Five ways to wear a military vest

I am a huge fan of layering pieces. Any outfit, in my opinion, looks more sophisticated and put together when multiple layers come into play. Think of a white t-shirt, for example… it’s nice and crisp but it looks plain on its own. Try layering it with a blazer or a vest and you have yourself a fashion outfit (plus or minus various accessories and awesome shoes). Speaking of vests – they are some of the most versatile pieces of any wardrobe. They provide layering flexibility on warmer days when a jacket or a blazer may be too warm to wear.

Recently I found a great military vest that I’ve already worn on multiple occasions. It has all the attributes of a perfect layering gem – it’s neutral in color, made of natural quality fibers (cotton with a tiny addition of spandex), features a cinched waste that gives it a flattering shape, and it fits just below the hip for the effortless but elegant look. With this vest, the outfit combinations are infinite and here are 5 to get your started:

1. In the Office 

The trick is not to go completely “blah” with any neutral clothing and especially when it serves as a top layer. A longer vest, like this one, with nothing to pop underneath will completely consume your outfit, so go with brighter colors. Plus, colors are always fun! 🙂 I paired the vest with a pinky-purplish skirt and a mint silky blouse for a more feminine look.

 Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, J. Crew Factory skirt, Elie Tahari blouse, M. Gemi Cammeo pumps, Target Cut-out handbag


2. With Blue Jeans

This is probably the most obvious pairing. Both pieces are casual enough but they still provide structure; and everyone has blue jeans so it’s super-easy.  You can really take it in any direction by playing with patterns and accessories. Even though all colors of my outfit are pretty neutral, the black and white stripes of the top combined with an animal print clutch liven the look. Add red lipstick and no one will ever call this outfit boring!

 Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, Stripy black & white top (similar here), AG jeans (last year’s collection, similar here), Cole Haan tan open-toe booties (almost identical model here and another option here), Gap leopard calf hair clutch (a similar one here and it’s on sale!), Gap double-wrap leather belt, Michael Kors cat eye sunglasses (purchased a  while back, found a very similar model here)

3. Casual Weekend Stroll

Isn’t maxi dress a life saver on lazy weekends? Way too often I find myself pulling it off the hanger when I need to run some errands and don’t feel like putting an elaborate outfit together. I was super excited to see that my two favorite pieces fit so well together. White flat sandals and purple cross-body complete the look. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add some color.

 Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, my oldie maxi dress (this one is close enough), lavender cross-body, purchased at Nordstrom Rack (this is a good option, also love this one), Karl Lagerfeld watch, a discontinued model (more awesomeness here), Henri Bendel bracelet

4. For a Chilly Day

I had trouble categorizing where I would wear this particular outfit but not due to the lack of options. I can easily see myself wearing it to the office, to a night out with the girls, or even a dinner out. Throwing a vest on top of a blazer is a neat trick I learned from some of my favorite bloggers. It immediately adds interest by introducing an unexpected layer and keeps you warm when it’s chilly.

 Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, Forever 21 cream blazer, Halogen chambray light denim shirt, Banana Republic cropped blue pants (similar option here), L.A.M.B navy leather pumps, Tosca Blu silver clutch, a few years old (similar here – on sale with an additional 20% off with code SPRING20!), Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators 

5. Summer sophistication

My job wouldn’t be complete if I haven’t covered the vest-and-shorts combination. After all, the summer is almost here and shorts are an all-time favorite. The sophistication of an outfit is determined by the height of your heels; and a number of layers may dictate whether you wear the shorts to the beach or on a night out. Everyone can master the casual look so I’m not focusing on that. Instead I created an in-between type of an outfit with basic articles, like a white t-shirt and a summer scarf. Fringed sandals and yellow accessories add just enough finesse to brighten it up.

Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, Target chambray shorts, white floral scarf with pom-poms, yellow belt (a splurge option and a cheaper version), Vince Camuto fringe sandals (already on sale with an additional 30% with code EXTRA30), Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators, yellow Rebecca Minkoff crossbody (similar options here and here)

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