If you want to show off your style expertise to the world, invest in a tweed waistcoat. It’s a versatile piece that will always have you looking dapper, no matter how you style it. And there are truly so many ways to style it that you’ll never be bored! It’s a timeless piece that you can wear all year round for numerous occasions, and also one that will never go out of style. Tweed has been a staple in gentlemen’s wardrobes since the 19th century and the tradition is still going very strong. So, what are the best combinations for your tweed waistcoat?
What To Wear With A Tweed Waistcoat
A Matching Suit. Go the traditional route by using a tweed waistcoat to complete a three-piece suit. This is an excellent choice for more formal occasions like weddings or other special events. Perhaps three-piece suits are encouraged at your workplace, or you have an important meeting or presentation coming up. Besides, when you purchase a three-piece suit you will have the option of wearing it all together as an ensemble, as a two-piece suit, or wearing the waistcoat separately so it’s definitely a smart purchase. With a tweed three-piece suit you’ll be looking extra sharp, no matter what the scenario is.
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A Suit Without The Jacket. A waistcoat is the natural answer to getting dressed for a formal occasion when it’s hot out. Put on matching trousers and a shirt, but skip the jacket. You’ll still be abiding by the formal dress code (very much so, actually), but you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with a lightweight waistcoat in lieu of a thick jacket. This is also a great option if you’re going to an event where you aren’t entirely sure of the dress code but you still want to get dressed up. Of course, you also have the option of wearing separate trousers. We recommend choosing complementary colors. For example, if your tweed contains navy, then wear navy trousers. You’ll still look smart and coordinated, but with more of a contrast. Lastly, keep the back of the waistcoat in mind. It will have a lighter, lining-like material that may even be printed. Choose a shirt that matches the back, as it will be visible.
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A Mixed Suit. Embrace the quirky English professor stereotype with style by mixing your tailoring. Tweed is an excellent neutral base for mixing patterns and textures. Contrast your tweed waistcoat with a jacket and trousers in another color (or colors). You can have some fun with this look and play around with the different suiting options you have in your wardrobe. However, if you need some help you can always combine navy and brown or grey with white. Earthy colors are another sure bet (brown, mustard, burgundy, rust, etc) - and don’t be afraid of adding some checks into the mix! A good rule of thumb for mixing patterns is to make sure they’re all similar colors, and choose varying sizes so that one is clearly dominant. If you don’t want to deal with mixing patterns, simply choose solid colored trousers and let tweed be your pattern of choice.
Go Casual. A waistcoat doesn’t need to be strictly formal, though it will definitely elevate any piece you choose to dress it down with. It’s a top-notch piece for dressing up a casual outfit when you want to create a high-low feel. Slip your waistcoat on top of a shirt and pair it with some jeans or chinos instead of suiting trousers. This semi-formal look works well for more relaxed occasions like lunches, dates, or dress down days at work. Make sure your shirt is tucked in, and we recommend going with dark, solid denim (without fades or distressing) for a more polished feel. If you really want to go casual, you can wear a fitted sweater or even a t-shirt instead of a shirt. You can also play around with accessories to change the feel of your outfit, like wearing Chelsea boots instead of brogues or dress shoes.
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How To Find The Perfect Waistcoat
It’s essential that any piece of tailored clothing fits properly. Same with your made-to-measure Tweed Waistcoat. Well-fitted tailoring will make you look smart and dapper. Ill-fitted tailoring will make you look sloppy and ruin the entire look. You want your waistcoat to be fitted enough that it doesn’t gape, but loose enough for you to move comfortably. Remember, the goal of a waistcoat is to define and lengthen your torso. A properly tailored waistcoat will sit flat on your shoulders when you move your arms, and nicely hug your stomach. You can always use the adjustable strap at the back to perfect the fit, but never cinch it too tightly to keep the fabric lying smoothly.
You have your outfit picked out and your waistcoat fits properly. Now all you have to do is add the finishing touches by following these final few tips.
- Leave the last button undone. This is suiting tradition that dates back to the 20th century and has been accepted as the correct styling method since then.
- Ties are optional. Really define the feel of your outfit with a tie (or not). Just a waistcoat can be more than enough, but if you want the ultimate formal or Sunday Best feel, wear a tie. Make sure it’s neatly tucked into your waistcoat. Bowties are another popular choice, especially for weddings. If choose to skip the tie, you can leave a few of the top buttons undone for a more relaxed feel.
- Be authentic with a hat. Tweed originated from Scotland, where its original wearers would often wear their tweed sets with a flat or newsboy-style cap. Style your three-piece tweed suit to create a look the Peaky Blinders would approve of.
- Top it off with a pocket watch. Waistcoats make quite a statement on their own, so they don’t need a lot of embellishment. But adding a pocket watch will score you serious style points, especially for a formal occasion.
How will you be styling your tweed waistcoat?