The Odd Vest

October 4th, 2013

Three-piece suits are bossy, no question. But anybody can match a jacket, trouser and waistcoat of the same fabric – that’s a no brainer.

It takes a little more style and grace to use an odd waistcoat as a complementary fabric with another suit. It’s also a great way to start slowly introducing layers as we move into Fall.

Here’s three examples from my personal wardrobe, along with some tips on how to pull it off.

1. Pattern Play


The waistcoat is a very underrated piece in menswear, especially in the corporate business world where there are limited “acceptable” items to play with.

Tailoring can be fun and creative if you understand traditions and “rules” but don’t take them all too seriously.


This grey/brown/cream/orange waistcoat is from one of my boldest three-piece suits. It’s a wool/silk/linen fabric that caught my eye and made me discover Ariston: a family-operated fabric mill in Naples that’s known for small-batch designs that are unique, eye-catching and always tasteful.

The Fall color palette of the waistcoat makes it a perfect accent to this lightweight taupe suit (also Ariston fabric) that my man Angel Bespoke made for me this summer, complete with his signature soft shoulder, 3-roll-to-2 closure, and accentuated taper at the midsection.


Nothing finishes off a badass 3-piece like a pair of classic captoes in genuine crocodile.

  • Tortoise shades Vintage by Hugo Boss x Carrera ·
  • Brown Taupe suit custom made by ANGEL | BESPOKE (fabric by Ariston) ·
  • Windowpane vest (part of suit) ·
  • Grey stripe contrast collar shirt by Ralph Lauren Black Label ·
  • Navy/orange geometric floral tie Vintage ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Crocodile captoe lace-ups by Scarpe di Bianco

2. Herringbone Stripe


Using a waistcoat to accentuate and soften the color of a pinstripe is an easy win.

This grey herringbone, for example, serves as an anchor to the bold “gangster stripe” of this suit.


Sometimes I like to ditch the jacket and wear only a waistcoat. Having lapels (and patch pockets) makes it slightly more appropriate as a stand-along piece, in my opinion.

Of course, you can always wear it under a jacket too. There’s nothing wrong with lapels-on-lapels.


Special thanks to the good folks at Allen Edmonds for these beautiful wingtips.

This version of their “Jefferson” style is made-to-order using genuine Horween shell cordovan.

These beauties are made to last and I can’t wait to see what they look like once they start to break in.


Hairline Stripe Worsted Suit in Navy

Donegal Tweed Vest in Monochrome

3. Tweed & Hopsack


I cheated a little because we ripped this look from a prior post we did called Suited & Booted.

Here the camel hopsack waistcoat pulls out the “flecks” of beige/orange in this amazing forest green donegal tweed.

I thought the pleated trousers and 3-button jacket were nice nods to the old school since this is such a traditional fabric. The jacket also has burnt orange corduroy elbow patches, which you can see better here.


Fall is all about earth tones: browns, greens, tans, etc.

Taking color cues from mother nature is always in good taste.


It’s about that time! Time to start slowly breaking-out the boot collection.


  • Camel hopsack Vest ·
  • Burgundy/Tan check shirt ·
  • Brown flannel tie ·
  • Brown wool flannel pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus ·
  • Oxblood captoe dress boots by Scarpe di Bianco ·
  • Canvas & leather tote bag by Mismo
  • · Forest green donegal tweed suit

Forest Tweed Suit

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford