Trendzilla

The man vest is difficult to master

Everything is annoying.

I'm not sure if it's just me (it probably is), but I find everyone—uh, everything—to be thoroughly maddening these days, usually for no reason whatsoever. That lady who's taking too long to cross the street when I'm trying to make a left. The way the dust collects in the notches etched into my coffee-table legs. How my once-trusty 3-year-old Powerbook shuts down on me in the middle of documents. Pantyhose runs. The fact that the Asian girl posing like an arched seal in shiny, plum-colored tights staring at me right now from an American Apparel ad looks like my brother with a fucking wig on.

Even clothing is annoying. Right now is one of those pesky, in-between transitional seasons, where you feel weird purchasing a cotton jersey dress when a tornado warning was just issued in your coastal neighborhood. But at the same time, you know you shouldn't be purchasing wool coats, either.

Know what else is annoying?

Overaccessorizing. And you guys do it, too.

You're a hipster. You have a certain devil-may-care image to maintain. Cool. I respect that.

But take a look in the mirror. You've got on a vest, a fedora, a shemagh draped around your neck, ball-clenchingly tight jeans and a plunging-V-neck American Apparel tee that shows off your hairy man cleavage.

Take it easy, dude. You're trendy; we get it. But peel off four or five of those items before heading out, lest you wish to look like an Urban Outfitters drone—a year after the emergence of the actual trend.

Similar to the man cardigan, the man vest is something many find difficult to master. It's a very stylish item, and best of all, it's an age-encompassing style. Older men may opt to pair them with their favorite blazer, or even throw on a knit vest over a pinstriped, collared Polo tee. Young dudes often go astray when they pair theirs with fat, Windsor-knotted ties—you're a grown man, and you'retaking tips from Pete Wentz and Justin Timberlake?

Your best bet is the classic, versatile black vest: team it with matching trousers, a skinny tie and a well-tailored dress shirt to emphasize the sophistication. Want to dress things down? Jeans and a casual button-up shirt, or even a flannel. Getting warm? Push the sleeves up to your elbows.

This guy has the right idea, deciding on a dressier take on the vest—pairing his button-up over a fitted, plain, white dress shirt and finishing it off with a simple, loosely knotted, black skinny tie.

Vests are seen as trendy items, so keep everything else minimal, just like he has—no jewelry, other than maybe a watch.

While it was difficult to find a decent vest in stores just four years ago, cheapo shops such as Zara and Forever 21 have stepped up their men's collections with vests o' plenty for less than $75. Thrift stores are bursting with patterned vests these days, as well, which may just be your best bet if you don't want to risk wearing the same tweed vests as all those other guys at the Peter Bjorn and John show.

 
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