A waistcoat is an invaluable suit accessory. Consisting of a sleeveless vest, it's worn in conjunction with a suit jacket and trousers. All three-piece suits require a waistcoat. Two-piece suits, on the other hand, don't need a waistcoat. Two-piece suits only have a jacket and trousers; they don't have a waistcoat. When wearing a waistcoat with a three-piece suit, however, there are a few things you'll need to know.
#1) Match the Fabric
It's a good idea to match the fabric of your waistcoat with that of your trousers. Suit trousers, of course, are available in many different fabrics. Some of them are made of cotton, whereas others are made of linen or wool. Cotton and linen trousers and lighter and, therefore, cooler than wool trousers. As a result, many men prefer them during the warmer months of the year.
Regardless, you should consider wearing a waistcoat in the fabric as that of your suit trousers. With the fabric matching, you'll create a more cohesive appearance that lifts your personal style.
#2) Wear Over Dress Shirt
All waistcoats should be over a dress shirt. After putting on your dress shirt, you can then put on your waistcoat, followed by your suit jacket. Waistcoats should be worn over a dress shirt and under a suit jacket.
Keep in mind that you'll need to wear your waistcoat over your necktie, assuming you are accessorizing your suit with a necktie. You can technically put on a necktie after your waistcoat, but it's easier to do beforehand. By putting on your necktie first, you'll be able to press down under your waistcoat so that it stays in place.
#3) Fasten the Buttons
Don't forget to fasten the buttons on your waistcoat. Whether it has four or six buttons, you should fasten all of them. Fastening the buttons is necessary to create a form-fitting appearance. When you fasten all the buttons, your waistcoat will press against your body to create a form-fitting appearance. If you leave any of the buttons unfastened, on the other hand, your waistcoat will fit more loosely and without offering a form-fitting appearance.
This is in stark contrast to single-breasted suit jackets. With a single-breasted suit jacket consisting of two buttons, you should typically only fasten the top button. The bottom button should remain unfastened. Waistcoats are different in the sense that all their buttons should be fastened. No matter the style, remember to fasten all of the buttons on your waistcoat.
#4) Consider the Color
When choosing a waistcoat, consider the color and whether or not it flows with the other colors of your suit. Waistcoats are available in many colors. In addition to black, you can find them in white, red, green, blue and most other colors. The color of your waistcoat, however, needs to flow with the rest of the colors in your outfit.
Some suits only have a single color. They have a pair of trousers and a matching jacket in the same, single color. Other suits have multiple colors. There are trousers and jacket combinations, for example, consisting of stripes and plaid patterns. With stripes or plaid, these suits have at least two colors -- with some of them featuring three or more colors.
#5) De-Wrinkle Before Wearing
Waistcoats can develop wrinkles. And since they are worn over a dress shirt, wrinkled waistcoats look messy and unkempt. If you're going to wear a waistcoat, take a few minutes to de-wrinkle it beforehand. Eliminating the wrinkles will create a cleaner and more uniform-looking waistcoat.
You can typically de-wrinkle a waistcoat using a clothing iron. As long as the tag specifically says "do not iron," you can iron it. The heat and moisture from a clothing iron will smooth out any wrinkles on your waistcoat. Just place your waistcoat on an ironing board, after which can run the clothing over any of its wrinkles.
In addition to ironing, you may be able to de-wrinkle your waistcoat by steaming it. There are handheld steamers that you can use to smooth out wrinkles on garments, including waistcoats. Like clothing irons, they use a combination of heat and moisture to remove wrinkles. Steamers, however, are typically safer because they don't directly touch the garments with which they are used. You can use a steamer by holding it a few inches away from your waistcoat. It will still de-wrinkle your waistcoat, but the steamer won't single or otherwise damage it.
#6) Buy, Don't Rent
Instead of renting, you should buy your waistcoat. What's wrong with renting a waistcoat? With rentals, you really don't know what you are getting. It could have torn seams or missing buttons that you don't notice until you leave the rental shop. Alternatively, the waistcoat could be stained. Renting means you'll be getting a used waistcoat. Most of them have been worn dozens of times, so some of them may be either damaged or stained.
Some men assume that renting a waistcoat is also cheaper than buying one. In reality, it usually renting a waistcoat usually costs more in the long run. Most rental shops charge by the day. Assuming you need to wear a waistcoat on three different occasions, you'll have to pay for three rental days. You can probably buy a waistcoat for about the same amount of money or, in some cases, even less money.
#7) Check the Fit
For your waistcoat to offer a uniform and attractive appearance, it needs to fit. As previously mentioned, waistcoats are designed to specifically offer a form-fitting appearance. They shouldn't fit so tight that they restrict your body. Rather, a waistcoat should fit rest directly against your body without any loose or excess fabric.
If your waistcoat doesn't fit, it won't look right when worn. Fortunately, there are custom-sized waistcoats available. You typically won't find them at rental shops. Instead, custom-sized waistcoats are offered by boutique fashion stores, such as StudioSuits. With a custom-sized waistcoat, you can rest assured knowing that it will fit perfectly.