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Fashion

You Should Start Wearing Vests and Here’s Why

From Harry Styles to Matilda Djerf, vests are definitely making a comeback, whether covered in glittering cherries and metallic fabric for the stage or layered over a white t-shirt for a business-casual look. Tailored vests are a fun and classy way to update your fall wardrobe. 

The iconic piece previously designated for business occasions is quickly becoming a street style, “it girl” staple. While they can be layered over different tops, the most powerful use of vests is on their own with trousers, jeans, or a mini skirt. 

In the late 18th century, vests, called waistcoats at the time, were worn by women in rebellion against the French government. The 1920s brought another wave of this revolt, especially among queer women. The garment still stands as a symbol of defiance against gender norms in the fashion industry. 

I was influenced to invest in my first vest by Grace Brinkly, a TikToker from Boise, Idaho who sells thrifted clothing and creates videos featuring her pieces. She made a video styling a vest made out of material I can only describe as similar to a grandmother’s couch, but it was absolutely perfect layered over a casual tank or t-shirt with small gold necklaces. I was immediately sold. 

My black DKNY vest came out of an overwhelmingly packed closet at an estate sale in Golden, Colorado. It had small rips in the fabric, but nothing I couldn’t fix with my sewing kit. It was a sustainable and versatile purchase that will remain in my closet for years to come. 

My favorite way to style my vest is over a white cropped shirt with my green thrifted Alice and Olivia pants, an oversized gold heart locket, and black Doc Martens. This look makes me feel powerful in a way that other clothing hasn’t before. It’s like I can feel the feminism radiating through my outfit and onto the streets of Boston. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true.

I recommend that everyone find a staple vest to add to their own wardrobe. Thrifting is always the best way to go because there are already so many amazing pieces out there without contributing to the fast fashion industry. Plus, vintage clothing, while sometimes more expensive, lasts much longer. So start sifting through your local thrift store and find the feminist vest of your dreams.

Maddie Browning is a journalism major with environmental studies and publishing minors at Emerson College. She has written for other campus publications, including Your Magazine and Atlas Magazine, as well as Colorado Community Media.
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