Suddenly, I’m intrigued by sweater vests

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That’s because suddenly they’re everywhere, and also because they are right up my preppy/tomboy alley. I like the idea of them worn over button-downs, but they also look fantastic with long-sleeved tees. This one is the just-right amount of oversized to look slouchy (and not so oversized that it looks sloppy).

This one from Madewell has just the hint of a sleeve, which I dig.

The checked pattern here is fun, and the fact that it’s in pastel colors makes it comparatively  subtle.

This ribbed number from Cos has a nice, deep V.

This is an alpaca blend, which ought to be nice and cozy, and it looks pretty luxe for something that rings in just under $100.

I must admit that I’m tempted by this pre-styled option: the shirt details are part of the vest

An elegant choice from H&M that’s just the tiniest bit cropped.

A Fair Isle pattern is nicely autumnal.

And finally, this button-up number might be my favorite. I’d layer it under a blazer for a Lady Professor look.

 

 

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37 Thoughts on Suddenly, I’m intrigued by sweater vests
    Traci Barr Segal
    8 Sep 2021
    6:16pm

    Same here! I just ordered one from Lisa Says Gah’s fall collection. It’s the one with the mushrooms on the front. I’m 58, with a quirky style.

    So sorry to hear about your dad’s death. May his memory be a blessing.

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      heartbeet
      8 Sep 2021
      9:54pm

      What a great brand, thanks for this discovery!

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      Mamavalveeta03
      9 Sep 2021
      3:59pm

      Thank you, Traci.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    8 Sep 2021
    11:14am

    I’m fairly certain that I had a much-loved, much-worn Fair Isle sweater vest as a teen. I’m really into this look! Gonna try it with my unworn John Patrick ebay purchase.

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    Heather
    8 Sep 2021
    9:26am

    I was just looking at this one: https://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/harriet-sweater-vest-multi-heritage/sty-k0498-mul?_br_psugg_q=sweater+vest
    It also comes in argyle!

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      heartbeet
      8 Sep 2021
      5:29pm

      That argyle is fantastic!

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      cw
      8 Sep 2021
      4:42pm

      That’s a really cute sweater vest!

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      Rae
      8 Sep 2021
      7:14pm

      Super cute! I am having a hard time deciding between the 3 options — all fun and very different.

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    y.k.
    8 Sep 2021
    9:40am

    i’m intrigued too by these vests although the shoulders make me wonder if I’ll look like a football player.
    i had to look up that video C.W. referenced since no surprise ,that viral video skipped me. wowza!

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      cw
      8 Sep 2021
      11:24am

      I’m less concerned about the football player aspect (although now I will think about that as well) and more concerned about the extra fabric at the shoulder bunching up when I put on a jacket. I’m overthinking this, right?

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        Eloise
        8 Sep 2021
        12:17pm

        “Thanks,” CW, now I’m wondering about that.

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    Eloise
    8 Sep 2021
    7:15am

    I am also liking the idea of the suddenly ubiquitous vest and really like the look of the first one but the reviews suggest it is actually another one piece vest/shirt combo, which doesn’t thrill me. I grabbed an H&M cheapie (yes, I KNOW fast fashion is bad and don’t usually succumb) Andrea posted the other day and am hoping that satisfies my current urge.

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      valerie
      8 Sep 2021
      12:30pm

      Yes, I ordered the first one, not realizing it was a shirt/vest combo. Very disappointed and returning it…I guess it helps to read the description?

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        tamara
        9 Sep 2021
        5:51pm

        it’s on it’s way to me…ugh. right back it will go! (i wonder if i can cancel it mid-order?)

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    MelO
    8 Sep 2021
    11:34am

    I lived in Copenhagen earlier this year and came home with half a dozen or more sweater vests, I love them. They also wear vests that are open and tie on the sides (very Scandi). And Brochu Walker Lookers are the best, I need this vest option. This is a fantastic selection, thanks!

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      kimbersam
      8 Sep 2021
      1:02pm

      Lucky you! Scandi fashion is my jam!

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    MaryAlice
    8 Sep 2021
    11:54am

    I wore a sweater vest constantly in college! For the big-boobed among us, it’s fabulous at hiding any possible button gap in shirts I couldn’t otherwise wear. The trick is to buy thinner, more drapey knits as opposed to big chunky weaves if you’re worried about looking like a linebacker.

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    Katrina
    10 Sep 2021
    6:47am

    I was working 14 hr days this week on top of dealing with the hellacious side effects of my 2nd vaccine dose (not in the US, in case you’re wondering why only now) and so I was in a, say, vulnerable state already. I’ve been lusting over that COS vest for a while now, and seeing your post is what made finally pull the trigger. Haha.

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    Caroline
    8 Sep 2021
    8:47am

    I’m intrigued as well.
    I feel like they would be very forgiving to wear.
    What muffin top? Not me!

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    cw
    8 Sep 2021
    7:54am

    In 1955 my grandmother took a trip to Scotland and brought back Fair Isle sweaters for my family. My father’s was a sweater vest. I stole it out of our cedar chest in 1968 and wore it with a “Victorian” ruffled white blouse until the 70’s when I wore it with button downs until the 80’s when I wore with turtlenecks and had to retire it in the 90’s because of its then bedraggle state. People who believe fashion is frivolous have never had the pleasure/pain of an emotional attachment to a garment. I feel sorry for them. And on a completely different subject…I can NOT stop thinking about the way Oscar Isaac looked at Jessica Chastain on that now viral video. Holy Bloody Smokes!

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      DeDe
      8 Sep 2021
      6:17pm

      When my dad died, one of the only things of his that I wanted was a sweater he used to wear on special occasions when I was very little – it was this bulky gray wool thing with a shawl-ish collar which, as it turns out, he actually knit himself! Unfortunately he’d given it away long before, or I’d be pulling it out of summer storage right about now.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        9 Sep 2021
        3:59pm

        Aw, DeDe! That’s so sweet.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      8 Sep 2021
      11:22am

      My dad just died a week ago and my girls couldn’t stop wearing his old sweatshirts while they were here for the funeral. I know exactly what you mean, CW!

      OMG! That video – excuse me while I go stick my head in the freezer….

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        Joan
        9 Sep 2021
        10:32pm

        Val, my deepest sympathies. So very sorry for your loss. I am glad you are able to be there with your Mom. I feel this odd connection just from reading your comments.

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        DeDe
        8 Sep 2021
        6:12pm

        Oh, Val. I’m so sorry.

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        cw
        8 Sep 2021
        7:13pm

        Wearing his sweatshirts is a testament as to how much your daughters must have loved him. What a wonderful thing that is.

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        kimbersam
        8 Sep 2021
        2:59pm

        So sorry, MV03. I only know you through your posts, but he raised a wonderfully kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and sassy daughter. After my father died, I wore some of his shirts. They smelled like him–although I think it was me being wishful.

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        Eloise
        8 Sep 2021
        12:18pm

        I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory (including his sweatshirts) be a blessing.

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        Liz
        8 Sep 2021
        12:02pm

        Oh I’m so sorry for your loss.

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          D.Morgendorffer
          8 Sep 2021
          12:51pm

          I am so sorry for your loss.

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        Sharona
        9 Sep 2021
        11:15am

        I’m so sorry for your loss

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        Caroline
        9 Sep 2021
        9:22am

        I’m so sorry for you loss.
        It sucks.
        I have a cardigan of my fathers who died years ago . Its itchy and far too big but I love wearing it. It feels just right on a tough day.

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        MaryAlice
        8 Sep 2021
        7:28pm

        I am so sorry. May his memory give you strength.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    9 Sep 2021
    4:04pm

    I’m going to write one giant “Thank You” to all of you. I’m still with my mom in Wisconsin, which is hard when my hubby (my rock) is back in NY. But the support from this loving, kind, smart and spirited community warms my heart. I love you all!

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    Eloise
    14 Sep 2021
    10:06am

    On the off chance anyone sees this late comment, I just received this vest Andrea featured a few days before this post appeared, and it (fast fashion, aside) seems pretty close perfect.
    It reminds me of the first one Kim posted sans the attached shirt.
    It is generously but not ridiculously oversized and isn’t cropped on shorty (5″2′) me. I got it in black and am pretty sure it will see lots of wear.
    https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0992278001.html?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=2575853_rewardStyle&utm_content=15&utm_term=US_Network&ranMID=43148&ranEAID=QFGLnEolOWg&ranSiteID=QFGLnEolOWg-b7vQk8o.V8LNzBFDia3bTg

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    Wendy Bird
    10 Sep 2021
    7:52pm

    There is not much out there for the size 14 and above customer. I saw one vest at Anthropologie, one at Marina Rinaldi, nothing from Eileen Fisher, nor Lane Bryant, etc. I like this vest from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1019385230/knitted-black-and-white-fair-isle-vest?ref=shop_home_recs_2&pro=1&frs=1. She has a couple of other patterns, too, and customize sizing. This is also knit to order: https://www.etsy.com/listing/889778600/knit-sweater-vest-for-woman-hand-knitted?ref=user_profile&frs=1. For the regular Missy buyer, there are many “Y2K” choices, both real vintage and not-so-real, around the $35 range.
    I love that mushroom vest but I question whether or not the XXL size will fit an actual XXL woman.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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