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Five things you must do when wearing a waistcoat - and five mistakes to avoid!

30 June 2016

A well-tailored waistcoat will bring a true touch of class to any outfit. However, a waistcoat can also be difficult to wear correctly.

Therefore, here are some important dos and don'ts to consider, starting with five things you must do when wearing a waistcoat:

1. Complementary tailoring

The current trend is to use colours and materials that complement each other. Therefore, you should aim to wear a waistcoat that goes with the outfit that you are wearing.

2. Pair similar textures

A very simple way to stand out is to pair a waistcoat with clothing in a similar texture. Corduroys and tweeds go particularly well with denim and other wools.

3. Layer up

Another good piece of advice is to add a waistcoat as an additional layer. This means that when you remove your overcoat, your outfit will still possess a smart edge.

4. Aim for a good fit

You should ensure your waistcoat fits well; therefore, a tailored waistcoat is to be recommended. The waistcoat should lie flat against your body, with the sides and back cut slightly higher.

5. Leave a button undone

The tradition when it comes wearing a waistcoat is to leave just one button undone. This tends to be the bottom button, but the top button will also suffice.

Once you've got a grasp of these rules, ensure you take note of these five big waistcoat etiquette no-nos!

1. Avoid overly bright colours

The more subtle the colour, the more it will complement the rest of your outfit. Therefore, the trick is to stick with more traditional and classic colours, rather than try and be too garish.

2. Steer clear of patterns

Although it can be tempting to try and jazz up a waistcoat with a fun or dynamic pattern, this is very rarely a good look and can make the rest of the outfit look mismatched.

3. Don't buy short or long

It's also important to avoid wearing a waistcoat that is too long or short in length. Ideally, the bottom of your waistcoat should end halfway, or just over, your belt line.

4. Don't leave your shirt untucked

Men’s fashion is so diverse nowadays that most things go. However, one piece of advice that still applies when wearing a waistcoat is to avoid an untucked shirt. This does not look fashionable and instead creates an impression of overall sloppiness.

5. Wear over a T-shirt, not a formal or dress shirt

A waistcoat worn over a T-shirt was once fashionable, but now it makes an outfit seem casual and dated.

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