- Make sure the waistcoat is properly tailored to fit your body.
- Choose a color that contrasts against the colors of your suit jacket and/or trousers.
- Belts should not be worn with waistcoats. Instead, consider wearing bracers (AKA suspenders) with it.
- Do not attempt to machine wash your waistcoats; have it professional dry cleaned as needed.
What Is a Waistcoat and Should I Wear One?
While not not necessarily an "essential" item in a men's suit, waistcoats have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They contour to fit the wearer's body shape, adding a unique element of style that's not found in other garments or accessories. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of wearing a waistcoat. So, what in the world is a waistcoat and should you wear one? The most basic definition for the term waistcoat is that it's a sleeveless, vest-style shirt that's usually (but not always) worn over an existing dress shirt and necktie. You can see an example by viewing the picture depicted above. Waistcoats can also be worn in conjunction with a coat, making it the third piece in a standard men's formal business suit. If you look closely at a waistcoat, you'll notice the front contains a full vertical opening with buttons or snaps. The exact number of buttons or snaps depends on the particular waistcoat, although most modern-day styles have between two and three. Unlike jacket, waistcoats should almost always be buttoned; otherwise, it results in a messy appearance that does the wearer's look no justice. Much like suit jackets, there are two primary types of waistcoats: single-breasted and double-breasted. With that said, single-breasted waistcoats are far more popular. They offer a classic, timeless style that's easy to wear, whereas double-breasted models are a bit more complex. Regardless, however, they are both excellent additions a traditional three-piece men's suit. When wearing a waistcoat in conjunction with a suit jacket and trousers, make the sure the colors properly match. I know this probably sounds like common sense to most fashionable men, but you would be surprised to learn just how many men overlook this simple rule. This doesn't necessarily mean that your waistcoat must be the exact same color as your jacket and trousers, but the three items should flow together in a cohesive manner. Here are some tips on how to sport a waistcoat (the right way):