Vests are an amazing addition to your suit that too many men pass up on.
Not only does adding a vest give you more options to dress up your suit, it also increases your options of making stylish choices. You have the choice between single or double breasted, between different lapel styles, or even going without a lapel.
Most of us men, unless we are in great shape and wear tailor made shirts, don’t look so impressive once we have taken off our jacket.
We most often wear single colored shirts with our suits, and as soon as the jacket is off, there is only a large, single colored canvas left on which we sometimes sport a nice tie – if we have to.
A vest still provides you with a nice combination and makes you look well dressed, with or without the jacket.
So what are the main choices to make when designing a vest and how should you decide them?
1.) High or low button stance?
How high should your vest go? A low button stance is about 5 centimeter above your navel, while a high button stance brings the vest roughly to your solar plexus (where your ribs join together on your chest).
You want to choose a high button stance if you want your vest to stand out (while wearing your suit with its button closed). For example, choosing design elements which capture the eye, like a different fabric, bold colours, or buttons. You can also choose this button stance if you want to have a stricter, more serious impression.
A vest with a lower button stance is less visible when you wear your jacket closed, but is generally more sportive.
2.) Single or double breasted?
Most men only know single breasted vests and if you want the vest just to enhance the elegance of your suit, then this is probably what you should go for.
But double breasted vests are becoming more and more popular and are a great way to show off your sense of fashion if you don't want to go for a colourful signature piece.
One thing to consider though when choosing between single or double breasted is your body type. Double breasted vests emphasise the vertical dimension of your body, which means they are not well suited for short men or if you have a belly.
3.) Lapel or no lapel?
As with single and double breasted, most men are only familiar with vests that do not have a lapel. But like the double breasted vest, wearing vests with a lapel is becoming increasingly fashionable. And vests come with a wide array of lapels.
You can choose from a shawl lapel, which look extremely good with a double breasted vest, or a more classical lapel like notch or peak. It also doesn't matter whether your vest has a high or low button stance, lapels still work great on your vest.
You also don’t need to worry that the lapel of the vest will bulge up your jacket around the collar. You will neither see, nor feel the lapel of your vest as a disturbance, because vest lapels do not go around the collar. They are designed to only decorate the front of your vest.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to add a vest to your next suit.
If you are ready to design your next suit, schedule a design session here. We will get back to you within 24 hours.