I giggle every time I hear the word “vest”. Where I come from a vest is an undergarment, and the thing I’m talking about in this post is called a “waistcoat”. (Of course, this isn’t quite as funny as the time in France when I told my hairdresser that I loved her pants, only to discover after much hilarity in the salon that thanks to my broken French, I had complimented her underwear.)

Waistcoats, or vests, traditionally make up the third piece in a mens three-piece suit and are once again all the rage for women this season. This androgynous trend was rampant in the ‘80’s, popular last year, and is even bigger right now. Waistcoats are absolutely perfect over a white shirt, matched with wide-leg pinstripe slacks and Oxford shoes. But funk things up little and wear a waistcoat over all sorts of Summer blouses, collared shirts and knitted tops. They’ll even work over the odd Summer dress. Think laterally with your outfits and add an eclectic edge to your Summer look with a Winter waistcoat.

Drama Button Front VestFive-Button Vest in Wool HerringboneAntonio Melani

Tailored waistcoats or vests with crisp white shirts make for a sassy business casual look. Short sleeved shirts and blouses will work just as well.