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Sweater vests to consider for the season: An A to Z guide

Sweater vests to consider for the season: An A to Z guide

A complete guide

Text: Heather Gwyther


Since 2021 doesn't currently seem like it's going to be your year, you might as well allow it to be someone — or something — else's. We vote for sweater vests. Until relatively recently, they were the underdogs of knitwear. If they were worn, it was generally under a comedic guise: pub golf, dressing up as an octogenarian, sheer irony. Well, you know what follows irony? A certified trend. So here we are with an A-Z of sweater vests:

A is for armpits. Whether a sweater vest allows the wind to reach your armpits like air into a conch shell, or makes them sweat profusely, one thing is certain: you will gain an increased consciousness of them.

B is for baggy. This may be one of the accompanying adjectives you have in mind when searching for your ideal sweater vest. Baggy ones leave more room for, well, everything.

C is for challenge — as in the Gucci Model Challenge. This is yet another fad that TikTok is responsible for, but at least it gives you an excuse to don a sweater vest (and every other item of clothing in your wardrobe).

D is for Diana — as in Diana, Princess of Wales (not Diana, your mum's mate from work). If the latest season of The Crown is anything to go by, there was no piece of knitwear on earth that Diana didn't embrace wholeheartedly - including sweater vests.

E is for embellishment. If you're seeking a sweater vest with embellishment, may we suggest a cashmere one - accentuated by a string of pearls - from Miu Miu?

F is for fitted. While some people want their sweater vests to be baggy, others prefer them fitted. These may well be referred to as 'sleeveless tops', but that's another matter.

G is for geriatric. The demographic most commonly associated with sweater vests - until now.

H is for hand-me-down. In the interest of being viewed as someone who lives sustainably, this is what you pretend your sweater vest is.

I is for isle — as in Fair Isle. A common iteration of sweater vest, along with 'argyle' and 'V-neck'.

J is for joy. This explanation writes itself.

K is for knitwear. The family to which sweater vests belong - in a Prodigal Son way, we guess.

L is for layering. If you are ever solicited for 'styling tips' with regards to sweater vests, this is all you need to say.

M is for merino. An excellent wool for a sweater vest - and all other pieces of knitwear for that matter.

N is for new. So you want a new sweater vest? We thought you had already inherited one? We see. Well, yes, the world is abound with new sweater vests - thankfully.

O is for of course. Of course you now want a sweater vest.

P is for polo neck. We know we spoke about 'layering' earlier, but we didn't specify exactly what you should layer sweater vests with. Polo necks are one suggestion.

Q is for questions. Can I pull off a sweater vest? Will I be too hot in a sweater vest? Will I be too cold in a sweater vest? What if I get laughed at? We don't know.

R is for rose. By this we mean the rose on Meryll Rogge's intarsia sweater vest and that rose only.

S is for sleeves — or the notable absence of them. On occasion, this can make you more concerned with your chosen base layer than the sweater vest itself.

T is for trend. Indeed, just like the chunky cardigan with a frothy collar that came before it.

U is for U-turn. Not in a Boris Johnson fashion, more that you had sworn against sweater vests and now find yourself scouring the internet for the perfect one.

V is for vest. Simply another term for a sweater vest. But we shan't be using it!

W is for warmth. Something we hope a sweater vest will provide you with, whilst still enabling you to flail your arms about for no reason whatsoever.

X is for xerophthalmia. Extreme dryness of the conjunctiva, often resulting from a deficiency in vitamin A. We thought we had it, then realised we had just been spending too long on the internet looking at sweater vests.

Y is for yearning. For what, though? That's a secret we'll never tell.

Z is for Zoom. You know what we're going to say next.

This article was first published in Buro. London.

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