How to Style a Sweater Vest: 11 Simple Designs and Tips

The sweater vest trend is here to stay and it’s time to learn how to style these versatile pieces. Sweater vests are a great way to add variety and texture to an outfit while still keeping warm.

Below you will find designer-inspired looks that will teach you how to style a sweater vest.

At the end of the article, we will discuss tips for styling sweater vests for different occasions. Whether you prefer classic styles or modern designs, there is something for everyone.

How to create outfits with monochrome sweater vests?

Oversized sweater vest with leather culottes

In this outfit, we combined an oversized cream sweater vest with brown leather culottes (here you can find more outfit ideas with brown leather pants.) To provide visual balance, we chose a small beige shoulder bag with dark brown details.

Solid pants leather goes harmoniously with a chunky cable knit sweater vest, and the handbag has a small pattern.

Slides or loafers would be an ideal choice for shoes.

  1. Gucci: Ophidia Leather-Trimmed Coated-Canvas Beige Shoulder Bag
  2. Mr. Mittens: Cable-Knit Cream Wool Vest
  3. Frame: Brown Leather Culottes

Cream-colored outfit

For the summer outfit, we chose cream-colored clothes and matched them with brown sunglasses. A sweater vest and linen pants decorated with lace create the bohemian effect.

Neutral-colored skis or clogs and a straw hat would be perfect for the outfit.

  1. Jacques Marie Mage: All These Nights Cat-Eye Brown Acetate Sunglasses
  2. Mr. Mittens: Cable-Knit Cream Wool Vest
  3. Zimmermann: Tiggy Belted Cropped Lace-Trimmed Linen Wide-Leg Ivory Pants

Professional look

We have created a professional look with a white shirt, high-waisted wide-leg dark gray pants, and an extra layer of warmth provided by a sweater vest. Observe how these three base colors complement each other.

We created visual interest by using three basic colors and combining smooth fabrics with cable knit.

For a classic look, consider pairing a smooth leather handbag in timeless black or burgundy with beige pumps that feature an elegant heel.

  1. Rag & Bone: Elizabeth Cropped Cable-Knit Wool Cotton and Alpaca-Blend Tan Vest
  2. Alaïa: Cotton-Poplin White Shirt
  3. Officine Générale: New Sophie Pleated Gray Wool Wide-Leg Pants

Beige and burgundy

To showcase another formal look, we have selected a timeless burgundy leather midi skirt with a white shirt and tan sweater vest.

In terms of accessories, we recommend a silk scarf and a metallic watch, as the metallic color creates an aesthetic contrast with the burgundy.

  1. Rag & Bone: Elizabeth Cropped Cable-Knit Wool Cotton and Alpaca-Blend Tan Vest
  2. Alaïa: Cotton-Poplin White Shirt
  3. Cefinn: Tiana Burgundy Leather Midi Skirt

Monochrome and checkered

We have created an outfit example that shows how to combine a sweater vest with a blazer. The vest has a straight cut, so we chose flared pants of the same color to create the first dimension. To add visual interest to the monochrome look, we chose a white and black checkered blazer that accentuates the waist.

When choosing accessories, you should always think about the color and texture of the fabric (plain or patterned). In this case, the outfit is light and greenish. Since the blazer is checkered, we would recommend a smooth leather handbag – both darker brown and burgundy shades will work.

Flared pants go well with mules or slides and in this case, we would recommend choosing off-white shades.

  1. Versace: Checked Wool-Blend Tweed Black and White Blazer
  2. Arch4: Margot Light Green Cashmere Vest
  3. Akris: Faralda Crepe Light Green Flared Pants (Similar)

Sweater vest with shorts

To create a summer outfit, we chose a combination of a light green knitted vest and white high-waisted shorts and matched it with a small shoulder bag at least a few tones darker.

Elevate your look with a pair of dark brown shades, and choose some light-colored sandals or clogs for the finishing touch.

  1. Gucci: Ophidia Leather-Trimmed Coated-Canvas Beige Shoulder Bag
  2. Arch4: Margot Light Green Cashmere Vest
  3. Rune Arodaky: Dua Scalloped Broderie Anglaise-Trimmed White Shorts

How to style patterned sweater vests?

The patterned vest is the centerpiece of your outfit, so choose lighter monochrome clothing and accessories to create a cohesive look.

Bright-colored vest for a professional look

We wanted to show how you can create an outfit for a professional environment with a brightly colored patterned sweater vest. We created the first layer from a white shirt and a knitted light green midi skirt. To add an extra dimension to your look, we chose an orange sweater vest with green accents.

For a timeless look, choose an elegant beige handbag and matching pumps.

  1. Wales Bonner: Orchestre Stripped Jacquard-Knit Orange Vest
  2. Alaïa: Cotton-Poplin White Shirt
  3. Vince: Ribbed Wool and Yak-Blend Light Green Midi Skirt

Summer style with an orange sweater vest

For this outfit more suitable for the warm season, we chose to combine several different shades of orange – a dark orange sweater vest and a shoulder bag a few tones lighter. Since the vest has dark shades of green – the handbag or shoes would be suitable in the same light green shade. We created the base with flared trousers.

To complete the look, slides or mules would be an ideal choice of footwear.

  1. Saint Laurent: Le 5 à 7 Tan Leather Shoulder Bag
  2. Wales Bonner: Orchestre Stripped Jacquard-Knit Orange Vest
  3. Safiyaa: Alexa Stretch-Crepe Ivory Flared Pants

Rhombus patterned vest with a cardigan

In this outfit, we wanted to demonstrate how to combine a sweater vest with a cardigan. We chose a repeating light blue motif to create a visual balance and added white high-waisted wide-leg pants as a base.

  1. &Daughter: Shea Merino Wool and Cashmere-Blend Light Blue Cardigan
  2. Purdey: Argyle Brown Cashmere Vest
  3. Valentino: Silk-Crepe Wide-Leg White Pants (Similar)

Vibrant sweater vest with whites

This look is based on a bright orange sweater vest with an interesting abstract print. To emphasize the dynamics of this look, we chose to pair it with white high-waisted wide-leg trousers and a white blazer.

For accessories – all the colors from the vest would add volume to the outfit. Complete your

The colors seen in the vest could be subtly replicated in your accessories. However, the main focus should remain on the sweater vest. For example, choose a white handbag and attach a silk scarf in one of the colors seen on the vest.

Shoes, for example, loafers, should also be in neutral colors.

  1. Brioni: Barathea Satin-Trimmed Off-White Wool Blazer
  2. The Elder Statesman: Vista Striped Multi-Colored Cashmere Vest
  3. Valentino: Silk-Crepe Wide-Leg White Pants (Similar)

Preppy look

In this outfit, we created a preppy look reminiscent of ’90s fashion (here you can find ’90s outfit ideas). We chose a white shirt with a mini pencil skirt decorated with gold buttons and matched it with a bright green patterned sweater vest.

The shoes could be pumps or a more comfortable option – white sneakers.

  1. Lingua Franca: Cashmere-Jacquard Green Vest
  2. Alaïa: Cotton-Poplin White Shirt
  3. Balmain: Button-Embellished Metallic Cotton-Blend White Tweed Mini Skirt

How to style sweater vests for different occasions?

Sweater vests can be a great addition to any wardrobe; not only do they keep you warm, but layering them creates an interesting look. Now, let’s delve into the details of sweater vests for a more comprehensive understanding – from hues and prints to size selection. Additionally, we will explore how you can harmonize your vest with other clothing and accessories in your wardrobe.

To create a more formal and classic style, choose a monochrome sweater vest. A white shirt is both professional and stylish, particularly when paired with a sleek V-neck vest that highlights the collar of the shirt. Opt for high-waisted and wide-leg or choose a midi skirt. Another option is to choose a cotton shirt dress suitable for the work environment and match it with a sweater vest. Here you can learn more about creating a business casual capsule wardrobe.

If you chose a sweater vest with a pattern (and especially if it is dominated by bright colors) – it should become the main focus of your outfit. This means that the rest of your outfit should be monochrome. Straight-cut vests look great with flared pants and chunky shoes. Wear a cardigan or blazer on top.

Due to the size, both a slightly fitted vest and a slightly larger one will look good on the shirt. A cropped sweater vest looks great with a high-waisted pencil skirt and a white shirt if you want to recreate the preppy style. Another option is to choose high-waist flared trousers or jeans. Oversized vests are a fabulous trend and they should be paired with fitted pants and chunkier shoes to create a visual balance.

Knitted vests are also perfect for the summer season. They look great with high-waisted shorts. Don’t forget the classic summer look of a cotton dress and a knitted vest. Choose knits with cotton or less density to avoid getting too hot.

Knitted vests are also a summer wardrobe staple. Pair them with high-waisted shorts to create an effortless, stylish look, or go for the classic combination of a cotton dress and your favorite knitted vest.

For a summer style, try matching knitted vests with high-waisted shorts. Alternatively, layer your look by wearing a cotton dress over the vest. Remember this though: select lightweight knits from breathable fabrics to ensure you remain cool.


In this article, we learned how to style a sweater dress with different outfit ideas and tips.

In conclusion, sweater vests are versatile garments that can be styled for any occasion. When choosing a vest, think about the occasions and outfits that you can create with the clothes you already have. Select vests in solid hues for more outfit versatility, and remember to have two statement pieces in your wardrobe – one plain, one patterned – to maximize your outfit options.

Featured image by Mikhail Nilov.

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