How to Wear a Sweater Vest

A garment once confined to the wardrobes of our grandfathers, Chandler Bing and the archetypal high school movie nerd, the sweater vest now graces the catwalks and appears constantly in the feeds of the most fashion-forward influencers. For those of us feeling curious but who aren’t sure how to style a sweater vest, fear not. We’ve put together six different sweater vest outfit ideas to inspire you to embrace the sleeveless jumper and make this challenging trend accessible to all. 

OVERSIZED DRESS SHIRT WITH SWEATER VEST

A popular sweater vest outfit involves an oversized dress shirt layered underneath a sweater vest. This combination also works with jeans and ballet pumps for a smart-casual daytime look, or dressed up for the evening with boots. If you’re unsure about braving the shirt and vest as a dress, try styling it with a longer shirt dress.

We’ve teamed this stone-coloured oversized sweater vest with an oversized white shirt and some showstopping thigh high boots for an effortlessly chic rendition of the trend. Pair with a ‘90s-style shoulder bag to complete the night-time look, or keep things lowkey but still sharply on-trend and style this sweater vest with wide-leg jeans and ballet flats.

CABLE KNIT SWEATER VEST WITH T-SHIRT

For an easy, laidback look, couple a sweater vest with a basic T-shirt, some tailored trousers and trainers. Experiment with colours and textures for even more variety. The same combination works just as well with some loose black jeans to emulate another popular ‘90s trend.

Take inspiration from this ‘90s sweater vest outfit by pairing this cream knit sweater vest with a simple T-shirt and suit trousers. The neutral tones of the trousers and sleeveless jumper can be coordinated with these beige trainers, and the blue T-shirt brings a splash of colour and contrast to the entire look. Alternatively, swap the tailored trousers for some black mom jeans for more of a relaxed vibe.

PREPPY SWEATER VEST AND SKIRT LOOK

Still wondering what to wear with a sweater vest? Embrace the athleisure trend and style a sweater vest over a white tee with a pleated skirt. Amp up the sports-luxe mood with some white socks and chunky trainers. Go for a classic all-white tennis ensemble or mix things up by combining patterns and colours. Choose an iconic argyle sweater vest or go for a pastel tone. Think schoolyard-style meets Wimbledon. If you’re not sure about the full courtside look, take a look at our midi skirts to find more inspiration for your sweater vest style. 

We’ve put together the ultimate preppy sweater vest and tennis skirt outfit by combining this adorable houndstooth sweater vest with a white T-shirt and yellow tennis skirt. Paired with some sporty white socks and these chunky trainers, you’ll be set to take to the courts in this cute varsity-style outfit

SWEATER VEST WITH JEANS, BRALETTE AND BARE ARMS

Sweater vests are versatile enough to take you from playful athleisure looks to the old faithful ‘jeans and a nice top’. If you don’t want to layer a sweater vest, try wearing it on its own with the humble jean and boots. A twist on a failsafe outfit – choose a scallop-edged or V-neck sweater vest to wear with bare arms on warmer days. Pair with a delicate bralette peeking out from underneath. Style with loose jeans, chunky jewellery and boots for a beautifully uncomplicated weekend fit.

Get inspired by a look that strikes a balance between elegant and cool. The contrast of this delicate pink sweater vest with raw-edge hem wide jeans forms an outfit that’s just undone enough to work perfectly for a weekend at home or a coffee date. The subtle black lace bralette underneath adds sophistication, while these black platform Chelsea boots keep the look practical enough for everyday wear. Complete the fit with this chunky gold chain necklace and some chunky gold hoop earrings. 

SWEATER VEST WITH A DRESS

If you’re feeling stuck between seasons and struggling to dress for transitional weather, a sweater vest is the perfect addition to your outfit to keep you feeling warm enough without compromising on style. Try slipping a sweater vest in a neutral tone over the top of a long sleeve dress to add an extra layer of warmth that compliments your outfit. Amp up your accessories to achieve an effortless boho look. Style with sandals and some hair accessories and head out for a day at the shops or for a mid-summer lunch with friends.

We are obsessed with this gorgeous puff-sleeved dress teamed with this simple cream crop sweater vest. For warmer days, step into these Grandpa-style platform sandals for a fuss-free and comfortable get-up. The headscarf is another must-have accessory for 2021, and this light beige headscarf will give the ensemble a timelessly chic feel, while protecting your hair from the elements! Grab this beach-friendly woven shopper bag and you’re good to go. 

THE MONOCHROME SWEATER VEST TREND

Embrace the tonal approach. Another favourite trend accompanying sweater vests on our feeds this year is the rise of the monochromatic outfit. Marry the two trends together and couple a block coloured sweater vest with a crisp shirt, matched with a pair of culottes or high-waisted trousers in the same colour. This outfit works with white trainers for an ideal stay-at-home look that’s still polished enough for heading out on the town. Or, dress things up and add a colourful pair of heels.

We’ve picked up on the ubiquitous chocolate brown trend and created a look to rival street style stars from London to Manhattan. Try a dark brown rib sweater vest worn over the top of this airy crop chocolate brown linen shirt, styled with silky pull on trousers in the same rich brown tones. This combination is super comfortable while still appearing smart enough for the office or going out. Insert a pop of colour to the look by rounding it off with these classic lilac block-heeled sandals.

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