A waistcoat is one such apparel in the armory of the stylish gentleman that withstood the effects of changing times and trends with courage and panache. It is a real chameleon, camouflaging itself according to formal, casual, semi-formal settings, whether worn as a layer to an ensemble or as is, it has managed to adapt as well as stand out. Never settling as a part of the crowd and going the extra mile.
With waistcoats garnering the love and affection of modern designers, it is no longer available in the outdated grandfather style. It has been reinvented to suit modern fashion sensibilities and trends. The classic is timeless and vintage but the modern isn’t lackluster either.
With the waistcoat slowing rising in popularity charts, I am sure many men want to try it out and incorporate the waistcoat to pep up their different looks.
So what should one look for when buying a waistcoat for the first time? What are the things a person must keep in mind? Things you must absolutely know?
- Well for starters, you must remember that this is a new style for you, something you are trying for the first time. So do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask whatever you want to the salesperson. This is their job, for which they are paid.
- For your first waistcoat I would suggest something subtle, in a color and texture you love, so that you will feel comfortable and not try to get out of wearing it or feel shy when push comes to shove.
- Waistcoats are available in silk, cotton, blended fabrics, wool, leather, tweed… Apart from this they can be single breasted or double breasted, and with or without lapel. They can be solid or patterned and even low cut.
- With so many choices, it is best if a little research is done before visiting the store so as not to overwhelm yourself and also be aware of what you want out of the waistcoat.
- No research or buying guide can account for your personal taste. Ascertain what fabric you are comfortable with.
- Ask yourself, where am I going to wear this? You can wear it anywhere actually, but it is still important to visualize yourself first. What pieces from my existing wardrobe compliments this waistcoat?
- If you plan on wearing it at multiple places for various occasions then pick something that is more likely to coordinate with other pieces in your existing wardrobe to create a new look or add some spice to an outfit you have tried before.
- Keep in mind that in case the waistcoat has collars and lapels and you plan to wear it as is and with a jacket or suit too, then the collar and lapel of the jacket should complement each other.
- The fit is the LOC between Horrifying and Mind blowing. Get the fit absolutely right. Do not settle or compromise.
- A good fit ensures that the WC fits snugly, facilitates arm movements, and covers your waist.
- The shoulders should fall in line with your body
- The waistcoat calls attention to your waist, so make sure there is no ballooning of any fabrics there.
- A good idea would be to try the waistcoat with one of your own dress shirts.
- Make sure the waistcoat is long enough to cover your waist and belt region.
- It is okay if you do not wish to get something tailored because of your budget, but make sure you do get even a ready piece looked over by a good tailor, just in case it needs a few nips and tucks.
Waistcoats are simple, sophisticated and charming. I hope this guide simplifies buying a waistcoat for you even if by a little. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You are never too late or old enough to reinvent yourself.
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