How a man wears a vest seems to be really straightforward, but there's a question that remains in all men's heads: to go single or double breasted? Basically this means one row or two rows of buttons.
A single breasted waistcoat or vest comes with a single row of approximately 6 to 7 buttons with a small overlap which makes it faster to close, this simplicity is often seen as more casual.
A double breasted waistcoat has two rows of buttons of 3 or 4 each row, giving it in my opinion a more elegant touch. Between the two, this one is more formal.
For an everyday look a single breasted waistcoat worn with a shirt and a pair of chinos or even jeans is a safe bet.
If you're more of a suit type of guy a double breasted waistcoat is perfect for the ocassion, even for a black tie event.
There are a few other rules you must follow whether you're wearing a single or a double breasted:
- Never fasten the last button. This one goes for all waistcoats and jackets. This has a historical background since it dates back to the Queen's grandfather who never buttoned it. It will also keep a clean line in the waistcoat avoiding a weird shape.
- You need to watch the fit. It should finish just above the waistband of your trousers. Also always tuck in your shirt, no one likes a duck tale.
- And have fun with the mix and match. A vest gives you the opportunity to have fun with colours, choose a contrasting colour to your jacket. Just remember not going too crazy, you wouldn't want to look like you don't know what you're doing.
If you remember to keep in mind those rules you'll be an expert in waistcoats.