6 Ways to Style Your Thrifted Sweater Vest

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"Not sure how to style a sweater vest? Check out these simple tips using the clothes and accessories you already have!"

Growing up, most of us couldn’t stand the itchy sweater vests our parents gave us to wear for picture day. Today, we have a new appreciation for those now-vintage sweater vests: They’re trendy, cute, and go with everything in our closet.

While keeping up with fast fashion trends isn’t the most sustainable way to cultivate your wardrobe, you can still get your hands on a trendy sweater vest. How? Thrift it! Shopping for secondhand clothes is both budget-friendly and eco-friendly. From online thrift stores to your local Goodwill, you’re bound to find an old-school sweater vest that needs a new home.

Once you find your new favorite sweater vest, you’ll need to know what to pair it with. If you want to learn how to style a sweater vest like a pro, check out these fashionable ideas.

How to Style a Sweater Vest: 6 Must-Try Looks

1. Pair It With a Dress

how to style a sweater vest
PHOTO: Instagram/@kitkeenan

Whether you’re looking to dress up your cropped sweater vest or keep it casual, you can’t go wrong with layering it over a dress! You can wear sweater vests with a mini-dress, or layer them over maxi dresses. Either way, your sweater vest will liven up an old outfit.

2. Layer It Over a Blouse

how to style a sweater vest
PHOTO: LADY IN VIOLET

If your sweater vest has a pop of color, try layering it over a sheer white blouse. This look is both chic and professional, and it can be worn to the office, out to brunch, or to run errands. Try a blouse that has ruffles or wide sleeves for some added flair.

3. Pair It With a Skirt

Photo: Instagram/@lifeincurve

Skirts pair with sweater vests as flawlessly as dresses. Grab a flowy skirt for a dressed-up look, or a cute denim skirt for a casual look. Either way, a sweater vest is the perfect addition to your outfit.

4. Add a Pop of Color

how to style a sweater vest
PHOTO: Instagram/@NNENNAECHEM

Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your sweater vest ensemble. Whether your vest comes in a bright color or a loud print, you can pair it with subdued tones. Or if your vest is solid and neutral, pair it with a bright blouse or accessories that have a fun print. The options are endless!

5. Wear It As a Dress

how to style a sweater vest
PHOTO: AFFORDABLE BY AMANDA

If you found your dream sweater vest at a thrift store but it’s the wrong size, there’s a solution: wear it as a dress instead of over one. You can still layer it with a blouse or even a t-shirt for a more casual look. Pair it with some boots and your go-to bag.

6. Mix & Match

Photo: Instagram/@babba

Sweater vests are super easy to mix and match. You can layer them over almost any top you like, from turtlenecks to t-shirts. And you can even wear them with any bottoms of your choice!

If you’re not a fan of skirts or dresses, and if you’re looking for a warmer look, try pairing your sweater vest with your favorite sustainable jeans. You can choose flare jeans, wide-legged bottoms, or even colorful jeggings—the ball is in your court.

You can also tie in some of our previous tips. For example, try a sweater vest layered over a blouse with flare pants that have a funky print! You’re bound to find an ensemble you’ll want to wear on the regular.


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Not sure how to style a sweater vest? Check out these simple tips using the clothes and accessories you already have!

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