A sweater vest is a knitted pullover without sleeves, and they are having their fashion moment. Sweater vests come in a very large variety. There is one for every mood and fashion persona. In terms of silhouette they range from fitted, to very slouchy and drapey. Lengths vary from cropped to tunic versions. Some of the sleeveless styles have ‘grown-on’ sleeves. Necklines vary from turtlenecks to deep V-necklines. Stitch interest and weights can vary, and some look fab belted. The colour and pattern combinations are endless. Here are some examples.
Sweater vests can be worn in all sorts of ways:
- On their own as a top
- On their own with a lacey bralette or tank top
- Layered under a cardigan or jacket
- Over a shirt or blouse
- Over a tee or knitted top
- Over a dress or tunic
Sweater vests do not need to be fitted, argyle, preppy, and worn over a white or striped shirt. They can be slouchy, romantic and architectural. They can have a ‘60s, ‘70s, ’80s or ‘90s vibe depending on the silhouette you choose, and how you style them. You can create a high or low contrast with a sweater vest too.
Fitted and slightly fluid sweater vests work especially well as layers underneath other layers. So if you like to bundle up and wear tailored coats and jackets, those are probably your best bet. More fluid and slouchy sweater vests work well layered over other layers. Also, if you plan to wear outerwear over slouchy vests, make sure you have the right roomy coats and jackets. Capes and ponchos can work well too.
Sweater vests worn over tees, shirts, blouses, and dresses can provide just the right amount of warmth in mild Autumn and Winter weather. No topper required. They can also be great layers under jackets when temperatures vary quite a bit during the day. Cosy in the morning with a topper, but you can peel that off during the day as it heats up.
I’ve worn many sweater vests over the decades, and usually in a preppy way. That means a slightly fluid version in some kind of happy stripe or argyle and over a collared shirt. I would wear that vibe again, or go for a more ‘70s look over a blouse. If and when the right sweater vest finds me, I will go for it.
Over to you. What do you think of sweater vests, and will you wear them?