Top 8 Suit's Waistcoat Mistakes to Avoid When Wearing

Top 8 Suit's Waistcoat Mistakes to Avoid When Wearing - VJV Now

A waistcoat is an essential part of a three-piece suit, providing an extra layer of sophistication and polish. However, wearing it incorrectly can detract from your overall appearance. To ensure you look your best, avoid these common waistcoat mistakes. This guide will walk you through the top eight waistcoat blunders and how to steer clear of them, ensuring your ensemble is always on point.

A waistcoat is an essential part of a three-piece suit. Consisting of a sleeveless upper-body garment, it's worn over a dress shirt and under a suit jacket. You can find waistcoats in different colors, materials, patterns and styles. Regardless, they are worn in conjunction with a dress shirt and jacket to achieve a three-piece suit. If you're thinking about wearing one, however, you should avoid the following mistakes.

#1 Waistcoat Same Color as Dress Shirt

Waistcoats shouldn't feature the exact same color as the dress shirts with which they are worn. You should still choose a waistcoat in a color that flows cohesively with your dress shirt. Nonetheless, you shouldn't choose a waistcoat in the exact same color as your dress shirt.

If your waistcoat and dress shirt feature the same color, they'll blend together without any real sense of visual separation. You can choose a waistcoat in the same color as your trousers, but you should avoid choosing a waistcoat in the same color as your dress shirt.

#2 Wearing Tie Over the Top

Avoid wearing your necktie over the top of your waistcoat. Waistcoats are almost always worn with some type of tie. Both two-piece and three-piece suits require a tie to complete their respective formal style. And the only difference between two-piece and three-piece suits is that the latter includes a waistcoat. Rather than wearing your necktie over the top of your waistcoat, though, you should wear it underneath your waistcoat.

When tucked underneath your waistcoat, your necktie will remain in place. You won't have to worry about falling out or getting in your way. Your waistcoat will essentially hold it in place -- all while projecting a clean and formal style in the process.

#3 Overlooking Thickness

Some waistcoats are thicker than others. When choosing a waistcoat, you should consider the thickness to determine whether it will fit comfortably. If it's too thick, you may not be able to comfortably wear your suit jacket over it. As previously mentioned, waistcoats are worn over a dress shirt and under a suit jacket. 

The material from which a waistcoat is made will determine its thickness. Linen and cotton waistcoats are thinner than corduroy and wool waistcoats. You may want to choose a waistcoat in one of these thin materials if your suit jacket already fits somewhat tight. If your suit jacket is loose or baggy, on the other hand, you may want to choose a waistcoat in a thicker material.

#4 Wrinkles, Wrinkles, Wrinkles!

Never wear a wrinkled waistcoat. Waistcoats can develop wrinkles just like most other suit garments and accessories. Minor creases can turn into stubborn wrinkles that are difficult to remove. While wearing a wrinkled waistcoat may sound harmless, it's a serious faux pas. It will project a messy appearance that takes away from the otherwise clean and formal style of your three-piece suit.

You can protect your waistcoat from wrinkles by following these tips:

  • Store your waistcoat on a heavy-duty clothes hanger, such as an all-wood hanger, when you aren't wearing it.
  • Be sure to wear your suit jacket over your waistcoat.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding maintenance. You may be able to press or steam your waistcoat to eliminate wrinkles.
  • Choose a waistcoat made of a wrinkle-resistant material.
  • Make sure your waistcoat is the right size.

#5 Wrong Size

You should avoid choosing a waistcoat in the wrong size. If it's too big, it will look baggy and unflattering. Oversized waistcoats have a bunch of excess material. And with this excess material, they are susceptible to wrinkles.

If your waistcoat is too small, conversely, it may constrict your upper body. The size matters when choosing a waistcoat. You don't want to end up with a waistcoat that's too big or too small. Rather, you should choose a waistcoat in the right size for your body.

#6 Ignoring Pockets

Waistcoats are available in many different styles. While some of these styles don't have pockets, others do have pockets. It's not uncommon for waistcoats to feature a pair of pockets on the front. Many waistcoats have a single pocket on the bottom left and bottom right sides of the front.

Pockets add a unique visual element to waistcoats. Rather than featuring a smooth front, your waistcoat will have a more intricate front if it has pockets. Furthermore, you can use the pockets to keep your hands warm on otherwise cold winter days. The bottom line is that you shouldn't ignore pockets when choosing, as well as wearing, a waistcoat.

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#7 Not Fastening All Buttons

Don't leave some of the buttons unfastened. You can find waistcoats in different materials, but they all have buttons on the front. Most waistcoats have a single column of buttons on the front. Rather than leaving some of them unfastened, you should fasten all of the buttons when wearing your waistcoat.

Waistcoats are designed to contour to the body when worn. They offer a form-fitting design that "hugs" the body. But if only some of the buttons are fastened, they won't offer this same form-fitting design. Instead, waistcoats will fit loosely while projecting an awkward appearance. You can avoid problems such as this by fastening all of the buttons on your waistcoat.

#8 Clashing Pattern

Finally, avoid choosing a waistcoat in a pattern that clashes with the rest of your suit. Waistcoats are used in three-piece suits. If you're going to wear a three-piece suit, you'll need to choose an appropriate waistcoat for it. Three-piece suits consist of a suit jacket, trousers and a waistcoat -- along with other garments and accessories like a dress shirt and a necktie. But the pattern of your waistcoat should flow cohesively with the rest of your suit.

Some patterns clash with each other. Vertical stripes and horizontal stripes, for example, typically clash. You can choose a waistcoat with vertical stripes if your suit jacket and trousers feature vertical stripes as well. Alternatively, you can choose a waistcoat with horizontal stripes if your suit jacket and trousers feature horizontal stripes. However, you should avoid mixing horizontal and vertical stripes together in the same suit outfit.


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Why shouldn’t my waistcoat be the same color as my dress shirt?

Matching your waistcoat and dress shirt color can create a bland look without visual separation. Choose complementary colors to add depth and interest to your outfit.

Can I wear my tie over my waistcoat?

No, always tuck your tie under your waistcoat to maintain a neat and formal appearance, and to keep your tie in place.

How do I choose the right thickness for my waistcoat?

Select the thickness based on your suit jacket fit. Thinner materials like linen or cotton work well with tighter jackets, while thicker materials like wool or corduroy suit looser jackets.

What’s the best way to prevent my waistcoat from wrinkling?

Store it on a sturdy hanger, wear your suit jacket over it, follow care instructions, and choose wrinkle-resistant materials to maintain a crisp look.

How can I ensure my waistcoat is the right size?

A properly fitting waistcoat should contour your body without excess material. Avoid sizes that are too big or too small to prevent a baggy or constrictive look.

Are pockets important in a waistcoat?

Yes, pockets add a stylish element and functionality. Consider waistcoats with pockets for added detail and utility.

Do I need to fasten all buttons on my waistcoat?

Yes, fastening all buttons ensures a form-fitting and sleek appearance. Leaving buttons undone can result in a loose and awkward fit.

How do I avoid clashing patterns with my waistcoat?

Ensure the pattern of your waistcoat complements your suit. Avoid mixing vertical and horizontal stripes, and opt for cohesive patterns throughout your outfit.

Is it acceptable to wear a waistcoat without a suit jacket?

While traditionally part of a three-piece suit, you can wear a waistcoat alone in less formal settings. Ensure it fits well and complements the rest of your outfit.

What are some common materials for waistcoats?

Waistcoats come in various materials like linen, cotton, wool, and corduroy. Choose based on the occasion and the fit of your suit jacket.