What’s the Difference Between a Vest and a Waistcoat?

Here are the facts: a waistcoat is a garment that covers a man’s upper body and is sleeveless, while a vest is also a garment that covers a man’s upper body and is sleeveless. So, there really is no difference between a vest and a waistcoat.

Whether one term is used or not is also geographical. In England, for example, the garment is more commonly referred to as a waistcoat, while in America we tend to refer to it as a vest.

And to some, a vest is considered an informal garment and a waistcoat a more formal garment to be worn with a tie.

Bottom line: Either one is fine, though at HSS we prefer to use waistcoat. Informal or formal, here are a five ways to wear a waistcoat.

1. Fall Casual

difference between vest and waistcoat

2. The Mixed Three-Piece Suit

difference between vest and waistcoat

3. Hot Weather Dapper

difference between vest and waistcoat

4. Summer Business

difference between vest and waistcoat

5. Springtime Blues

difference between vest and waistcoat

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Recommended

Chime In

  • Brian Tekampe

    Where are these waistcoats from? I have trouble finding ones that are not bespoke and I can’t afford bespoke right now.