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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 trickle-down 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 sweater vest is now 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.
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 plain white t-shirt or long-sleeve tee. 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 fall 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 Stüssy’s streetwear evocation to a classic (if not updated) Brooks Brother option, below are 10 sweater vests, ripe for sprucing up your current wardrobe.
The Best Sweater Vests For Men:
A classic sweater vest in a slightly unexpected pattern, Brooks Brothers’ vest is primed for fall, not only thanks to the autumnal palette but the luxurious lambswool which is light enough for easy layering and just warm enough for milder days.
Cos’ interpretation of the sweater vest modernizes the silhouette with a trim fit that creates a handsome streamline. In other words, there’s no mistaking it for your dad’s sweater vest.
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.
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.
While we’re already fans menswear brand Blue Blue Japan, we’ll respect you even more if you cop up on this patterned mohair sweater vest.
The cricket best might have once been considered the antithesis of everything stylish, but leave it to Todd Snyder to make one that feels classic yet cool.
The perfect sweater vest doesn’t exi-.
J.Crew takes the traditional fair isle print and turns it slightly on its head by making a pattern that hints at the classic design but in a more abstract way, 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.
While it may look innocuous, this sweater vest is from Grace Wales and thus like none other you’re likely to encounter. Crafted from a cashmere blend and knitted in retro jacquard with a striped V neckline and classic ribbed trims, it proves the perfect combination of chorus boy and distinguished gentleman.
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