Women’s waistcoats are so hot right now – shop 10 of our favourites
The suit vest in the epitome of quiet luxury
Waistcoats have fast become a fashion staple for women this summer. Forever a key player in suiting and once synonymous with Kate Moss‘s boho 00s style, they’re been rising in popularity and are now the epitome of quiet luxury.
Paired with cool wide-leg trousers or sleek midi skirts – as seen on celebrities and the street style set – they create effortless ensembles that give the illusion you just threw something on while actually looking very chic. The perfect middle ground between a tank or crop top and warmer winter pieces, they’re ideal for layering as we move into autumn, making them the most worthy sartorial investment you can make right now.
We spoke to London-based fashion stylist Holly Coopey about her thoughts on waistcoats having a style moment for autumn: “Waistcoats are a great transitional piece for layering,” she said. “I love when masculine tailoring gives an androgynous look for my clients. What’s more, the waistcoat can totally transform the simple jeans and tee look with a directional twist. The waistcoat also works over a printed midi dress for the ultimate 70s vibe.”
Looking for a waistcoat to add to your fashion repetoire? We’ve found the best pieces available now, from M&S to Arket and Reformation to & Other Stories.
Celebrity women wearing waistcoats
Jennifer Lawrence wears an ivory waistcoat with dark low-waisted trousers
Jennifer Lawrence nailed transitional dressing in her waistcoat and wide-leg trousers while out in New York City recently. The 33-year-old actress chose contrasting silhouettes and hues, completing the look with square lens sunglasses, a Loewe tote bag and slides.
Frankie Bridge wears a New Look waistcoat and Stradivarius wide-leg trousers
Queen of the high street Frankie Bridge went for a cropped style as she left the Apollo theatre in London last month. The West End star paired her fitted black New Look waistcoat with matching wide-leg trousers from Stradivarius.
Kendall Jenner wears a waistcoat and wide-leg trousers out in LA
Always ahead of the game, Kendall Jenner wore this ensemble in LA in summer 2021. We love a neutral-toned waistcoat paired with black trousers for a look that will take you through autumn and beyond.
How we chose the best waistcoats
New-in: Where possible we’ve included the new-in pieces from our favourite fashion brands. Check back for updates as the autumn/winter collections start to drop online.
Colour: All of the waistcoats in this edit are in black, white or neutral shades so they can be styled with everything and slot seamlessly into your capsule wardrobe.
Price: We’ve chosen pieces to suit a range of budgets from New Look’s waistcoat at £29.99 to more luxury pieces over £150.
The best waistcoats for women to shop now
M&S Tailored Waistcoat
This is a great waistcoat for a great price. Sienna Miller loved it so much she added it to her M&S Autumn Edit – so if it’s good enough for Sienna…
Wear with the matching trousers and the matching blazer and with a long-sleeved white ribbed top underneath. Don’t forget jewellery and trainers – this will steer it away from office attire.
Marks & Spencer’s popular waistcoat has a slim, tailored fit, with mock pockets and neat button fastenings. Fully lined for extra comfort, shoppers say it’s high quality and super flattering.
Mango Wool-Blend Waistcoat
There’s something incredibly sexy about this waistcoat, don’t you think? You could wear it for date night for sure.
The way the model has been styled on the Mango website is definitely ticking boxes. Keep it clean, minimal and you’ll look like a boss b*tch.
Looking for a classic black waistcoat to look chic with everything this season? Mango just dropped the perfect slim-fit wool-blend piece.
Reiss Mila Waistcoat
I’m a real fan of neutrals, especially at this time of year. I’ll be wearing this with my summer tan and glossy makeup.
We love it paired with gold jewellery and matching tailored trousers.
The Mila waistcoat from Reiss is fully adjustable at the back to give you the perfect fit.
Arket Wool-Blend Waistcoat
Navy pinstripe is having a real moment right now – and this waistcoat is just so incredibly chic and stylish.
If you click and see more photos of the model wearing this Arket waistcoat you’ll see she’s wearing it with a blue poplin shirt underneath – definitely a look to try. But makeup and hair should be fuss-free to stop it stepping into boardroom territory.
Made from a cosy wool-blend, Arket’s pin stripe waistcoat will take you all the way through the transitioning seasons. It has a slim fit with buttoning at the front and tie detail at the back.
& Other Stories Waistcoat
This is selling out so fast so if you’re after a grey waistcoat, you really need to shop now.
Grey and silver go together so well, so be sure to add a pair of chunky silver earrings to the mix.
For a waistcoat in a grey hue, look to & Other Stories. This single-breasted piece is made from stretch wool twill and features flattering shaping darts.
Reformation Devin Twill Vest
Mushroom isn’t my usual go-to hue but I love this, and will look just as good with black trousers as it does on the model with the matching ones.
The waistcoat is pretty short so you will need a high-waisted pair of trousers on with them.
We love the mushroom hue of this linen waistcoat from Reformation. It has a cropped, fitted cut and pairs perfectly with the Mason pants.
Jigsaw Hopsack Tailored Waistcoat
This look like it’ll be a very flattering waistcoat as it’s not so slim fitting.
As you can see in one of the photos on the Jigsaw website, the model has it on with a plain white T-shirt underneath. This is a great styling tip for those who would rather wear something with it.
Fully lined and made from a sustainable viscose blend with a hopsack weave, this luxe waistcoat from Jigsaw is worth the investment. The sell-out piece has a back contrast panel and a buckle waist adjuster.
New Look Waistcoat
I love Frankie Bridge’s style, and if she declares this as a winning waistcoat, I’m all for it.
The model has teamed this with a skirt on the New Look website, and it’s definitely a more carefree approach to styling a waistcoat on women. It’s a thumbs up from us.
This linen-look waistcoat is the exact piece worn by Frankie Bridge, and at less than £30, it’s so affordable. It has a fitted, cropped fit that looks amazing with contrasting wide-leg trousers.
Mango Pinstriped Waistcoat
How stylish is this? And feels really fresh, and new. I’ll be opting for this with the matching trouser but it might also look really nice with a cream pair of trousers as well.
Keep your hair away from your face and let your waistcoat be the star of the show.
Mango’s pinstripe print waistcoat comes complete with two front welt pockets on the front, a button closure and inner lining. Matching trousers are available for a full suit.
Zara Linen-Blend Waistcoat
Zara has been championing the humble waistcoat for a while now, but Zara you have our attention with this one.
We love the way the Zara model has been styled with a pair of taper trousers and Mary Jane shoes. She looks like a cool French girl, wouldn’t you say? We’ll be following suit – quite literally.
Looking for a longline style that’s slightly oversized? We love this pinstripe option from Zara.
How to style a women’s waistcoat
If you’ve read our styling notes above, you’ll know it’s all about keeping the humble waistcoat from looking too office-mode. Granted, if you’re looking to wear your waistcoat to work, that’s fine, but you don’t want to look like you’re competing on The Apprentice now, do you? But what’s the trick? You’ve got to think like a cool girl – channel your inner Hailey Bieber and wear a waistcoat with confidence. Stylist Holly shared: “If you’re looking for an easy way to lean into the suiting trend gently, wear on its own buttoned up over a vest for a chic deconstructed tux look.”
When you wear a waistcoat in the daytime, you want the look like you haven’t tried – if you add a pair of white trainers it’ll help keep the look casual and cool. Also, ensure your hair is looking tousled and fuss-free – there’s a time and a place for a bouncy blow-dry, but this isn’t one of them. In fact, wearing your waistcoat with natural makeup and a slicked back bun is also a vibe we’ve seen on the cool girls of Instagram and TikTok.
For a nighttime look, you want it to be sexy. Think glossy skin, a chic clutch bag (no office-style totes with this look) and a pair of sky-high heels. Channel your inner Parisian cool girl for this look.