Tailored Vests Are The Sophisticated Trend For Fall 2023

Looking chic and polished while putting in minimal effort — that's every busy fashionista's dream. Good thing putting together a capsule collection of wardrobe essentials makes it easy for every clotheshorse to keep the contents of their closet timeless and compatible with their signature personal style.

One item that deserves to be part of that list of essentials is the tailored vest. Copped from the classic three-piece suit, it's now considered a functional separate that anyone can slip into to dress up something as basic as a top-and-pants outfit. Its clean, menswear-based lines have the power to pull together a variety of looks and its lack of sleeves makes layering a breeze. "[It is] extremely versatile and can be either androgynous or sexy depending on the season," Mytheresa fashion director Tiffany Hsu affirmed to Harper's Bazaar

This makes the tailored vest a must-have for Fall. If you've always seen it as a piece for corporate wear, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the many vest cuts and styles available and all the ways to wear them. Go for one that's long and oversized or keep it short and cinched. From twill to linen to wool and, yes, even denim, find the perfect tailored vest to incorporate into your autumn looks. Let it keep you cozy as a layering piece while still making you look like you mean serious business — at least when it comes to style.

Wear it as a top with your daily basics

Get a cropped vest that you can easily wear as a top. Select a neutral-colored one so pairing it with a variety of bottoms is quick and easy, though you'll also never go wrong with classic patterns like plaid, pinstripes, or windowpane checks. (Consider a scooped-neck vest too for a discreet display of décolletage.) Make sure it's made of softer material like linen or cotton so it moves with you easily. Wear with a skirt or a pair of trousers and heels for an outfit that takes you from work to an afternoon coffee date to cocktails in the evening. Just have a blazer on hand for when the temperature drops a bit. 

Layer it over a boxy t-shirt

Hear us out: Adding volume over an already roomy piece sounds like a risky styling movebut there's something undeniably edgy and cool about wearing an oversized tee then throwing on a loose but tailored vest over it. The perfect intersection of streetwear and formal wear, it looks relaxed yet cosmopolitan at the same time. 

"The key to making loose-fitting pieces look put together is balance," Teen Vogue advised. When choosing a tee, consider the length of its sleeves: Anything that hits below the elbow might make you look as if you were drowning in a pile of fabric. As for your vest, structured is better. Add shoulder pads to it so it falls in a flattering silhouette. 

Look sweet yet chic with a giant bow

The tailored vest has that professional look to it, which makes it a popular, ubiquitous choice as the service industry's uniform. Soften its lines for your daily wear with an ultra-feminine accessory — like a huge bow. You can fashion your favorite scarf into one or have a ready-made ribbon that matches your top with a pussy-bow blouse

Your vest can be form-fitting so its sleek lines contrast with the soft folds of your bow for a look that's reminiscent of the '70s ladies' power suit. Conversely, you can wear a softer, looser vest over equally flowy layers for something romantic yet chic. Ground your voluminous layering with some edge by wearing a pair of boots. 

Sport a dress-length vest

A vest long enough to wear as a dress is already a complete outfit in itself. Pairing a double-breasted one with flats or heels is the ultimate minimalist approach that's also subtly sexy, thanks to the contrast between the vest's tailored lines and the casual show of bare skin. Just choose a vest that's the right size and cut so it doesn't look and feel constricting against the body. 

You can also try out stylist Erica Masibo's hack, which is to wear a deconstructed vest that's open at the back, apron style. This cut helps retain some of the vest's lines even when you're seated. It also allows you to wear baggy trousers or the on-trend pleated maxi skirt for some volume play. 

Don't count denim out

Per The Zoe Report, fashion experts predicted the denim vest's return to fashion favor for Spring 2023. It turns out this throwback piece from the '90s has longer legs than they had thought since it's also a perfect layering item for Fall. Thick enough to ward off the chill and resistant to wrinkling, the denim vest can be worn over your fave turtleneck sweater, classic white shirt, and knit maxi dress. Soften it up with accessories like a bright scarf. And much like denim pants, you can customize this item by fraying its arm holes and hem to create a more relaxed, well-worn look.