Black Jacket Suiting

HOW TO | Wear a Waistcoat

Jun 9, 2019

It’s no great secret that men’s fashion is growing increasingly relaxed. The corporate wear Brisbane has to offer is becoming less important, creative offices that prefer ‘business-casual’ dress codes are flourishing, and there are fewer occasions to wear tailoring today, full-stop.

Even so, there are still moments in life where it pays to dress to impress and the stature of a timeless three-piece mens suit jackets and tie can lend you that all-important edge. It looks put-together, elegant and powerful – in all the right ways. Waistcoats aren’t difficult to wear, but there are a few important dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Man wearing a Charcoal Waistcoat over white button up shirt.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Wearing A Waistcoat


Master The Waistcoat’s Fit

A waistcoat is a deceptively simple thing to get right. There are only two things to think about. The first is self-evident: does it fit around your middle? Waistcoats are designed to be cinched in at the back to flatter the natural lines of your waist – if it’s too loose or too roomy, the impression is lost. A waistcoat should hug your torso, not hang loose from your shoulders.

Make A Statement

That said, if you are confident dresser, a contrasting waistcoat is an easy solution to set you apart from the crowd. 

Dress Yours Down

You don’t always have to treat a waistcoat as a formal piece in your wardrobe. Worn separately with relaxed open-neck shirts, chinos or even jeans, a waistcoat can be a sharp alternative to a blazer or sports coat on the weekends.

Experiment with Different Fabrics

As per my last point, waistcoats come in all shapes and sizes, and are a smart way to add some diversity to your wardrobe. Pairing a classic wool dinner suit with a silk brocade waistcoat is a no-brainer for black tie, and having a couple of checked tweed or flannel waistcoats in your wardrobe for smart-casual days makes sense too. 


Fasten the Bottom Button

Of the waistcoat’s faux pas, this is the most important to avoid. On a business suit, wedding suit or a casual waistcoat, you never fasten the bottom button. Leaving it undone helps the waistcoat to sit cleanly on your hips, and looks more natural to boot. 

Show Your Shirt Beneath

This one’s a little tricky. A waistcoat is intended to cover your waist and hips, but often fashion-led brands cut trousers so low that your shirt will peep out beneath a waistcoat.

Throw in A Tie-clip

Tailoring is all about balance, and one of the often forgotten rules of a three-piece suit is that you should never wear both a tie clip and a waistcoat together. Both do the same job of keeping your tie in check, so you don’t need both from a functional perspective. 

Man wearing a three piece grey suit with black shiny leather shoes

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