Sweater vests are a fall classic for the whole family. Whether it’s the warmer part of fall or getting cold outside, a sweater vest can be layered and accessorized to suit the weather and occasion. Before we talk about sweater-vest-centric outfits, let’s take a moment to discuss fabric options for fall:
When shopping for a vest, consider the fabric. Cotton and cotton-blend fabrics are light enough to comfortably layer and provide moderate warmth, while brushed fleece is best for the chilliest fall days. Either way, look for Supima cotton to ensure the longest wear and best color retention. Supima cotton is grown in the USA in a handful of midwestern and western states. This rare cotton species has a long-staple fiber that’s twice as strong as regular cotton, so it retains shape even after repeated wear and washings.
Now that you know more about sweater-vest fabrics, keep reading to find fall outfit ideas for women, men, and kids:
There are two basic types of sweater vests—pullover styles and those with zippers or buttons. Whether you’re wearing a fleece vest or a dressier style made from a cotton-modal blend, there are multiple outfit options to consider. For example, you could wear a full-zip fleece vest over a women’s long-sleeve T-shirt for a practical, casual fall combo that goes with everything from jeans to sweatpants. Women’s long-sleeve T-shirts come in many colors and graphic prints, so you can find one to complement almost any sweater vest.
If you want a business-casual look, wear a pullover cotton sweater vest over a women’s dress shirt. When it comes to the right type of bottoms, khakis are always an appropriate choice. For a look that’s good to wear outside of the office, pair your shirt-and-vest combo with straight-leg jeans for a casual, classic look or skinny jeans for a trendy vibe; if you go the skinny-jean route, leave your dress shirt untucked.
Women’s sweater vests and turtlenecks— whether in a traditional or tunic style — pair well with corduroy pants for fall. There are corduroys with five-pocket styling as well as corduroy leggings that look stylish with tunic tops. Many tunics provide past-the-hip coverage that’s perfect for any skinny pant style, whether you prefer jeans, leggings, or jeggings. Slip on a pair of calf-high boots to complete the look, or wear a pair of ankle boots, depending on your style preference.
You can even wear a sweater vest with a skirt. Mid-length women’s skirts in a light jersey knit are versatile for all seasons; wear one with a long-sleeve top and sweater vest for a fall outfit that can go almost anywhere. Khaki skirts also go well with any type of sweater vest and top, whether you wear a collared button-down or a T-shirt. Navy twill skirts are also a classic option for wearing with a sweater vest and casual or dressy top.
Men can also make the most of sweater vests by mixing and matching them with other fall pieces. A men’s dress shirt and tie under a vest can be paired with chinos for a business-casual look or cargo pants for a more casual style with a dressy edge. Men can also wear sweater vests with T-shirts and jeans in their preferred fit. Another way to wear a men’s sweater vest is with a turtleneck, dress pants, and dress shoes. Dressy sweater vests can be worn under men’s blazers or sport jackets for a formal look.
If you’re looking for a cute back-to-school outfit for boys, consider a collared button-down, khaki pants, and a sweater vest. For a more casual kids’ look, a sweater vest and turtleneck or T-shirt can be worn with jeans and athletic shoes. For all-day comfort, look for boys’ jeans with elastic waists. IronKnees technology is another feature that’s good to have in any kids’ jeans. If it’s a super-warm fall day, you can even dress your child in knee-length khaki shorts, a short-sleeve cotton shirt, and a lightweight sweater vest on top.
Girls have just as many fashion options when it comes to wearing sweater vests. Whether your child is heading to kindergarten or high school, she can wear a sweater vest over a girls’ turtleneck, button-front dress shirt, or T-shirt. Skirts and jeans coordinate well with sweater vests, as do school uniform pants and skirts. Girls can accessorize their sweater vests with fashion scarves and pins to make them unique, and most kids’ sweater vests can even be embroidered with a name for a personal, high-end touch.
Use these ideas to create outfits or adapt them to fit your wardrobe and personal style. The best way to discover your favorite sweater-vest looks is to try different apparel combinations to see what suits you.