All About Waistcoats for Men

All About Waistcoats for Men

A waistcoat, also referred to as a vest, is an essential piece of the fashionable males wardrobe. It is a sleeveless garment that is worn between the shirt and the jacket in a common three piece suit, but is also sometimes worn without a coat at all. It is common to see a chain for a pocket watch hanging out of the pocket of a waistcoat, but this use is decreasing as watches have fallen out of fashion. An optional upper pocket may feature a pocket square.

Fabrics and Essentials

Waistcoats for men come in a variety of fabrics, but usually match the fabric of the suit jacket. Contrasting fabrics and colors are uncommon but not unheard of. You can find these garments in single breasted, and double breasted varieties. This is referring to the arrangement of buttons on the front of the vest. Single breasted will have a single column of buttons, while double breasted will have two columns of buttons. When wearing a single breasted style, it is custom to leave the bottom button undone.



What is the Purpose of Waistcoats for Men?

Aside from being a fashionable item of clothing that women will drool over, a vest has a purpose in a historical context. There are two main functions that I can find. The first is that wearing a waistcoat allows the wearer to take off his suit jacket and still have an item of outerwear on. A simple shirt does not put forth the most professional appearance, so a waistcoat can fill that gap. The other purpose is that in other times it was more common to wear suspenders(or braces), to hold up pants. The design of the vest covers the straps of the suspenders.


The proper fit of a vest is tight to the body but not stretched. The back of the vest may be made with different materials, and have an adjustable strap for the perfect fit. The different back will be covered with the suit jacket, so the nicer fabric is really only needed in the front when you are wearing a suit. More modern standalone vests for men are more likely to be designed to be worn without a suit jacket, and therefore have higher end fabric all the way around.

Which are the Best Waistcoats for Men?

Many three piece suits will come with their own matching waistcoat, but if you are not in the market for a full suit or you are just looking for a standalone vest, you are able to buy them on their own. Like many other items, if you are unable to make it to the store to buy something, there is a great selection of waistcoats for men available at Amazon. I’ve picked out a few to highlight for the website, but I encourage everyone to check out the full selection at Amazon.

TheLees Mens Slim Fit Chain Point 3 Button Vest


thelees white vest

TheLees is a very trendy clothing line that I am seeing more and more. This is currently the best selling vest on Amazon. It is great, nice enough for most formal events but casual enough to be worn everyday. Like many similar options, the fabric is half rayon and half polyester, so it is recommended that you dry clean only. I love the little details on this vest. There are 3 functional pockets and one non-functioning pocket featuring a decorative chain. It is single-breasted with 3 buttons.

Different styles of this waistcoat are available. There are 21 different color options, so you can find one that matches almost any outfit you put together. Some have 4 or 5 buttons instead of 3 and different configurations of pockets. What they all have in common is the fit. TheLees is known for being very slim fit, and most people will need to buy a size larger for it to feel comfortable.

Another common version of this vest has a layered look. You can find it under TheLees Mens Premium Layered Style Slim Waist Coat.



Docker’s Men Suit Separate Vest

dockers suit vest

The Docker’s Men Suit Separate Vest is a more traditional formal option. Going with a classic look, it sports 5 single-breasted buttons and 2 pockets. The higher front profile ensures that it will be visible underneath a suit blazer. Docker’s sells this in 2 colors, black stripe and black solid herringbone. The herringbone pattern is very small and mostly unnoticeable.

Reviews of the waistcoat are overwhelmingly positive, citing good materials and construction, leading to an impressive look. It is made of 65% polyester and 35% rayon, so it is another item that will need to be dry clean only. The fit is not pointed out by the manufacturer, but a few reviews I read say that it runs small.

I think that Dockers has created an excellent classic look with this one, that will be acceptable across the age groups and social circles.




Paul Fredrick Men’s Cotton Seersucker Six-Button Vest

Paul Fredrick Mens Cotton Seersucker Six-Button VestThe final vest that I have chosen to highlight is a much different style, but I wanted to give a range of looks as a waistcoat is a very awesome versatile piece of the wardrobe. This is a Seersucker vest made by Paul Fredrick. It is 100% cotton, a departure from the other vests.

This style on here is pretty cool. I think it would be great to wear to a Summer event, formal yet lightweight and appropriate for the warm weather. It features 5 single-breasted buttons and 2 pockets. The pockets have flaps covering them. Another unique aspect of this vest is that it has a wrap around fold down collar.

This is available in melon, charcoal and blue colors, all featuring the striped seersucker pattern you see here.

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