D take the right royal Michael out of a couple of nerds. Big-time nerds. Glasses held together with masking tape, high-waisted trousers held up by braces, black loafers with white socks, dickie bows… They look good, actually. They look better than the Beastie Boys. The problem is that, in our memory, those nerds were (Ad-)rocking sweater vests, but we’ve googled it and, unbelievably, they actually weren’t. Our minds have taken it upon themselves to imprint non-existent sweater vests onto classic 1980s nerds, which shows that the sweater vest has been mistreated by history. So, now, thirty-seven years after Beastie Boys fought for our right to party, the sweater vest is back to fight for its rightful place in your wardrobe rotation.



What do you wear with a men’s sweater vest?


Sweater vests have gone from being classified exclusively as formal grandadwear, to one of the most stylish and versatile items in your wardrobe. Like when Gareth Bale and Michail Antonio transformed themselves from conventional full-backs into top-tier strikers. One of the best things about being alive in 2023 is that you can wear a sweater vest with just about anything — layered or standalone, shorts or trousers, trainers or formal shoes — and you’re gonna look great. Let’s explore some of your options.

How to wear a sweater vest


What to wear underneath a sweater vest

If you’re feeling confident, you could always go for nothing. Harry Styles has become unofficial international ambassador for the unaccompanied sweater vest, and if you tell us he doesn’t look good in it, we’ll tell you are positively wildin’ and, possibly, to get a grip. Alternatively, a buttoned shirt with a tie or a bow-tie will give a more studious, formal look. A plain white tee is safe as houses and a bit more chill — less uptight, more… downslack? Is that the opposite of uptight? Here’s a sweater vest, anyway.



Can you wear a vest with an untucked shirt?

Course you can. It’s a very specific look that gives humongous I’ve-just-finished-my-work-for-the-week-and-I-am-ready-to-cause-absolute-mayhem vibes. It’s a look that says I have got my life together but I am not afraid of fun. It’s a look that tells people you know how to dress, you know how to get things done, and you know how to murder a beloved song in a karaoke booth. Especially effective with informal footwear.



Should sweater vests be tucked in?

If you like. We’d recommend leaving a thicker sweater vest untucked to allow for that casual bagginess to work its magic, but a thinner sweater vest can be tucked in with great results, especially if worn with nothing underneath, creating a striking silhouette — like our Nawa Pinstripe Vest.



How do you wear a sweater vest stylishly?


Get creative with it. Try different combinations of underlayers, overlayers, and trousers/shorts with your sweater vests. Try pattern on pattern for an especially daring look (but be careful there — we trust your discerning eye on that one). Everything we write here is guidance, not law. Back yourself and you won’t go far wrong with a sweater vest.



Can you wear a sweater vest in summer?

Yes, you can. Sweater vests are deceptively cool as they don’t have so many points of contact with the skin and therefore allow for airflow. They also keep your armpits nice and exposed to the elements, keeping you from getting too hot in the sunshine.



See more Knitwear

How to style a cropped sweater vest


A cropped sweater vest is a good option for sporting that untucked shirt look we talked about earlier. If you’re a confident kind of fella you could rock a cropped sweater vest with nothing underneath. If you’re a little conscious about the old gut, maybe give that one a miss.



How to style oversized sweater vest


Oversized sweater vests are good for a tucking. They’ll bag out a little at the point of tucking and create a nice silhouette. Alternatively, they’ll go perfectly with a plain tee or simply on their own. Best employed as casual wear.

So next time your pal asks you what you’re wearing, did you lose a bet? Say, mate, you’re just jealous it’s a SWEAT-ER VEST.




Unfortunately this size is no longer in stock.