Waistcoat and vest have come a long way in fashion history, these both piece of garments are just two of the many types of garments worn by men. Among those many kind of garments, these two is probably the most common and popular. A lot of people said that vest and waistcoats are the same item, it is not wrong. There are no clear definition and any standard which clearly said the difference between both of them. Vest and waistcoats use to be and still worn by men until this day, as a formal attire. But in the modern day, a lot of variation originated from vest and waistcoats are worn casually and also by women. Vest and waistcoats may refer to the same item but, in this article we will try to give some brief explanation on both of them.
The vest is a piece of garment worn by men to cover their upper body and is sleeveless. This piece of garment is also have to be close fitting. The word vest comes from the romance language, where the French “veste” means ”jacket or sport coat” and the Italian “vesta” means “robe or gown” the one who popularize the men’s vest is Charles II, who attempted to formalize men’s attire in court which had gone from the rail at that time. These are some recommendation when choosing a vest, first it should be long enough to cover the waist, and no part of the shirt should be visible between trouser and belt and the vest. The sides and back should be cut a little higher than the front. The vest shoulders should lie flat against the body. Then, if it is worn with a suit, the V-shaped opening should be narrow enough that the suit lapels won’t hide it. Last is, the bottom button should be left open.
There are several type of vest which are, sweater vest or wool vest, this is a classic style in the US, UK and other countries as well. It is the vest and men’s wool vest combine, designed to comfort and stylish also easy to carry anywhere. Travel vest is made to withstand the rigors of travel and to provide convenient pockets and clips to stash your travel necessities, without have to sacrifice the handsome appeal of a well cut vest. Another style for any wardrobe is the quilted vest. There is also gilet, it is usually worn as outerwear. Gilet usually weight heavier or designed to withstand elements when being worn as outerwear. Another type of vest is fleece vest, it was popularized by outdoors men, and this type of vest is a good complement for any cool-weather adventure. The last is shooting vest, it was made to delivers the functionality that sportsmen demand with a style that has become a true classic. You must recognize a shooting vest based on the extra fabric which provides a little padding for shotgun recoil, but today it has become an important fashion detail on its own. (Read also : Suit vs Tuxedo)
Waistcoat is sleeveless upper body garments which man worn. It is commonly worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men formal wear. The term waistcoat comes from the cutting of the cloth used to make them, as a prior to their invention British tailors would cut the cloth for coat much longer than of a waistcoat. At that time in history, a gentleman’s attire was considerably elaborate, incorporating the finest silks and lace button, waistcoats also dyed in a bright color to show someone social statuses since the cost to dye a fabric was really expensive back then. The waistcoat popularity is fading when belt is introduced, negating the need for braces and therefore the waistcoat which covered them. There are two types of waistcoats, double and single breasted. Single breasted types have a single button fastening straight down the middle front usually with 4 or 5 buttons. Double breasted waistcoats overlap at the front and have 2 rows of parallel buttons. Double breasted waistcoats are usually worn in a weddings, they are in various colored silk or satin, embroidered or plain and worn with a cravat and tailed coat, harking back to centuries before when waistcoats were in their heyday.
The difference between vest and waistcoats is that vest is an informal piece of garments which can be worn without anything underneath it. While on the other hand, a waistcoat is a formal garment that is usually worn over a shirt and necktie. It can make part of an executive or business suit and is worn under the coat as a part of men’s formal wear. It is also the third piece of the typical male business three-piece suit. The most profound different between both of them may be just depend on the region, people in Europe call it waistcoats while in the US vest is used to refer the same items.