How to style a sweater vest—4 easy outfit ideas to try

Wondering how to style a sweater vest? Try these fail-safe outfit formulas

Street style showing us how to style a sweater vest
(Image credit: Getty)

Knitted vests are having a moment so if you’re stuck on how to style a sweater vest, we’ve got a plethora of cute outfit options to give you a head-start. Once reserved for grandads, the sweater vest has come through the fashion ranks and the formally uncool vest is now considered the ‘it’ knit of the season.

The perfect layering tool, a sweater vest is incredibly versatile, too. Layer over a shirt and your best jeans for a smart daytime look or throw over a floral midi dress for a laidback boho vibe—the sartorial opportunities are endless. From oversized cream cable knits for that borrowed-from-the-boys look, to cropped check prints that tap into that preppy trend, the shops are brimming with sweater vests to suit every style and occasion.

Sweater vests are also a stylish choice for in-between seasons as they provide a lighter alternative to chunky jumpers. We promise once you’ve added one to your capsule wardrobe, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.

How to style a sweater vest—outfit ideas from the pros

It's time to introduce the sweater vest to your wardrobe with these easy-to-wear outfit ideas.

1. Sweater Vest + White Shirt

Street style showing us how to style a sweater vest with a white shirt

(Image credit: Getty)

What you need…

  • Fitted sweater vest
  • Oversized white shirt
  • Your best jeans

Perhaps the most obvious of the bunch, a sweater vest layered over a white shirt is a classic look that’s easy to master and can work for numerous occasions. Opt for an oversized shirt for a modern update and team with a more fitted sweater vest to help streamline your shape. You can keep it pared-back in neutral hues or go for a color-popping print for more of a statement look.

A styling tip…

Add a sporty twist and team with tracksuit bottoms for a fashion-forward weekend look or keep it simple and wear with your favorite denim.

Our fashion editor recommends…

2. Sweater Vest + Dress

Street style showing us how to wear a sweater vest with a dress

(Image credit: Getty)

What you need…

  • Slouchy sweater vest
  • Floaty dress
  • Casual boots

A sweater vest thrown over a floaty dress has got to be one of our favorite looks. Perfect for when a dress feels too summery but you don’t want to hide it under a big jumper, a sweater vest is a perfect go-between. Depending on the frock you go for you can either keep it preppy and go for a shirt dress or tap into the '70s aesthetic and layer an oversized sweater vest over a floral maxi dress and stompy boots for a chic winter-ready look.

A styling tip…

If you go down the oversized route, add a belt to help define the waist.

Our fashion editor recommends…

3. Sweater Vest on its own

street style showing us how to style a sweater vest on its own

(Image credit: Getty)

What you need…

The best sweater vests also work just as well on their own which is a dream when the warmer weather hits and an oversized knit seems too much. The style set loves this shoulder-baring look and it’s a really easy one to nail. Stick to pared-pack pieces and look to cool creams and caramels for a chic fashion-forward getup.

A styling tip…

One to wear with a pleated skirt for a ladylike spin. Add white trainers for a sporty twist or keep it polished in heeled boots.

Our fashion editor recommends…

4. Sweater Vest + T-Shirt

street style showing us how to style a sweater vest with a t-shirt

(Image credit: Getty)

What you need…

  • Fitted t-shirt
  • Statement sweater vest
  • Wide-leg trousers

Layering your sweater vest with a casual tee is the cool-girl way of wearing the trend. Less stuffy than a shirt, this laidback look is perfect for the everyday. Let the sweater be the focal point and opt for vibrant hues and fun prints whilst keeping the rest of your look simple in monochrome.

A styling tip…

Nail that smart-casual aesthetic and wear with tailored trousers and slip-on mules to render it office-ready.

Our fashion editor recommends…