Like many men’s fashion items, there are different cuts of waistcoats and they’re to be worn in different situations. While men often feel wearing a waistcoat on its own is basically telling the world they’ve lost their jacket, nothing could be further from the truth: especially in modern times like today when various celebrities have incorporated a waistcoat into very casual looks to create a different kind of fashion statement altogether. Nowadays, men are quite free to wear a waistcoat on its own, but they should be aware of the different types and how they’ll find themselves within different gatherings and occasions.
The Classic Waistcoat
The classic six or seven button coat should drape the wearer quite a ways length wise as the design was meant to cover the waistband of a man’s trousers in order to allow the bottom-most button to be left undone (as was needed by the Prince of Wales’ expanding waistline at the time of its creation). It should also have a cinched back that can be freely adjusted by the wearer to accommodate the lack of a belt. Traditionally, men should wear classic waistcoats without belts in order to create a silhouetted effect and this lends itself quite nicely to the most formal of occasions. That’s not to say a classic waistcoat can’t be worn casually, it is typically cut from silk and this material tends to find itself in more formal gatherings.
The Donegal Tweed Waistcoat
Much like when men buy full suits, their fabric choices can play a huge role in how and where it’s worn. Donegal tweed waistcoats benefit from being a more casual garment thanks to the subtle flecks of color that are often scattered throughout the material. This makes it a versatile choice for more informal affairs: general get-togethers, dinner parties, and various rehearsals and recitals that would benefit from a more dressy approach tend to lend themselves to tweed quite nicely. It is very lightweight, which also makes it a suitable choice for the peak of summer through to the early fall when the weather begins to turn a bit cooler and wetter.
The Notch Lapel Waistcoat
Thanks to modern fashion ideas placing waistcoats as acceptable garments on their own, many manufacturers have started to introduce notches into their waistcoat. This gives a slight elegance to them that makes them more suitable for dressy occasions and allow wearers to abandon their jackets in warmer temperatures.