How to Style a Vest

Posted by Shopthemint Team on

stylish vest over black top

Cute vests are the perfect combination of fashion and function, and are a great wardrobe staple to add to your closet! Not only do they help keep your core warm on chilly days, but with a little creative styling, they also create a super flattering silhouette. If you’ve been looking for some suggestions that will help elevate the outfits you put together with your vests, you’re in the right place.

From layering a cropped option over a cozy sweater dress to styling a long one with skinny jeans, here are some of our favorite tips for how to style a vest.

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When you’re searching for the perfect vest to add to your collection, pay special attention to fit. While, of course, you want the vest to offer an extra layer of warmth if you’ll be wearing it as outerwear, look for styles that graze your sides and don’t poof out too far.

  • Keep your colors neutral and your accessories understated to create a fun weekender vibe. White sneakers add the perfect finishing touch!
  • You can totally wear horizontal stripes with a slim-fitting vest. In fact, it adds a bit of a nautical vibe to your look, without taking it overboard (get it?).
  • For extra visual interest and a little extra glimmer of sparkle, accessorize with a watch, hoop earrings and a lariat necklace, too.
  • Denim vests and utility vests lean on the more casual side, but you can totally dress them up for date night with a pair of heels and a structured tote.
  • Silky materials naturally feel more formal and are usually best reserved for the type of outfit you’d wear to a special occasion.

While vests come in all shapes and sizes, two of the most common lengths are short (cropped) and long.

wearing thick off white vest


Short, or cropped, vests generally hit anywhere from your waist to the top of your hips. While they can be styled in both casual and dressy ways, you probably see them paired with sportier looks more often.

  • Put a fresh spin on short vests by styling them over flirty floral dresses or cozy sweater dresses. Finish the look with black tights and some cute boots.
  • Flare jeans and platform shoes bring just the right amount of ’70s energy to a look that still feels fresh for today.
  • Go the ultra-casual route with a white tank top, joggers and a pair of chunky, colorful sneakers. This is such a fun athleisure look!

Short vests are super versatile, and you can usually find a style that adds just the right amount of warmth to your outfit, without the extra bulkiness. If you want more coverage along your sides, try a long vest instead.

woman wearing black vest christmas tree


Long vests typically hit anywhere between the top of your hips to even the bottom of your knees. While they may have a button or two, longer vests are usually worn open.

  • On warmer days, layer a tank top and a pair of boutique leggings underneath a long vest. Swap it out for a turtleneck when the temperature dips for a sophisticated pairing.
  • Put together a super chic monochromatic look. If you’re a little afraid to wear winter white from head to toe, try something a little more subtle like shades of blush, navy or sleek black.
  • A cozy sherpa vest is the ideal finishing touch for a holiday outfit. Jazz it up with a pair of hoop earrings and a black long sleeve shirt.

To take a look involving a long vest from day to night, refresh a few of your accessories to instantly elevate your outfit. Switch from sneakers to over the knee boots, upgrade your jewelry and carry a clutch instead of a crossbody bag.

In-Vest in Cute Looks

Take our word for it: It’s worth it to invest in cute vests you can wear all year long. Whether you choose a few you can bundle up in to keep warm in the winter or opt for something lightweight and slim-cut for a chic workday look, the possibilities for how to style a vest are truly endless!