This article was co-authored by Paul Julch, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Madeleine Flamiano. Paul Julch is a Personal Wardrobe Stylist, Speaker, and the founder of Urbanite | Suburbanite, a wardrobe styling business in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 25 years in the fashion industry, Paul works with clients to make getting dressed easier, less time consuming, and more enjoyable. Paul has years of experience in retail visual merchandising - styling windows, displays, and floor sets for Banana Republic, Gap, and Express. He also has experience styling fashion photo shoots and corporate videos. Paul holds a BS Degree in Management from State University of New York at Binghamton, an MA in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University. He also studied Interior Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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Have a vintage or brand-new sweater vest hanging around? You’re right on trend, then, because sweater vests are making a total comeback! Check out these tips to get a ton of fun versatility out of your sweater vests—you’ll be able to mix and match to your heart’s content.
1With acid-wash jeans and bright accessories
- Tuck a sweater vest into the waistband to make colorful extras pop. For a throwback look that takes everyone to the 70s, 80s, or 90s, choose any sweater vest in a solid color—a pastel or bright shade works—and tuck it into your jeans. Color coordinate your sweater vest with a matching belt, then complement it with a contrasting purse and pair of shoes.XResearch source
- Throw a geometric sweater vest over the button-down to look city-chic. To get office-ready, choose your fave tailored slacks—they can be bold colored or pinstriped. Button up a clean white or cream shirt, then select your fave sweater vest in a geometric print as your statement piece. Finish your look with dressy shoes and a trendy or simple purse.XResearch source
- Try a soft color scheme, like tan slacks, a cream blouse, a brown purse, and an olive sweater vest.
- Experiment with bold colors, like black slacks, a white blouse, and an orange sweater vest.
- Go for a teacher-chic outfit with an argyle sweater vest, a white dress shirt, and black slacks. For a fun touch, throw on a watch.
3With an A-line dress, boots, and a purse
- Pair your accessories with a pastel sweater vest for a dreamy look. Slip on any white A-line dress, which will make any outfit you put together really pop. Then, go for a sweater vest in a soft pastel shade, like baby pink, lavender, or baby blue. Finish with some extra touches in bold colors—for example, pair a sea green sweater vest with a pair of boots and a purse in a navy blue shade.XResearch source
- For an ultra girly and cutesy vibe, try on a midi A-line dress with long sleeves and an oversized sweater vest.
- In the mood for some pretty Parisian flair? Wear a sweater vest with a white floral A-line dress and a darling beret.
- Want a vintage Victorian or cottage-core look? Throw a floral sweater vest over a white long sleeve shirt. For extra dreaminess, tie a silk bow around the shirt’s collar.
4With a statement blouse, slacks, and ankle boots
- Pop a sweater vest over an eye-catching top to wow others. Start with a fitted white statement blouse—try one with fun elements like frilly or puffy sleeves. Then, balance it out with a sweater vest in a jewel tone, like sapphire blue or emerald green. Finish your look with black or gray slacks and your fave ankle boots.XResearch source
- For a super fresh and airy look, coordinate any bold colored sweater vest with a white dress shirt and white patent leather ankle boots.
- To add an ethereal touch to your outfit, elevate a pastel or bold colored sweater vest with dainty gold jewelry and a three-toned purse.
5With a patterned thermal and a tartan skirt
- Play with patterns and pair these pieces with a printed sweater vest. For an ensemble that’s wildly unique, choose a graphic print long sleeve shirt. Then, layer a patterned sweater vest on top of it. Complete the ensemble with a long tartan skirt and knee-high boots.XResearch source
- To give the outfit extra earthiness, try on dyed wooden earrings, necklaces, and bangles.
- Leave your hair loose and unstyled to balance out fun, "busy" patterns.
- For a visually interesting mix, pair an animal print thermal with a sweater vest in a soft, neutral color like beige and a long plaid skirt.
6With a white T-shirt, a black skirt, knee socks, and Mary Janes
- Slip an argyle sweater vest over your tee for a cute, pretty vibe. Bring back the 90s "cool girl" à la Clueless and Gilmore Girls. For a sweet and preppy look, try on an argyle sweater vest in a color that works best for a school uniform, like blue or purple. If you’re feeling really sassy, spring for a bright and unforgettable color, like yellow. Finally, finish your fashionable ‘fit with knee socks and Mary Janes.XResearch source
- If you’d like to go more goth or grunge, go for a gray argyle sweater vest with matching knee socks. If you’re extra daring, slide into some platform Mary Janes.
- When you want to look super innocent, slick back your hair and put on a cute headband. Then, slip into a starched white blouse, a pastel sweater vest, and flat Mary Janes.
7With khakis, a white top, and casual shoes
- Choose any kind of sweater vest for this gender-neutral ensemble. For a laidback, everyday outfit, go for khaki jeans. Then, throw on a white tee and get really imaginative with your sweater vest—for example, it can rock an alien, strawberry sweater vest or sunflower print. To come off as super effortless, just try on some cool kicks like Vans.
- If you’re more in the mood for a tomboyish look, try out a sweater vest and khaki cargo pants.XResearch source
- For an even edgier vibe, swap khakis for cargo jeans and pair them with a black sweater vest.
- To look trippy and out-of-this-world, wear some neon sunglasses with an alien print sweater vest.
8With ripped jeans and Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
- Rock a checkered sweater vest with these pieces to stay laidback. Jump for any ripped jeans that call out to you—skinny, flared, or baggy types all work. For your top, choose any argyle sweater vest with a checkered pattern. Make sure it’s color-coordinated with your shade of jeans. Then, throw on a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars to keep things extra chill.XResearch source
- For sophisticated street fashion, layer a black and checkered sweater vest over a long sleeve black thermal. Accentuate this piece with acid-washed jeans and white shoes.
- If you go for black or dark blue jeans, play around with color! For example, try a green or purple checkered sweater vest.
- For a more feminine touch, put on a pink checkered sweater vest and coordinate it with dual-toned sneakers as well as some dainty jewelry.
9With a white T-shirt dress, knee-high boots, and a purse
- Show off these simple and elegant touches with a sweater vest dress. Start off with a long tailored shirtdress. Complement it with a long, oversized sweater vest. Then, slide into some knee-high boots in a warm and earthy color, like brown or tan. Finish with a matching white purse for the perfect monochrome ensemble.
- For a pop of metallic magic, pair this outfit with a gold chain strap purse.
- To add a seductive warmth to this cool look, go for a fresh red manicure.
- Lend some extra fanciness to an all-white sweater vest dress with matte makeup and loose waves.
10With a skirt in a contrasting print
- Make an outfit that stands out with a bright sweater vest in a fun style. Pull off a "quirky librarian" look by throwing on two pieces that "clash" in a really artsy and fun way. For example, wear a floral sweater vest with a zig-zag skirt. Your creative choices will wow the crowd and show some incredible confidence.XResearch source
- Play around with animal print, too, like slipping into a leopard print sweater vest and a zebra print skirt.
- Go for a prim and sweet look with a striped sweater vest and a polka dot skirt—you can even add a belt for extra cuteness!
- For a fresh and sassy outfit, mix up fruity patterns. For example, wear a cherry print sweater vest with a pleated lemon print skirt.
- Create a clean look with a sweater vest that matches every piece. Decide on any shade you want to rock—jewel tones like emerald green or sapphire blue work, while pastel colors like lavender and pink are just as sweet. For street-chic elegance, try an all-black or all-white outfit. To dazzle others with a cute and cozy ensemble, try earthy and warm hues like tan or orange.XResearch source
- Get prepped for the office or a business brunch with a sweater vest and slacks.
- For some pretty streetwear, match a sweater vest with a corduroy skirt.
- If you’re ready for a picnic or beach day, throw on a sweater vest and shorts.
- Switch up your footwear depending on whether you’re going for a formal or casual vibe. For example, try ankle boots or heels with slacks or a skirt. If you’re wearing jeans or shorts, slip into sneakers or flats.
- Put together a sassy ensemble with a black-and-white sweater vest. To start off, grab a loose or fitted white blouse. After that, get creative with your bottoms—for example, try slacks, a skirt, or even biker shorts. Just make sure they’re black to complement your top! Finally, throw on a statement sweater vest in a black-and-white pattern. Finish your look with absolutely any kind of shoes that make you smile.XResearch source
- To pay homage to the 80s, pair your sweater vest with pleated wide leg slacks and heels.
- For a night on the town with drinks or tapas, throw on a cropped black-and-white sweater vest with a black skirt in any style and neon flats.
- To run some errands or just kick back with your besties, wear a loose black-and-white sweater vest with denim or biker shorts. Then, slide into some sneakers or Keds.
13With a floral dress, ankle boots, and a small satchel
- Appear ethereal with pretty pieces and a warm cable-knit sweater vest. To get ready for a picnic, romantic date, or stroll around the city, start with a flowy floral dress. Then, add some sweet coziness with a cable-knit sweater vest in an "autumn" color like apricot, peach, or marigold. Finish the dreamy look with leather ankle boots and a small satchel purse.XResearch source
- For some more whimsy, throw on a floppy felt hat with your outfit.
- Add feminine touches to elevate everything, like a delicate pendant and a charm bracelet.
- Sneak in some seductiveness with a dark matte makeup palette.