Vests and waistcoats are the least known pieces of clothing for men, in general. But with them being on the rise for fashionistas and every day gentlemen equally, let us explain the difference between these two items. The more information you have, the better fashion decisions you can make.
Most of the people think that vest is another linguistic variation of a waistcoat, but it isn’t. There is a tiny difference between the two – a vest is a less formal form of a waistcoat. The difference is so small, that only dapper gentlemen and fashionistas actually follow the rules but here we go.
Tip: Always leave the last bottom open
Definition & differences
Both vest and waistcoat are garments covering the upper part of the men’s body and shoulders. They are sleeveless and usually buttoned up.
Waistcoat is always worn over a formal shirt and with a full suit. It features a number of buttons and is either single-breasted or a double-breasted. Vest, on the other hand, can be worn over button down shirts or without anything underneath (official rule, though we would not recommend trying it). Sometimes you can buy a vest without buttons too, but this is not very common. In this case, they would be put on slipping it over your head.
Wear your waistcoat for formal events, such as black tie or white tie weeding, banquets or gala dinners. Waistcoats should always remain covered under a suit.
If you want to reach for a three piece suit, but want to feel comfortable, go for a vest. This way, you can take off your suit jacket and enjoy the more casual event in comfort, with your shirt and a vest.
At Hockerty, we don't make much difference between vest vs waistcoat. You can design them freely as you wish under the term 'waistcoat'.
Find more about how to wear and style vests and waistcoats in the video below.