Sweater Vests Are a Total Transitional Flex
Yes, you read that correctly.
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The sweater vest has long been one of the most reviled pieces of clothing, a woven representation of the word Pointdexter. But the fashion industry works in mysterious and often inexplicable ways: what was once a staple of hot models and grandparents only is now a par for the course offering from massive mall brands like Gap and Abercrombie. All it took was a couple of celeb endorsements, a couple of modern options, and high-ho! The seemingly unexpected happened: the best sweater vests are now totally, unconscionably cool.
Or maybe the sweater vest has always been cool and we’ve just been hesitant to admit it. After all, even if it has not been at the forefront of fashion, it’s been quietly existing for who knows how many years, serving grandfathers and prep school kids equally well. Then Harry Styles comes along, donning a fuzzy sheep-printed sweater vest, and the tides are forever changed.
How to Wear a Sweater Vest in 2023
While it might be hard to dispel any preconceived notions of the sweater vest, much of society’s distaste for the item lies in the fact that many of us don’t know how to properly wear one, let alone utilize its full potential. Instead of shoving one on over a button-down for a look that’s both stuffy and uncomfortable, casually throw a sweater vest over a heavy t-shirt or even a particularly sick rugby.
The styling will read as effortless while the sweater vest will add some much-needed texture and contrast to an otherwise simple outfit. And, true to the vest’s original purpose as a layering piece, you’ll glean just enough warmth for the transitional months ahead…and still be able to throw on a jacket if need be.
To help you on your full-blown evolution from pocket-protector dork to sweater vest ‘fit god, we’ve rounded up some styles that lean more hero than zero. From Percival’s streetwear evocation to a classic (if not updated) Brooks Brother option, below are 16 sweater vests, ripe for sprucing up your current wardrobe.
The Best Sweater Vests for Men in 2023:
We love this Banana Republic sweater vest for many reasons: its archival weave, eye-catching hue, cute pockets. But most of all, we love it for its name. All hail the trekking vest!
A classic sweater vest in a slightly unexpected pattern, Brooks Brothers’ vest is primed for the spring season, not only thanks to the eye-catching palette but the luxurious lambswool which is light enough for easy layering and just warm enough for milder days.
COS’s interpretation of the sweater vest modernizes the silhouette with a trim fit that creates handsome lines. In other words, there’s no mistaking it for your dad’s.
You can never go wrong with a piece of beige knitwear, especially not this cotton gilet from Mango. We recommend taking styling cues from the model and stay true to the simplicity of the piece by pairing it with a white tee, light-wash jeans and a lightweight navy jacket on top.
Butter Goods’ brushed vest gives a whole new meaning to flower power.
This fleecy jumper from Japanese outdoors brand Taikan is actually unisex, so if you’re so inclined you can share it with your significant other. But we understand if you think she should get her own goddamn sweater, though.
Uniqlo’s middle gauge blend knit is thick enough to layer and cozy enough to wear like a tank. Can your sweater vest do that?
While we’re already fans of menswear designer Damon Madder, we’ll respect you even more if you cop up on this strippy knit sweater vest.
Looking to take your sweater vest high-fashion? J.W. Anderson’s oddly sexual fruit motif should properly turbocharge your knitwear this spring.
The perfect white tee sweater vest doesn’t exi-.
J.Crew takes the traditional cashmere vest and reinvents it with a fresh cut, a move very much in line with its new direction under Noah founder Brendan Babenzian.
You might think a sweater vest has no place as a standalone top, but we could see ourselves wearing Abercrombie’s oversized V-Neck Vest as a baselayer under some loose tailoring or roomy jacket.
What…you’re not afraid to get a little graphic, are you?
While it may look innocuous, this sweater vest is from Gucci and thus like none other you’re likely to encounter. Crafted from a cashmere blend and knitted in retro print with a striped V neckline and classic ribbed trims, it proves the perfect combination of chorus boy and distinguished gentleman.
Todd’s slim sweater vest take is lighter than most of this list — that is to say, you’ve got your May office knit staring you in the face.
Want to emulate Stan Smith? Ditch the white sneakers and try Wilson’s swanky woven sweater vest, instead.
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