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17 Perfectly Elegant Waistcoats

Cut a sartorial dash in one of these strikingly beautiful waistcoats. Suave, sophisticated and the pinnacle of quintessentially British style.

Who is the most accomplished waistcoat wearer of them all? The answer to that question depends, we suspect, on your cultural references. For some, there is and will always be an argument for King Charles II who, in many ways, deserves the accolade for having pioneered the style in the 17th-century. But far more recently, waistcoats were fashion news once again thanks to a certain Gareth Southgate, whose style – both sartorial and in sportsman-like manner – refreshed our memories as to how elegant this often-overlooked garment can be.

But truly, our hearts must belong to Kate Moss as the ultimate waistcoat wearer. Cast your minds back to circa 2004 when Ms Moss wore them everywhere, always with ripped denim shorts and wellies or skinny jeans, accessorised to perfection with a compulsory and equally skinny scarf. Cue, then, festival goers everywhere adopting the look as their own. What made it so great? The fact that Kate Moss was able to – as only Kate Moss can – completely change the way we view the waistcoat, taking it out of the context of formality and transposing it to crowded fields where, by the end of the night, it would invariably end up covered in mud and warm beer.

And now it’s back. However you choose to wear yours – we’ll be donning ours with corduroy skirts and billowing blouses, cottagecore-style – these are our hottest waistcoat picks.

By Nancy Alsop
January 2021

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H&M

Faux Fur Gilet, £29.99

Burberry

Shirt Detail Crystal Pinstriped Wool Blend Waistcoat, £1,490

Dries Van Noten

Viner Velvet-Trimmed Satin Waistcoat, NOW £372

Sandro

Anthey Checked Wool-Blen Waistcoat, £122.50

The House of Bruar

Ladies Lamora Rib Waistcoat, £79.95

Cos

Zip-Up Puffer Vest, £59

Ganni

Melange Suiting Waitcoat, NOW £227

Gucci

Houndstooth Wool And Cotton-Blend Vest, £870

The Norfolk Carrier Company

Women’s Wool Waistcoat, £154

The White Company

Tuxedo, NOW £44

Bella Freud

Chrissie Cotton-Corduroy Waistcoat, £325

Zara

Oversize Knit Waistcoat, £27.99

Racil

Nadia Pinstriped Wool-Blend Waistcoat, £485

Cabbages & Roses

Dandy Waistcoat in Brown Corduroy, £245

Zara

Waistcoat With Belt, NOW £29.99

Celine

Afghan Waistcoat In Embroidered Sheepskin, £3,950

Urban Outfitters

Archive Grey Pinstripe Waistcoat, £32

Nancy Alsop

Editor

Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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