Suiting Up

For decades, the waistcoat has been a staple piece in every man’s life at some point. The weddings, work, special occasions, it is a custom in most men’s lives to own a suit or at least to rent one at some point and with this, comes the waistcoat.

Until recently, waistcoats have been seen as stuffy and boring, more seen on the sets of Downton Abbey and Mansfield Park than the virtual catwalk that would be our streets. However, something changed all that and now you can’t move in a menswear shop without seeing a waistcoat.

They are an elusive piece of clothing; they can sit on the hanger in the back of your wardrobe for years without being touched and then dragged out once in a blue moon to wear to a family function. Nowadays, men have a choice; it can be worn over a T-shirt, a casual shirt, even as a vest if you’re feeling a bit Jersey-Shore about it.

More and more men are wearing waistcoats as a fashion item rather than the forgotten third wheel of a three-piece suit. In Ireland, it’s less of a phenomenon and men prefer the simple t-shirt/shirt and jeans combo. But out here in Budapest, men are more dangerous with their choices, mixing a tie with a t-shirt or a hat with a waistcoat in a look that can range from the more formal Paul Smithdesigns to the casual Topman.

It’s a look that suits both men and women, made to be androgynous but can be moulded to suit any shape. You can use a waistcoat to express your personality, whether it be plain black or grey or a bright shade of paisley. All I know is, the power of the waistcoat is here and whatever your opinions on it are, ladies and gentlemen, it is here to stay.


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