How to Wear a Suit Vest

If you love the look of a suit vest, also known as a “waistcoat,” but have never worn one before, you may not know exactly how you should wear it. Fortunately, whether you’re wearing one for a formal affair or just trying to go for a smart casual look, there are lots of ways you can wear a suit vest. All you have to do is make sure you get a well-fitting suit vest and then pair it with clothes that will complement it.



Opt for a vest that’s long enough to cover your waistline in the front. A waistcoat is supposed to cover the entire front of your dress shirt from the middle of your torso down. For best results, opt for a length of vest that puts the last button right above or almost on top of your belt. Don’t worry as much about how long the back of the vest is if you plan to wear it with a suit. The coat will shield the back of the vest from view. If you wear the vest without a suit, it’s best to have the back of the vest come all the way down to the waistline as well.


Choose a suit vest that fits snugly around your shoulders. This will ensure that the shoulders of your vest always lie flat against your body. If your vest is too loose, the shoulders could pop up instead of lying flat, which will look very awkward


Go with a suit vest that’s narrow enough to be seen under a coat. The “V” shape of your suit vest when it’s buttoned up should be thin and narrow so that it’s still visible even when you’re wearing a suit jacket. If the “V” is too wide, your suit vest will “disappear” whenever you wear a suit jacket and button it up.



  • If you don’t plan to wear your suit vest with a coat, feel free to go with as wide a “V” as you like.


Get a vest that fits snugly around your torso. A suit vest should be tight enough to “hug” your body and avoid looking floppy. However, don’t get a vest that’s too tight, either; otherwise, it will look small on you.


  • There shouldn’t be any “pulling” on the buttons when you button up your vest. If there is, it’s too small for your body.


Be sure to always leave the last button at the bottom of the vest undone. This is the traditional way to wear a suit vest. You can also leave the top button of the vest undone if you like, although this is technically optional


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