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How to Wear a Denim Vest


Denim vest trend
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No matter the season, it seems trendy denim is inescapable. From flared jeans to jeggings to denim shorts, not a fashion cycle goes by without a trendy new denim introduction (or reincarnation!) to all of our favorite stores.

Popular with models, celebrities, and real girls alike, the hottest trend in denim for Summer 2011 isn’t a new type of jean — it’s the denim vest! And with good reason: this trendy piece is versatile, flattering, and adds edge to even the girliest pieces in our wardrobes.

Tempted to pick one up but aren’t sure how to wear it? Read on for tips and tricks for rocking the denim vest trend!

Tips & Tricks for Rocking a Denim Vest

Photo Credit

* Choose a size.

All denim vests are not created equal! From oversized to shrunken and every silhouette in between, there is an option to complement every body type and personal style.

A safe starting point? Try a mid-length vest with a relaxed fit. This cut is universally flattering and can be worked into a wardrobe or outfit with ease. Fashionistas with a more feminine aesthetic may prefer shrunken styles that highlight curves while the super hip may favor more oversized and shredded pieces.

* Watch the proportions.

After you’ve chosen a size, it’s time to build your silhouette. As always, this is about striking a balance!

Roomier vests look great when paired with slimmer, arm-bearing tops or short, tiered dresses, while shrunken styles pair nicely with free-flowing blouses and fitted bottoms. In any case, it’s about creating an outfit that’s mixed and matched in terms of form and figure: Play up your opposites and you’ll be good to go!

* Pick a color.

Just like jeans, denim vests come in a wide variety of colors and washes! From super distressed to acid wash to a simple medium fade, the possibilities are almost endless.

The trendiest hue of the season? A faded, sun-kissed light blue that looks great with just about every other color, especially darker denim shades. While public opinion seems to be somewhat split on the appropriateness of double denim, if you’re going to do it, an obvious color clash is much better than a near match.

* Get inspired.

Can’t get enough? We’ve covered the denim vest trend twice on CF (see Would You Wear… a Denim Vest? and Fashion Challenge: Wear a Denim Vest!) and we love this feature from LuLu’s on DIY-ing your own denim vest for additional reading on the subject!

Done reading? Since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, make your next step to find looks you love and make them your own. Check out LookBook users rocking their vests here, here, here, and here to begin, and get inspired by the real ladies rocking this trend!

* Keep it for fall!

Just about any vest makes a great layering piece, and this trendy style is no exception. In upcoming seasons, your vest will make an adorable topper to long sleeve shirts or 3/4-sleeve dresses, and the serious (but effortless!) fashion punch the vest packs will have you reaching for it week after week.

Consider it an investment in your wardrobe for the next semester!

Hot Picks

Cute and trendy denim vests
Product Information: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Outfit Inspiration

Not sure how to wear this trend? Here are three sample outfits to get you started!

Summer Trend Fiend

Trendy denim vest outfit
Product Information: Skirt, Top, Vest, Earrings, Sandals, Hat.

Perfect for trend-conscious, ever-stylish girls, this outfit is infused with some of summer’s biggest fashion fads: maxi skirts, floppy hats, and the denim vest! Great for a day of shopping with the girls or an appearance at a graduation party, this look will cement your status as a fashionista while keeping you cool, comfortable, and protected from the sun.

Style with an Edge

Edgy denim vest outfit
Product Information: Tank, Sandals, Earrings, Pants, Vest, Bracelet, Laptop Sleeve.

Does your taste in fashion tend to be a bit rough around the edges? If so, this ’90s-inspired look may be the perfect way to rock your denim vest. Sport the same look on campus next fall by swapping out the striped tank in favor of a tissue-weight tee or go full-on Seattle and layer up with a cozy flannel shirt.

Boho Babe

Boho denim vest outfit
Product Information: Vest, Friendship Bracelet, Beaded Bracelet, Leather Bracelet, Dress, Necklace, Boots.

Free-spirited and summer loving, this final denim vest-based outfit has its roots in bohemian flair crossed with model-off-duty style. Pile on the accessories for a unique and eclectic look and add a touch of effortless cool by forgoing feminine footwear. The girly sweetness of this outfit is tempered by the vest’s rocker vibe. It’s the ideal collaboration!

What do you think?

Tell us what you’re thinking! Is this a trend you’re into? Have you worn a denim vest this summer? Have any style secrets of your own to share? Check in with a comment and share your thoughts!

Posted on on June 15, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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19 Responses to “How to Wear a Denim Vest”

  1. 1
    June 15th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Pairing a denim vest with a dress is always a safe bet

  2. 2
    June 15th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Really love that last outfit!

  3. 3
    June 15th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’ve never owned a denim vest but I’m going to make it my goal to.rock.this trend this summer. I love all the outfit picks!

  4. 4
    June 15th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    i followed the link to give my old boring denim jacket a new life and so i am ready to rocking it with a dress , love the last outfit aussi

  5. 5
    June 15th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I love all the outfits but the last one is so unexpected in a good way! great post

  6. 6
    June 15th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I love the denim vest trend. It’s definitely not new proving once again fashion is recyclable =] My mom always rocked these vest and now I have a DIY vest out of an old white-denim floral jacket. Can’t wait to rock it and great outfit ideas!

  7. 7
    June 15th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for this article! I’ve been thinking of buying a jean vest for awhile but didn’t know where to start when it came to choosing a style – this breakdown was really helpful. :)

  8. 8
    June 15th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I’m not entirely sure if I could pull this look off, but the denim vest and sundress looks great!

  9. 9
    June 15th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I got a great deal on a denim vest last summer and it’s been in my closet ever since! THANK YOU for these outfits! I can finally put it to use!

  10. 10
    June 15th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    i love the outfits but the Boho Babe is not really for me… um do u kno of a store that has denim vest for under $50??

  11. 11
    June 30th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I found a really cheap jacket that I want to convert to a denim vest using the lulu’s tutorial:
    But I’m not sure if it’ll work out. Does the material look too cheap?

  12. 12
    July 1st, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I have found the BEST denim vests and jacket sat my local Goodwill store..some from Old Navy or the Gap. You can’t beat 3 vests for $9! They all look super with my maxi dress and long skirts!

  13. 13
    December 15th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Mine looks more sporty So imma wear it with white pants, black long sleeve and soldier boots :)

  14. 14
    March 7th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    i wish i still had my old denim vest , i got rid of it when after they went out of style , but im goin` to buy another one & make my own now that they our back in style , i make my own vest now. I always thought denim vest were cute . they go with anything, pretty much.

  15. 15
    April 8th, 2013 at 3:40 am

    OMG!!!! Thank God I found this site!!!! Now I get to wear my denim vest without my brother’s girlfriend’s help!!!!! THANKKKKK YOUUUUU!!!!!! But it’s kind of hard wearing it cause I live in London… It’s colddddd

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