Our Tartan Invaded Trends blog post series aims to bring Tartan to the forefront of fashion, illustrating how subtly including hints of tartan in your outfit can be as on trend as the latest fashion trends themselves! This week we discuss The Waistcoat. We are big fans of the Waistcoat and delighted to see this stylish garment making a bit of a revival with the younger generation as well as the sophisticated gentleman. Whether this is due to the "retro-charity shop" trend, our desire to mix casual and formal (t-shirt with a tailored waistcoat), to avoid wearing a restrictive jacket by replacing it with a really well fitting waistcoat over an expensive shirt, or any other reason we are delighted to give you the opportunity to choose the style that suits you best.

As with every trend, there are ways of wearing your waistcoat so ignore these top tips at your peril ...and end up looking like a dodgy waiter or like you have escaped from Downton Abbey.

mens-waistcoats Fit is king

Tailoring was invented to make you look better, to hide the bits of your physique you aren't so keen on and this is why the fit of your waistcoat is important. This is also why we sell tape measures on our website and if you speak to us really nicely we will probably send you one for free. That metal one you use to check the height of the skirting boards just isn't going to work. Mass production will give you a standard fit and excess fabric where you don't need it (spoiling that streamlined look) so if you can afford it we really recommend taking your measurements, telling us if you have a long back, big tummy or narrow shoulders or any other special features and we will make your waistcoat to fit you and no-one else. Nice high armholes and a snug fit around the shoulders and chest will give you that slim, long torso you have been dreaming of. We offer a slim fit or standard fit depending how modern you want to go. Remember this is a "waist" coat and this garment should reach your waistband or belt with no shirt sticking out.

Waistcoat StyleFabric is second in line to the king

Good fabric will transform the look of your waistcoat and a high quality wool tartan or plain fabric or a textured tweed give you David Beckham debonair style rather than a waiter in the local Italian look. Heritage style is so on trend and these fabrics are the ones that look expensive and tailored, even if you team them with a pair of dark-wash jeans.

Mens Waistcoat StyleWear it well

  • Do what your mum says and do the buttons up. There is no point having a beautifully tailored waistcoat and not showing off the cut by leaving the buttons undone. Tradition actually dictates that you can leave the bottom one undone so will allow this, but no more than this!
  • Choose your trousers and/or jacket carefully. Co-ordinate or contrast but choose your fabrics and style carefully. Flat fronted trousers will accentuate the slim look. If you have bigger shoulders then trousers with a single pleat and turn-ups will balance your shape.
  • Wear a nice shirt. We feel we are past the t-shirt and waistcoat fashion, but some can still pull this off with style. Just be careful with the quality and fit of that t-shirt! Back to shirts choose one with a good fit so it lies smoothly and doesn't spoil the shape of your waistcoat. Be brave and don't just go for plain colours, choose a few different patterns and colours and your waistcoat will look quite different depending how you style it. If you are a little nervous take your waistcoat to a good shirt shop, explain what you want and they will help you choose!
  • Avoid the temptation for glitz. If you have had a really lovely waistcoat made please don't spoil it with brightly colour pocket hankies and pocket watches. Keep it simple and let the fabric and style speak for themselves. Mens Tartan Waistcoats
So what do you think? Are waistcoats a vital part of your wardrobe? Do you own lots in various styles or do you have one you love and wear with everything? Tell us your secrets and share your photos.