by Lindsay Law
The vest used to be limited to three-piece suits and warm outdoor apparel. Women today, however, have truly made the vest their own, wearing it with everything from T-shirts to frilly dresses. Women's vests are versatile and universally flattering, so it makes sense to incorporate one into your wardrobe. These tips will help you pair vests with the women's clothing you already have and look stylish and sophisticated.
Try the "vest" way to dress up jeans. Pair your favorite jeans with a simple T-shirt and a cropped, fitted women's vest. A white T-shirt lends a classic look, but any color looks great with a black vest. If you have a brown vest or one with pinstripes or a different pattern, pick a complementary shirt. Pink and brown look good mixed together as well.
Toughen up the girly look. Wear a cropped black or brown vest with a loose, frilly blouse. It's an easy way to add definition to your waist and create contrast with a menswear piece and a feminine staple. Add jeans or a fitted skirt and either heels or flats, depending on how casual you want to look.
Go for a punk rock vibe. You don't have to play a mean electric guitar to dress like a rocker. Find your favorite band shirt or vintage tee and wear a vest over it. Cropped vests look especially cool, but a leather vest that zips up could also add texture to the punk vibe. Add skinny jeans and either ankle boots or 80s-inspired sneakers and you're good to go.
Cozy up with a warmer vest. If you're looking for a warm, stylish way to ward off cooler weather, layer a thick sweater vest or faux-fur trimmed vest over a long-sleeved henley or T-shirt. Be sure to wear fitted jeans or pants, especially if the vest is puffy or oversized, so that you don't look bigger than you are.
Play with matches. For a classic, tailored look, wear a vest that matches either your pants or skirt. To avoid looking like you stepped out of a 1920s picnic, add a modern blouse and cute shoes and accessorize with unique, feminine jewelry.
Dress up a sweater. A cropped vest can add polish to a turtleneck or thin cashmere or cotton sweater. Wear pretty pearl or chandelier earrings to look feminine.