How to Style a Sweater Vest for Men

Sweater vests aren’t just for dads or teachers. In fact, you could argue that they’re coming back into style! They’re comfortable, classic, and perfect for an Easter brunch-ready look, so it pays to know how to style a sweater vest. Here’s how to nail the look this spring.

Pair Patterns with Patterns

Patterned sweater vests can give your entire look a creative pop of color. So why not double down on the aesthetic benefits of patterns by wearing a patterned sweater vest with a patterned shirt underneath? There’s no better way to announce your bold, optimistic outlook and personality than with this combo. Paired with good-looking, tailored slacks, you’ll look smart, preppy, and ready to tackle a classroom assignment or lead it as the teacher.

One note: make sure that your patterns are different! Don’t wear, for example, a plaid pattern vest with a plaid pattern shirt. If you do that, the articles will blend too much into each other. Instead, try pairing a plaid sweater vest with a low-key, striped button-up Oxford.

Sweaters Plus Plain T-Shirts

Sweater vests can be worn with plain T-shirts to excellent effect, primarily white or black shirts. This is a good way to style a sweater vest if you are less than adventurous and want to try out your sweater vest with a few basic outfits before diving into the deep end.

For this look, you should ensure that your sweater vest has no sleeves (i.e., the sleeve holes should be right where your T-shirt’s sleeves begin). That way, some of your T-shirt can show through. On top of that, make sure your T-shirt’s color goes well with the color of your sweater vest. Aim for complementary colors, like blue and green or burgundy and gray.

Try a Supersized Sweater Vest

Are you a fan of the cowboy or Clint Eastwood look? Oversized sweater vests in the style of ponchos are in fashion in some areas, such as college campuses. Wear one of these with a long-sleeve shirt, like a Henley, and you’ll look stylish and a little more creative than usual.

The same note about color above also applies here. For example, try wearing an oversized sweater vest that is in a complementary color to whatever long-sleeve shirt you choose to don.

Tuck the Vest into Your Trousers

Consider wearing a sweater vest while tucking it into your trousers with a nice belt for a smart and mature look. This combination gives off a semi-formal, masculine appearance, similar to tucking a dress shirt into your dress pants.

Of course, you’ll only want to tuck your sweater vest into the right pair of trousers. Generally, this look is only appropriate if you have tailored, nice slacks like you would see at a formal or semi-formal occasion or in a traditional office environment.

These Super 100’s Gabardine slacks from Berle are perfect examples of the types of trousers you would tuck a sweater vest into (alongside a button-down shirt or whatever you wear below the vest). Combine these slacks with nice dress shoes, a good watch, and a thin belt, and you’ll look ready to teach a college class, attend a semi-formal wedding, and much more.

Pair the Vest with Khakis for Workplace Attire

You can also lean more into a blue-collar workplace aesthetic by pairing a sweater vest with khakis. At first glance, that might seem like a strange combination.

In truth, your sweater vest – at least when worn with a white, gray, or blue button-down shirt – will look right at home with a pair of good khakis, such as these Charleston Khakis from Berle. That’s because the khakis will somewhat “style down” the vest and bring it closer to a traditional jacket in appearance. It’s a perfect look for worksite supervisors or middle managers. Combine it with a basic leather watch and a good belt (plus work boots) to sell the complete look.

Get the Look at Berle

Bottom line: styling your sweater vest strategically and smartly means thinking about the color and pattern of the vest and then choosing complementary pieces to round out your outfit. And, of course, the perfect outfit always begins with the perfect pair of trousers.

If you still need help finding the perfect dress pants to pair with your sweater vest, you’re in the right place. Here at Berle, making trousers is nothing new. As the oldest family-owned trouser manufacturer in the United States, we’ve been outfitting our customers for over 70 years. In that time, we feel we’ve perfected the art of making and delivering the best pair of trousers available today.

If you’re ready to upgrade your wardrobe, shop the Tailored Collection today. Here, you’ll find fancies, wool flannel trousers, and more. Complimentary hemming is always included with your purchase, so you can look forward to the perfect fit every time.

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