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The dos and don’ts of knitted vests

The dos and don’ts of knitted vests

Previously associated with professors, mathletes, and grandads, knitted vests have put up with some pretty bad press over the years. However, when shifting your inspiration to Chandler from Friends and pretty much any stylish figure of the ‘90s, they suddenly become a lot more appealing. And, like with any trend, they’re back. 

Interested? Luckily, you can find a knitted vest pretty much anywhere right now for all kinds of budgets. And when it comes to the styling front, we’ve enlisted the help of menswear stylist Toby Standing so you can embrace this knitwear with some confidence. Keep scrolling for some handy dos and don’ts. 

Do treat it the same as a jumper

To make a knitted vest sound less scary, really all it is is a jumper minus the sleeves, so treat it the same way. This means only opt for something plain and simple underneath – anything bold or patterned will come off a bit intense. A white or neutral option will result in a look that’s much more cohesive. 

Do keep it neutral 

When shopping, you’ll soon see there’s a lot of patterned, argyle, and bright options out there. All of which are great; however, if you’re a bit hesitant with this one, it’s best to keep things feeling pared-back. Then you’re onto effortless styling and a seamless addition to your autumn-winter wardrobe. 

Do go for a thicker knit

This is the trick to getting the fit of your knitted vest right. If you go for something that’s too thin in knit, it’ll just cling to your body in all the wrong ways. You want it to fit, but never feel too tight. With that in mind, a ribbed knit feels perfect – it’s subtle but it’s got a nice weight to it, meaning it will never come off flimsy or awkward. Just make sure to stick to your usual size or only go up by one at the max. 

Don’t always go for a V-neck 

You might think a V-neck is the only option when it comes to knitted vests, but there’s actually plenty of crew neck iterations too which Toby says work great for any beginners out there. They feel a little less of a statement then their V-neck counterpart but still tap into the trend effectively. 

Don’t layer too much

The best part about a knitted vest is they’ll work hard for your outfit all on their own, so less is more when it comes to layering. This also means not incorporating anything else too statement-making in your look, especially if you’ve gone for a patterned iteration. 

Don’t style it with too many other preppy items

Unless that’s completely your aesthetic, of course. But we’d say, when styling a knitted vest with smart slacks and loafers, you quickly give off the grandad, mathlete vibe we mentioned earlier. However, when styled with some denim and trainers, it’s instantly modernised and will never come off costumey.


Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing