WITH THE SUIT PANTS
A three-piece suit is a wise investment. Wear it all together, wear the blazer with jeans, wear the pants with a shirt and sweater - easy right? But what do you do with the vest???
The vest and matching pants stand on their own with a boldly patterned shirt for a night on the town. Replace the blazer with a leather jacket to increase the cool factor.
Accessories help signal that this isn't an office outfit - funky bracelets, a thin dress belt, and thinner-soled dress shoes keep with the program.
And a pop of color in the socks never hurts.
Charcoal suit vest, pants, belt by J Crew. Black/white plaid shirt by Michael Kors. Red socks by Nordstrom (similar). Black perforated cap toe lace-ups by Bally. Black leather "Y" bracelet by Yves Saint Laurent. Multicolor bracelet by Luis Morais. Eyeglass frames by Marchon.
JEANS AND A CHECKED JACKET
Using the vest as a layer in a smart casual outfit adds that additional touch of sartorial interest.
Blue and grey are classic colors in menswear, and play major roles in my wardrobe. And by layering textures and patterns, they're anything but boring. The blue on blue on brown check of the jacket plays off the charcoal vest. The texture of the chambray "tuxedo" shirt provides a matte backdrop for the blue silk dot tie, and the pindot pocket square adds some fun.
I've had these shoes for years and they just get better with wear - they are the most comfortable dress shoes I own. Yes, they weren't cheap, but take care of your shoes and they'll last a long long time.
Blue/brown checked blazer by Peter Millar. Charcoal suit vest, navy silk tie, belt by J Crew. Chambray "tuxedo" shirt by Lands' End Canvas. Light blue dot pocket square by Peckham Rye. Jeans by Levi's. Socks by Duchamp. Lace-ups by John Varvatos. Braided leather bracelet by Orvis (similar). Eyeglass frames by Tom Ford.
UNDER A CARDIGAN
A vest is an unexpected layer under a cardigan, and dresses up a casual outfit.
The blue/green plaid shirt stands out against the grey on grey of the vest and cardigan, while the jeans provide yet another texture in a grey-ish hue.
I usually turn up the cuffs on my jeans just a little bit - for a few reasons: I don't like as much break as they have without it, I don't really want to hem them in case they shrink a bit after repeated washings, and it shows off my socks as I walk. Or maybe it's just about the socks.....
Charcoal shawl collar cardigan, charcoal suit vest by J Crew. Blue/green plaid shirt, belt by Lands' End Canvas. Jeans by Gap. Argyle socks by Banana Republic. Camel lace-ups by Kurt Geiger. Sunglasses by Oliver Peoples.