The waistcoat is a very important part of men’s clothing, initially used for formal occasions, but over time it has also been worn for casual events and under
broken dresses to give more playfulness to the style. Today it is also worn by women but it remains a man’s prerogative.
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history of the vest
The vest has Arab origins, in the beginning it was more like a long-sleeved shirt up to the knee, its diffusion in the European
courts was with Louis XIV, the famous Sun King, who imposed it in style on all the nobles of Europe. Successive popular
revolutions that took place in Europe in the years to come, they will lead to a minor use of the vest, because it is seen as
the garment of nobles and masters.
While in the nineteenth century the affirmation of the jacket will give a secondary importance to the vest that will be used only for practical reasons, that is,
to cover the suspenders and to store the pocket watch in its pocket. During the twentieth century, the jacket was practically an everyday garment, and the
pocket watch it will be replaced with the wrist one, while the suspenders with the belt, marking a disappearance of the vest and its use;
except on formal occasions.
Spreads of the vest among subcultures
Like other garments seen in other articles, the gilet will also become the symbol of some subcultures, among these there will be the Teddy Boys, who rebelled
against the style classic following an Edwardian style (Teddy in fact is the diminutive of Edward); to revive the era when England had imposed the male style.
Then the vest will also be acquired by the hippie culture, strictly with fringes and the famous Tie-dye t-shirt.
Vest or waistcoat
The vest is often used as a synonym for the waistcoat but the definition is incorrect, in fact with the term vest we reverence any garment informal
and sporty without sleeves.
The vest can be made of wool, knit or tech and polyester fabrics, while the term waistcoat refers to the garment used for formal occasions under the jacket,
although in recent years it has also been used for a chic-casual style.
How it is composed
The vest is composed of a part in lining on the back and in fabric on the front. As said before it would be better to talk about a waistcoat but by convention
we’ll call it a vest. Before going on, it is good to distinguish two models:
- single-breasted: which is made up of 4,5, or 6 buttons, the more buttons it will have, the greater its formality. It can have lapels and is made up for
the most elegant from a strap to decide the fit;
- double-breasted: usually composed of 6 buttons (but there are also 4 or 8), unlike the single-breasted vest, where never to be worn without jacket
and the buttons must all be buttoned.
Very important for both models, they should be worn with a shirt and a tie underneath and bow tie would not be accepted, but if you can’t do it, you have
to pay attention to the combinations. Furthermore, thegilet should never be worn with a double-breasted jacket because it would cover it too much.
As with other classic-cut garments, it would be good to distinguish the occasion for which it is worn, whether formal or informal. The classic style involves a vest
in the same color as the jacket and tie, for those who want to wear it with a broken shirt and therefore with a blazer, pay attention to the combinations,
always following sober colors or color combinations, in order to avoid the clown effect.
For a more casual style you can opt for a shirt in more particular patterns or with a sweater or even a Korean shirt and finally a chino pants. It also lends itself well
with a style ethnic with a dark or light vest over a jacket with more ethnic colors, with dark or light backgrounds, or pastel colors, but also in this case
you have to pay attention to the colors and contrasts.