Though they have been around for centuries, their application for most men is tricky. Though the weathered waistcoat wearer will of course know his Edwardian waistcoat from his Victorian, the complex world of waistcoat fashion can lead even the most stylish of fellows astray.
But where do waistcoats come from?
Interestingly, waistcoats are one of very few items of clothing that we are able to pinpoint exactly in history. In 1666 on the 7th of October, Samuel Pepys the diarist for King Charles II wrote that:
“The king hath yesterday in council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how.”
These two sentences therefore laid in ink the birth of the waistcoat and signaled the beginning of a clothing item that would last and continue into the 21st century.
But how do you go about wearing a waistcoat?
Propelled perhaps by the stylish looks of Donald Draper of Mad Men, the look of the waistcoat has found itself yet again amongst the shoulders of the young and if worn correctly, it can turn a scruffy rogue into a dazzling prince. The first thing to get right however, is the fit.
Getting this right is important, and you must remember that your waistcoat must exceed the height of your belt line; thus the meaning and origin of the term, ‘waistcoat’.
Another important thing in regards to fitting is to make sure that your arms have room to breathe; tight arm holes will only course your shirt to rise up when you raise your arms aloft.
Remember also, that a proper waistcoat wearer shall always keep his bottom button left open. What happens at the top however, is really up to him.
Similar to most things in life, simple works every time and the same can be easily said for the ethos of the waistcoat. Investing in a neutral tone for your waistcoat shall also help you ease into the sophisticated world of the coat; greys, blacks and navy colors all work wonderfully well to start with.
Aloof and bright colors should come along later, when your knowledge and confidence expands.
Another thing that most people don’t realize however is that waistcoats can be worn at any time of the year and with this, the material can change too.
In summer for example it would be advisable to wear waistcoats that are made from light cotton and perhaps linen. When the weather turns a little worse however, tweed or wool make great materials for keeping the cold out. For a selection of waistcoats, try http://www.sbuckinghams.com
The great thing about waistcoats is that they can be worn basically anywhere depending on the design of your individual coats.
Whether you are to attend a formal black tie dinner or you are simply going off to the odd trendy bar; the waistcoat fits both of these occasions beautifully.
Whatever you do however, do not take this advice lightly, you must steer away from those silly novelty designed waistcoats.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.