If you follow this column, you’ll know I’m a fan of waistcoats. I think they smarten up an outfit, give a chap some character when worn with casual clothes and although they are an extra layer, they don’t have a bulking out effect, contrarily, they have a slimming effect. This “How to Dress” book from almost 100 years ago says the same thing.
Adding a waistcoat in the contrasting colour adds extra interest. It elevates the classic jeans and white shirt combo and gives the opportunity to tie in more colours with a scarf too. If you’re canny, you can buy two or three, with or without the matching jacket and have almost infinite styling possibilities.
Let’s focus on these three. Teal, Beige and Burgundy.
All work with a navy or grey suit which you are almost certain to have in your wardrobe and each changes the tone; for example, wear the teal over a patterned shirt with a dark suit – or dark trousers and the matching jacket. Now pair with light trousers. See?
The more neutral beige tone of this combination can take on colours which are more bold without making you look like a children’s TV presenter. Add a striped shirt and these rather lovely raspberry (isn’t that a great sounding word) trousers and it’s an immediately interesting look.
If I was the one personally styling our models, one of them would be donned in these neutral 5 pocket trousers with matching slip on driving shoes and my favourite everyday shirt, top button undone and this gorgeous scarf with the burgundy waistcoat and jacket.
Now, mix the jackets and waistcoats up and it’s a bit like a fruit machine – or cocktail as we are obviously talking to more refined gents….. Limitless possibilities. In this instance though, not like having too many cocktails, you don’t need to play safe as all work well together.