We Dare You to Wear a Sweater Vest

We Dare You
to Wear a Sweater Vest

A smart, stylish and sexy layering solution

Best men's sweater vests in 2021

I held off for as long as I could. Maybe I've got trust issues, but as the sweater vest crawled towards a comeback for the past few seasons, I didn't really quite believe it. Perhaps it was just too tied to my youth in the '90s. In fact, somewhere out there, one of my senior portraits shows me leaning casually against a tree in a knit sweater vest over a T-shirt.

But now there's no denying it. The sweater vest is officially back and bolder than ever. They still look handsome layered over a causal cotton button-down, but they're anything but preppy. And while we're still enjoying warm days, feel free to pull it over a T-shirt like we did back in the day. Hell, ballsy guys are now sporting a vest without a shirt entirely—but proceed with caution on that one.

No matter how you choose to wear it, the sweater vest really is an ideal layering piece. It provides warmth without overheating you—a vest makes for an easy slip-on, slip-off garment that allows you to adjust to the fluctuating temperatures. You'll never appreciate a sleeveless knit more than when you pull on a jacket or winter coat and realize you can still comfortably move your arms.

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Men's sweater vest
Men's sweater vest

Plus, a bold knit vest gives whatever you're wearing an instant shot of intrigue and texture. No wonder it's become a go-to piece for everyone from Tyler, the Creator and Harry Styles to Ryan Gosling and Evan Mock.

Because these are not the sweater vests of golf-obsessed Floridian retirees or the mild-mannered science teacher. They're not the highly-flammable novelty “ugly holiday sweaters” either. But it's in these contradictory stereotypes that the real allure of the sweater vest lies. It's a tad precious, but looks clever and cool when it's worn casually—just a touch oversized and perfectly slouchy.

Thanks to the surge in popularity, there are now more options than ever. You can go for bright colors or bold patterns if you want your vest to shout. You can opt for more subtle and textural vests, knit from mohair and cashmere. The choice of styles is yours, but the decision to get one should be clear. We're vest men now, okay?

After all, we've all been through a lot over the past year or so. I'm happy to get back out there and start having a little fun with my clothes again. And a sweater vest, in all its retro swagger and ease of use, is exactly how I'm going to start. To help you kick start your own vest revival, I've pulled a few of the ones I'm currently considering.

The Best Men’s
Sweater Vests in 2021

MHL. Wool Slipover Vest

Wool slipover vest,
$197 by MHL.

Zara Knit V-Neck Vest

Knit V-neck vest,
$49.90 by Zara

Stoffa U-Neck Cashmere Vest

U-neck cashmere vest,
$475 by Stòffa

American Trench Waffle Knit Sweater Vest

Waffle knit sweater vest,
$175 by American Trench

H&M Relaxed Knit Vest

Relaxed knit vest,
$24.99 by H&M

Saturdays NYC Dip-Dyed Mohair Vest

Dip-dyed mohair vest,
$245 by Saturdays NYC

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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