How to wear a long vest – you will love all these options and ideas!

by Sylvia

How to wear a long vest |

The long vest is still very popular this year. I combined some of my old examples of long vest outfits together with some new ones in this article to show you lots of options on how to wear a long vest and look super chic.

Here are just a few reasons why the long vest works so well

  • Long vests create a long lean line.
  • Perfect for hiding bellies and distracting attention away from them.
  • Great to give you some extra warmth and a fabulous transition piece for fall.
  • Easy to layer. Wear over a variety of tops and wear cardigans or jackets over them when it gets really cold.
  • You can play with different fabrics.
  • They come in a variety of fabrics and weights and sometimes allow you to create an architectural look.
  • You can create various looks depending on your vest. From edgy to bohemian to minimalist to casual chic.
  • Wide cascading vests give you even more options as I showed you a while ago with the Covered Perfectly cascading vest. The vest now comes in a lot of variations. (Special offer for 40+ style readers, use 40+ at checkout for 20% off!)

How to wear a long vest – outfits & ideas

Here are  just some ideas on how you can wear the long vest this season.

Please note that these images are taken directly from merchant’s websites, so don’t be distracted by the young models. All of these would look great on many 40+ women too!

wear over skinnies

how to wear a long vest with skinnies |

left Joa (others are now sold out)

Skinnies are the most obvious option when you wear a long vest. You can play with colorblocking or wear one solid color underneath for a long & lean line.

Go casual with jeans or casual chic with navy, cream and gray


With the 70s trend going strong, it’s super chic to wear a long vest or cardigan over jeans.

Want a more urban chic look, combine a navy vest with cream and comfortable flats.

Bohemian chic

wearing a long vest the bohemian chic way |

Long vests are equally great in a patterned fabric. When your vest is soft and flowy this leads to a chic bohemian look. Playful and fun!

Wear with skirts and wide pants

how you can wear the long vest with skirts or wide pants |

Don’t think that long vests can only be worn with skinnies. They are grat with a shorter dress or skirt as well. The skirt could be both a-line or straight. Wearing it with wide pants can be more tricky but to me this look is different, chic and modern.

Party outfits with long vests


A long vest is comfortable and chic for your upcoming christmas parties, especically when you use one of the chic color pattern as seen above.

Minimalist black & white

Wearing a long vest the ultra chic way in black and whit |

The long vest looks very chic in a minimalist outfit. This does not necessarily have to be black an white. As you can see, a black bottom layer with a lighter vest creates a very slimming and long silhouette.

Wear with a dress or go all-black


Above left is another 70s inspired look for a casual day while the all black outfit is chic for a party or the office.

Other options

Although this season’s long vest is most often worn lose in a straight line, some of the vests can also be belted as shown in the picture at the top of this article.


As for myself I could not resist this unusual asymmetrical long vest from Stella Carakasi. You can see how I wore it here in a winter version and here as s summer version. The vest now comes in several winter colors. (Enter the coupon code 40PLUS15-2 for an extra 15% off all orders! Valid until 31 December 2015.)

Here are many of the long vests pictured in this article that you can buy online right now, as well as some of the clothes worn with them.

For even more inspiration on how to wear a long vest, you can also check my how to wear a long vest Pinterest board.

Do you like the long vest? How will you wear it this season?


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin

Hello Sylvia! I have always been self-conscious of a very flat behind (“Mom, it looks like a steam roller went over it”) and struggle with very narrow shoulders. (Please God, bring back shoulder pads… I love a long vest to cover the flat behindski issue but worry about accenting the narrow shoulders. Might the answer be the garment worn below the vest? Or what do you suggest, oh wise one? BTW thank you so much for all you do. I am a big fan.


2 Sylvia

First of all I would not worry too much about the flat bum. It definitely has its advantages as we can add more bulk to that area (I have a flat bum too). As you say though long vests are great to add a bit more bulk. Did you read my article on how to dress when you have narrow shoulders? Some of the tops mentioned there can be used to wear underneath your vest. A scarf can be very helpful too if you drape it in a horizontal way. Good luck!


3 Erin

No I did not read that! Yes I have always loved to wear scarves and have a drawer full. I will read that and thank you. It didn’t occur to me to use them in combo with a vest. Glad to know of a sister flat behindski girl. 🙂


4 Melisa

I have very narrow shoulders and wide hips and I don’t think I would look very good in these, though I do like them. I love the drapey one on you with the menswear inspired hat. It’s an unexpected combination.


5 Fatima

Hi Sylvia,
Love your style and inspirational ideas. Is there a way to contact you directly???


6 Sylvia

I have a contact page here but please note that I don’t provide individual advice.


7 Stacey

I love this look … trying to incorporate a few outfits with it into my rotation!


8 Greetje

I don’t know why, but vests do not bring any desire to my heart. Remember I even left one that suited me fine, in the Eileen Fisher shop? I still have never used the floaty long top I bought then. No idea what to do with it. never mind, one day inspiration will come.


9 Sylvia

Well you don’t need to like everything. It’s good to know what you do and don’t like!


10 Annette

I love long vests and I am wearing mine frequently!
Also for the office, when a blazer sometimes is a bit warm, a vest still adds a formal touch. And it is so versatile and I also pair it in a more casual way with leather leggings or jeans.

Annette | Lady of Style


11 Sylvia

Yes, and you wear them so well! You are so right about them being very useful for the office by adding a formal touch.


12 Christy

This is a really great post! Great info! I have a couple of long winter vests and you gave me some really good ideas. Your photos and outfits were awesome! TY!


13 Sylvia

Good to see you found it useful Christy!


14 Dr. B

Hi, Sylvia-I, too, have a flat bum, but it is growing ever wider as I age. Any advice? I look OK coming toward you (I have learned to camouflage my menopausal belly), but I am very self-conscious about the “going” version of me. Please help with style choices?


15 Sylvia

Jackets are always good and long vests of course. They don’t need to cover the whole bum area, just a part of it. Why not check out the blog of my friend Greetje. She is always complaining about her flat bum and you can see from her clothes choices how she deals with it


16 Greetje

Thank you Sylvia. That is a very nice compliment. I find that the best “cure” is a fitted jacket, going in at the waist and going slightly out at the hips. Of course long enough to cover the bum.


17 linda

Hi sylvia i love this look but at 5foot 3inches would it suit me?


18 Sylvia

Yes, vests can be lengthening. Just be aware of your proportions and test out in the mirror which length of vest is most flattering on you.


19 Rita Palazzi

Hi Sylvia,
congratulation for the interesting article. This season the long vest is a must-have and I adore it!
If you like to wear it in a rock way (my way) see the post on my blog.


20 Phillipa

Hi Sylvia

I am wondering if you have very fleshy upper arms will the vest draw attention to them? I like this look and would wear a long or 3/4 sleeve under the vest. My preference is for the longer vest but I also don’t want to over bulk my figure. Thank you 🙂


21 Sylvia

No I don’t think so, especially if you let you sleeves finish at around your waist. A beautiful necklace or scarf will help too to divert attention away from your arms but with a nice long vest the eye is on the flattering vertical lines and noone will notice your upper arms. If you are very self conscious about your arms you could always opt for a darker top underneath the vest which would minimise it even further.


22 Phillipa

Thank you Sylvia. I need to add one to my wardrobe. Love your site and the accessories course I am doing now. I am learning so much!


23 Sylvia

thanks Phillipa. That’s great to hear!


24 Sherry Edwards

No, I do not have any long vests. Not sure why – just never thought about getting one. It will be on my next shopping trip, ha! ha! I do have a couple long blazers though. I saw a long floor length beautiful sleeveless vest as part of a Halloween costume and I’ve been on the hunt for that ever since. I did find a long velvet floor length coat with a high split up the back. Still thinking about this one. I have considered removing the sleeves but I think that might remove the attitude of the coat. Ok, going shopping now!!!


25 Rita Palazzi

Sylvia is always giving us great suggestions, thank you!
If you like to know how I wear long vest read the post in my blog



26 Blythe

This article just inspired me to purchase a faux suede fringed long vest for my holiday trip to California. It has a boho vibe so will be perfect. Thanks for the inspiration.


27 Sylvia

Fantastic Blythe!


28 Brenda

Hello Sylvia. I have a question: I have side shoulders and narrow hips with thin legs. Unfortunately I have a “sugar belly”- you know, the above the waist tummy. I think of myself as an inverted triangular apple. What type/length of vest would be good for me? I have a long, black, sleeveless, straight one that hits just above my knee, and am wondering about it. Print or solid top? Skinny jeans or straight leg? Thanks in advance!


29 Sylvia

Hi Brenda. You may like to check out some of the articles listed on this page on the specific body types. Also one specifically on hiding your belly. For more individual feedback and lots of style training, you can join the style club at


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