Waistcoats vs. Vests

Sometimes terminology can give a man an advantage. For example, ever hear a woman swoon over a man in a waistcoat? Well... if you know me, then of course you have. And guess what, it is essentially the same thing as a vest. Brits use the term "vest" to describe an undershirt or tank top (much like jumper to them means sweater or trousers means pants).

Here are the two definitions (courtesy of Google) side by side:

I remember the first time a waistcoat caught my attention. I imagine it is the same for many of you. 

Screenshot from Pride &  Prejudice (1995)

.... and I can probably guess at the first time I took note of a man in a vest. 

Photo Courtesy of  http://darth.wikia.com/wiki/Han_Solo

So as simple as it sounds, we are going to distinguish between these two terms courtesy of pop culture. Vests = Han Solo and Waistcoats = Mr. Darcy.

Vest are for the rugged, the outlaw, the instantly recognizable rebel or bad boy. Waistcoats are more distinguished, refined, or the type of item paired well with a suit. Both are sexy, stylish, and swoon-worthy, but a waistcoat is more sophisticated.

(Yes, women can wear them too. I am currently on the lookout for one, but have not found one that I like. I think I might end up making my own, and if I do, I will be sure to share. However, for this post, I'm sticking to the traditional male waistcoat.)

Don't get wrong, I love a man in a vest, as demonstrated with Han, but I've always been a sucker for a cravat, a tailcoat, suspenders, bow ties, a nice pair of trousers, and of course, a well-tailored waistcoat. Period pieces are my weakness, but it does not always have to be the case. There are a lot of men proving that waistcoats should be a part of every man's wardrobe. 

If I were to hand out awards for best waistcoat wearing celeb, I would be torn between one Brit and one American ( I know, shock, she included an American). Of course, I'm sure you guessed already who I am referring to, so the shock should subside.

Tom Hiddleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

When I think of a waistcoat, Tom Hiddleston instantly comes to mind. The man has impeccable style and loves wearing waistcoats. It was extremely difficult picking on image, since the internet is flooded with Hiddleston rocking waistcoats. (Photo courtesy of blazingscarlet)

When I think of a waistcoat, Tom Hiddleston instantly comes to mind. The man has impeccable style and loves wearing waistcoats. It was extremely difficult picking on image, since the internet is flooded with Hiddleston rocking waistcoats. (Photo courtesy of blazingscarlet)

The American who always knows how to wear a waist coat is, hands down, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is simply no contest, he is the American equivalent to Tom Hiddleston when it comes to both charm and the epitome on how to wear a waistcoat. ( Photo courtesy of Waistcoatstyle 

The American who always knows how to wear a waist coat is, hands down, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is simply no contest, he is the American equivalent to Tom Hiddleston when it comes to both charm and the epitome on how to wear a waistcoat. ( Photo courtesy of Waistcoatstyle 

I know, I know. Some of you who know me were probablyexpecting me to say Benedict Cumberbatch, but the truth is. He only dons a waistcoat every now and then (trust me, I even checked the authority, Bonnie Burton's Pinterest board, which is where I found the photo on the right). . You can find him on the cover of Derry Moore's An English Room in one (photo on the left). He usually pairs his waistcoats with suits, but for the most part choose button ups, ties, and well-cut suits. Which honestly, we cannot complain about.

Regardless of your terminology preference, I hope you will encourage all the men in your life to try a well-tailored / well-made waistcoat. There are countless of styles, colors, patterns, and fabrics to choose from. One could even say, there is a waistcoat for every man who loves to get a little dapper every now and then.