Achieving a proper suit vest fit is like reaching the ultimate level of elegance.
Indeed, the vest is functional, makes you look well-put together, and helps avoid drawbacks like a muffin top and tummy fat.
But none of this will hold true if the vest has a poor fit.
The suit vest type, how it flatters your body, and the rapport with other items all influence how it fits.
Correlate these together, and you’ll look a hundred on the dapper scale.
How to Fit the Suit Vest Front
The idea behind the vest’s front fit is that it should shape the body.
A good vest shape means broad from the shoulders and gradually tapering towards the waist.
The vest collar should be snug against the shirt with no gap.
Also, suit vest shoulders must correspond to your shoulder type.
There are no sleeves, so the armholes can go higher than the jacket. But don’t go overboard here, as excessively high armholes can be very uncomfortable.
The vest must stay close to the body without any fabric pinching.
The button should also close evenly without any apparent strain.
How to Fit the Suit Vest Back
To properly fit the vest’s back, focus on comfort but don’t wear it loose.
The back of the vest should be flat against your shirt’s shoulders. The armholes and the fabric over your lats should be snug too.
Usually, there is an adjustable buckle or cinch on the vest’s back. It’s practical, but only for minor adjustments.
When tightened, it keeps the vest snug against your torso. Thus, plan to leave half to one inch of breathing room for your body.
If the back still feels baggy, you can’t rely on the buckle anymore; instead, get it altered.
How Double-Breasted Vests Should Fit
A double-breasted vest is more formal than its single-breasted counterpart.
It adds an extra layer of depth, focusing attention on the center and away from the shoulders.
Generally, double-breasted vests fit the same as single-breasted ones. However, there are a few areas of particular emphasis.
Double-breasted vests often have lapels. Hence, more chances of the waistcoat’s collar riding up or having a gap with the dress shirt.
In addition, the midsection of the double-breasted vest should be significantly trimmed. However, there should be no pulling of fabric, and buttons must never feel tight.
At the same time, don’t go with too much space in the chest area, as the vest will feel boxy.
Lastly, it varies how you style the lower hem of the double-breasted vest.
I suggest a straight hem as it looks perpetual and elegant, although a pointed hem works as well.
Components of a Well-Fitting Suit Vest
Only a well-fitting vest can “partake” in a suit.
For most standard three-piece suits, a V-shaped vest is a great choice.
You can’t tolerate wrinkles on the vest, which will eventually impact the jacket’s appearance.
Complement the look with high-waisted pants to ace the three-piece suit.
Proper Suit Vest Length
Many retailers label short waistcoats as a fashion-forward look. As a result, gents get the length wrong.
A proper vest length covers the waistline of your pants and goes an inch below it.
Your pants must be at the natural waist. Otherwise, it will create a disparity between the two, and the dress shirt will poke underneath.
Some men go overboard with vest length to accommodate for low-rise pants.
But this looks disproportionate and harms the sleekness that suit vests add to the outfit.
The back length of the vest is also crucial. It’s shorter than the front length and has a straight lower border.
You don’t have to do anything extra for the double-breasted vest length.
Proper Suit Vest Torso Fit
Unlike the jacket, the suit vest is closer to the body and feels snug. Plus, there are no sleeves; hence it’s essentially the torso with no movement restriction.
For a good torso fit, the narrower the cut is, the better it will look. But don’t go to the extent that wrinkles and button pulling start appearing.
I recommend one-and-a-half inches of breathing space between that dress shirt and vest.
You can measure it by sliding two fingers into the midsection of the vest.
Lastly, go with slightly more allowance in the midsection if you struggle to prevent a muffin top or belly fat.
Suit Vest Shoulders Lie Flat Against Your Body
A good-fitting vest’s shoulders create a masculine frame that makes your upper body look broad.
For this, the shoulder must lie flat against the body.
The vest shoulder starts from the neck hole or collar, which should be resting on the dress shirt’s collar.
At the same time, the shoulders must end right at your shoulder line.
If the vest shoulder feels distorted, it’s probably because the neck hole lies away from the shirt’s collar, creating a malformed shoulder silhouette.
Things to Consider When Wearing a Suit Vest
If the vest fits properly but is not carried well, it would give the impression of trying hard. Therefore, styling is as important as the fit itself.
In styling the vest, there are some fixed rules. In comparison, others are guidelines that refine these rules.
We are in the age of casual style, and wearing a suit vest is a very dressed-up approach. Therefore, style etiquette is sloped to be more tolerable.
An example would be wearing suspenders with a suit vest.
In classic menswear, suspenders were inevitable with a vest. But now, dress belts are also acceptable.
The Suit Vest Should be Visible Under the Suit Jacket
The vest should be slightly visible under the suit jacket.
With the jacket’s top button closed, two to three inches of visibility is a must. There are many reasons to do it.
The first and most obvious is to showcase you’re wearing a properly-fitted three-piece suit.
Another will be to add visual depth by creating an immaculate structured suit.
When wearing a three-piece suit, you should aim for a narrow V and a high stance on the chest.
The elongated V-neckline should be high enough for the suit vest to be visible underneath the suit jacket.
For a double-breasted vest, a high neckline will be good.
But it’s best to leave the suit jacket unbuttoned to give more exposure to the vest.
Should You Fasten the Bottom Button?
Generally, not fastening the bottom button on the suit vest causes the body to shape better.
It’s not a hard rule to abide by, but it’s good to follow.
Also, leaving the bottom button unfastened is about tradition and respecting menswear. It holds true for both single and double-breasted vests.
The only exception will be the white and black-tie tuxedo vests with high-positioned buttons.
There, you can fasten all the buttons to look appropriately formal.
The Suit Has to Fit Properly
As the suit jacket covers the vest, it’s understandable that these two will impact each other.
So, whenever you wear a three-piece suit, you should focus on achieving a perfect fit in certain areas.
The first one is the shoulders. Make sure they don’t bulge or sag and have room to accommodate suit vests.
Secondly, the mid-section of the suit jacket is significant relative to the vest. A three-piece suit will not look trimmed if there is no appropriate space in the chest area.
Plus, the pants’ waistband position is vital. The vest should fully cover your belt line.
In other words, pants should sit right at your natural waistline, so the vest looks appropriate and symmetrical.
The Same Applies to the Dress Shirt’s Fit
A vest is a tight garment; thus, any excess fabric in the dress shirt will fold and make you feel uncomfortable.
A proper dress shirt length is crucial when wearing it with a vest.
Also, highlight the dress shirt collar and armholes when layering a vest. The properly fit collar will help keep the vest shoulder flat against the body.
At the same time, a dress shirt should have high armholes. It will avoid fabric bunching due to the vest’s close torso fit.
Thus, I suggest a good-quality slim-fit dress shirt with a vest.