How To Wear A Vest All Year Long: 10 Stylish Ideas

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How to Wear a Vest As The Ultimate Layering Tool

Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair, Daniel Zuchnik

This time of year, many women spend time wondering how to wear a vest in a stylish way. Vests are understandably a somewhat intimidating layering piece. If the proportions are off they can look unnecessary and fussy — and make you look bigger than you are. However, if you find a style that works for you (which might be cropped, longline, fur or classic denim), you'll soon see that vests make cool and creative layering pieces for some of the most on-trend looks.

Ahead, we show you 10 fresh ways to wear a vest with items you already have in your closet, including feminine dresses, your favorite jeans, suit separates and more.

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Try a Fitted, Cropped Vest

Getty Images: Foc Kan, Sammir Hussein, Kirstin Sinclair

A cropped, fitted vest is a great way to show off a toned waist and arms. It also looks sophisticated and polished — a perfect option for business casual office environments. Olivia Palermo styled her vest over mini skirt, while Pandora Sykes chose to belt her vest over a bohemian-style dress (perfect for fall). Finally, you could take a cue from Duchess Kate and wear a sporting olive green vest over a classic white shirt for a look that just screams English countryside. 

 

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Shop the Cropped Vest

Net-a-Porter

  Get the look: Temperley London jacquard vest, $209 (originally $695)

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Wear an Exotic or Printed Vest

Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair

Look for folksy, colorfully printed or embellished vests in bright colors and ethnic patterns. You can easily tone down the flash of such a statement piece by wearing it with black and white — a simple a-line skirt and heels will nail down the sophistication factor.

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Shop the Printed Vest

Net-a-Porter.com

 Get the look: Etro embellished vest, $1540

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Wear a Vest With Nothing Underneath

Getty Images: Melodie Jeng, Christian Vierig

We love the way that Eva Chen has styled this double-breasted baby pink vest as a dress. It was probably designed to be worn this way, but could also be worn open over trousers and a top. In colder months, we'd style this same look with a cozy white turtleneck sweater underneath.

On the left, Elina Halimi. 

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Shop the Pink Vest

Nordstrom.com

Get the look: Vince Camuto Double-breasted long vest, $120 (originally $199) 

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An Oversized Black Vest Goes With Most Things In Your Closet

Getty Images: Christian Vierig

This look is kind of a wildcard — but we love it! Since black is so basic and easy to wear, a vest in an oversized or slightly dramatic shape is a great way to introduce some serious character. A belted version will allow you to still show off your figure, or you can mask problem areas by wearing yours open. Don't forget there's no limit to the layering opportunities... These look great over slim tank tops, but will also look very cool come fall when worn over a turtleneck or cable knit sweater.

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Shop the Oversized Black Vest

Nordstrom.com

 Get the look: Treasure&Bond leather moto vest, $150 (originally $250)

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Try A Denim Vest With... Everything!

Getty Images: Bauer-Griffin, Kirstin Sinclair,

Our first question is, what can't you wear with a denim vest? Whether you go denim-on-denim and rock your vest with a pair of jeans, or throw it on over a pretty dress in the spring, you really can't go wrong. We promise! 

Do note: Flare jeans (even cropped ones) are a making a huge comeback right now. This layered look (center) of an extra-long denim vest over a classic oxford and black flare jeans is a fun mix of sophisticated and playful — perfect for the weekend or a more casual office atmosphere.

Denim vests also come in a variety of cuts — cropped, extra-long, oversized, fitted — so be sure to try on a few styles to find one that fits your wardrobe best.

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Shop the Denim Vest

Madewell.com

 Get the look: Madewell pocket denim vest, $80

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Wear a Vest with a Feminine Dress or Skirt

Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair, Venturelli

The denim vest is one of the easiest ways to layer up a little during warm weather months. Look for a traditional blue or mix it up with white denim — we especially love the look of a vest that's either extra short or extra long. Wear it with absolutely everything, though we especially like how it stands out over your prettiest summer dresses.

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The Menswear-Inspired Way to Wear a Vest

Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair, Christian Vierig,

If you love the menswear trend, why not try rocking a head-to-toe three-piece suit? This isn't an easy look to pull off, but if you're going to do it keep this one thing in mind: fit is key. Just like with men's suiting, the better the suit fits your body, the better you will look. (If you're feeling too tomboyish, just add a red lip for a little glamorous edge.) You can also try and open vest over a button-down shirt, or lose the jacket altogether!

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Shop the Menswear Vest

Net-a-Porter.com

 Get the look: Frame Denim corduroy vest, $98 (Originally $245)

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How to Style a Longline Vest

Getty Images: Christian Vierig, Kirstin Sinclair,

Nothing says "cool" these days quite like being able to pull off a longline vest worn over an otherwise simple outfit. A camel vest stands out over an all-black ensemble, while a white vest over an all-white or cream outfit is monochromatic perfection. There's no real wrong way to wear this kind of "statement vest" so have fun with it.

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Wear a Faux Fur Vest All Fall and Winter

Getty Images: Chelsea Lauren, Kirstin Sinclair, Christian Vierig

Just like the denim vest, a faux fur vest has a ton of versatility throughout the cold weather season. You can find cropped and long versions, ones with long dramatic texture or something shorter. Wear yours over everything from Jeans to knits, dresses and tights, leather leggings — you name it!

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Shop the Faux Fur Vest

Nordstrom.com

 Get the look: Topshop faux fur vest, $125

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Wear a Vest OVER Your Coat

Getty Images: Kirstin Sinclair, Daniel Zuchnik

One way to take your capsule wardrobe essentials to the next level is to layer them with something unexpected — in this case a vest over your classic fall or winter coat. To make this look work, you may want to buy your vest one size up from the one you usually take. Make sure the arm holes are generous, and then just have fun with it! A cropped fur looks cool over camel, and a longline wool vest in black makes an interesting contrast over your grey coat. Plus — you get an extra layer of warmth!