How To Style a Long Sleeveless Vest

If the thought of a long vest on a middle-aged woman gives you scary flashbacks of Bea Arthur in the 70’s TV show Maude, don’t head for the hills just yet. The latest vests are much more attractive and are an easy way to update your casual wardrobe at 40, 50, and beyond. Here’s how to wear a long vest.



Vest Fashion – So Many to Choose From!

No matter what your style, there’s a long vest for you. Like a menswear look? Then try one of the dressy, long waistcoats – tuxedo or suit style. Prefer a more rugged, outdoorsy vest?- Go for shearling or suede. Needs something casual and chic? – A cozy knit vest could work for you. And of course, there are lots of fuzzy and furry long vests too. They’re all perfect for updating jeans and a tee or pairing with casual work wear. Play around and have some fun.

What to Wear With a Long Vest?

Any long vest is a great layering piece you can wear over many things. It will be the star of your outfit, so be sure to wear it with something simple and streamlined. Translation: pair it with plain long-sleeved shirts and simple, solid-colored blouses for a chic look. For example, a floaty chiffon blouse plays off the weightiness of a structured vest.

How to Wear a Long Sweater Vest

Chunky sweater vests are a popular type of long vest. Try wearing a long-sleeved, collarless button-up top ( Henley shirt) under your chunky knit vest to play up the casual knit look. This looks quite sporty. The only kind of top you will want to avoid is wearing a sweater ( even a thin one) under a sweater vest. It looks too hot and heavy and will feel that way too!

How to wear a long sleeveless vest for women - gold long vest
How to wear a long sleeveless vest for women – gold long vest

Which Pants to Wear with Long Vests for Women?

A long vest makes a big statement up top, which means you must avoid wearing anything too big or busy on the bottom ( i.e., palazzo pants). Stay streamlined by choosing slim or skinny pants in neutral colors. Straight leg/skinny jeans in navy are a foolproof choice, and flat front dressy pants work too. A pencil skirt with matching tights is your best bet if you prefer dresses.

Long vest with leggings and Cheetah Top
How to wear a long sleeveless vest for women

Can you Wear leggings with Long Vest?

The above outfit proves that. A long black vest with leggings and tall boots makes a casual, hip look.

How to Wear a Long Sleeveless Vest – Choosing Accessories

If your vest is tailored, a sleek bag makes a perfect match. If you choose a knit vest, a slightly slouchy suitcase, or a super-trendy bucket bag, it works with the polished-yet-casual vibe.

A stack of bangles or a bold cuff bracelet is a chic way to highlight a vest because it emphasizes the lack of sleeves. Be careful with necklaces; they can compete too much with the neckline of your vest. Tiny earrings can get lost, so instead, choose midsize earrings. They’re more significant like your vest.

The Right Footwear

Ankle booties are the perfect footwear for vests because they look put together and give off that relaxed, cool vibe. Stacked heels are most casual and will take you anywhere. An ankle bootie with a skinny heel is suitable for a dressier look. Another great option with a long vest? -sleek riding boots.

Want to see my version of how to wear a long vest? Please look at my camel-colored vest and a few ways other bloggers style their long vests. These chic wardrobe items sure take the boredom out of a routine, casual look!

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10 thoughts on “How To Style a Long Sleeveless Vest

  1. Thanks again for the inspiration, Deborah!
    I’d given up on a long vest (for the reasons noted/displayed here, specifically “boxy & heft”), but after studying these vests, VOILA, yesterday I spotted the perfect long vest that slims (fabulously) my womanly curves and also lengthens my short/stocky stature as well! It’s a golden oak, soft & stretchy tunic with a long vertical (2-inch wide) lapel (that hugs & enhances my curvy shoulders, breasts, & waistline). It’s cleverly and firmly nipped at the waist (by inverted “L” underarm panels). It sports a ‘shark-bite’ hemline that is very becoming (and concealing too), so it perfectly suits, lengthens, and feminizes my short/stocky, athletic (petite Serena Williams) build! Better yet, the upper back is beautiful open crochet knit down to the waistline, transitioning into a very fine knit covering the bumm to mid-thigh, making it perfect for our relatively warmish falls/winter here (and an ideal topper for leggings as well)!
    NOTE: The long lapel is slightly fluffy/furry (angora) and thus is somewhat thicker, but surprisingly it doesn’t add any visual bulk or heft; on the contrary, the depth it creates only works to lengthen the line of the tunic further, meanwhile adding just a touch of Boho (that can be played up or down as desired)!

  2. I think I’ll pass on this trend. I agree with Corinne that this will not be flattering on most ladies unless they are thin.

  3. If the vest is boxy like the chunky beige knit and this leather accent asymmetrical vest showed, and you are not slender, pass on this look. These styles gave me a “Sponge Box Square Pants” profile – like that Michelin Man effect you get with a puffy vest.

    The blue draped vest is better because it skims the body and doesn’t add HEFT.

  4. I love that vest! I bought a cabled sweater-type vest that zips with fur on the collar…..I can’t wait to wear it. I live in the South, so not cooled off entirely here. Thanks for the inspiration! I will keep that cute outfit in mind while shopping!

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