A Guide to Handpicked Waistcoats for Men

“The King hath yesterday in council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how” Samuel Pepys, October 1666

The waistcoats were introduced by British king Charles II of England as a part of the formal dress code during the Restoration period of the British monarchy in 1930. The English visitors noticed the Persian vests in the court of Shah Abbas and adopted the same in the English Court.

The old fashion statement dictated longer tailcoats but as men transitioned their tailcoats to shorter jackets, waistcoats were constructed from the leftover materials while construction. At that time these waistcoats were worn with adornments and paired with elaborate coats, jewels, pocket watches and other accessories. Over the years, the colours and cuts have subdued and now a more subtle version of the waistcoats are seen with minimal accessories.

Whether single or double-breasted, Linen, Silk or Velvet, three-piece suit or casual, the waistcoat can be worn in various different ways. A versatile item in your wardrobe, a waistcoat is a gentleman’s staple. They have been away from the spotlight for quite some time but we’ve surely not overlooked them. Since they are back in play, we are happy to furnish you with different types of waistcoats that you can opt for varied occasions.

The Classic waistcoat: It is the basic waistcoat with six to eight buttons, two welt pockets, a pointed front that covers the waistband and a cinch adjuster at the back to adjust the fit of the waistcoat according to the shape of the torso.

The Donegal waistcoat: Made of tweed, this waistcoat is lightweight with subtle flecks of colour. The texture of this waistcoat makes it a versatile piece.

The Windowpane waistcoat: The ideal formal piece, this check patterned waistcoat pairs perfectly well with monotones for a suave look.

The Notch Lapel waistcoat: Ditch the extra layers by pairing your notch lapel waistcoat with a casual t-shirt or over a Tailorman shirt.

The Peak Lapel waistcoat: Similar to the notch lapel, yet more formal, the peak lapel has a more elevated and pointed collar tip.

The Double Breasted waistcoat (4*2): It has four buttons with two buttons placed in two rows and two columns, equally. When paired up with a single-breasted coat it gives a versatile and classic look to your ensemble.

The Double Breasted waistcoat (6*3): It has six buttons in total with three placed vertically in two lines and two buttons horizontally in three lines. The 6 buttons work perfectly well for formal occasions.

The Shawl Lapel waistcoat: As the name suggests, this waistcoat has a shawl lapel which goes amicably with a tuxedo.

The Low-cut waistcoat: A formal waistcoat is generally cut much lower than a suiting waistcoat. It is made to substitute the cummerbund but it gives space for shirt studs, bibs pleats and so on.

The Leather waistcoat: This waistcoat is a very stylish evening gear and great for travel.

The waistcoats can be customized in various different ways. You can choose the collars (notch, peak lapel, shawl or ford), necklines, button placements, front opening (Single Breasted or Double Breasted) and so on, according to your choice. You can further customize your collar by choosing contrast fabrics and prints.



Browse through a wide range of fabrics like wool, cotton, linen, blends, and silk, in different colours and you can get a Made-to-Measure waistcoat made for yourself. We’d suggest starting with the Tailorman selection of fabrics. If you’re apprehensive about what works best for you, book an appointment with our Traveling Tailor team and they’ll help you find the right colour, style and design from the comfort of your home/ office or at one of our guide stores, while also getting you fitted for an impeccably tailored look. To book an appointment with our team email us at care@blog.tailorman.com or call us on 1800 3000 1575.

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