How to Style a Brown Vest

Though netural brown pairs well with many colors, you can also go monochromatic.
... Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Whether a classic menswear cut that could have come from your grandpa's closet or a furry twist on the original, a brown vest can pull together dressy, preppy and casual looks. Keep the lines of your vest clean and the fit flattering, opting for slim cuts that accent your body instead of adding bulk. Work with jeans, dresses and traditional suits to find a look uniquely yours.

1 Dressed to a V

Workwear that transitions seamlessly to nighttime becomes extra-sharp when you remember the vest under the blazer. But just because you're looking at a brown vest doesn't mean your suit jacket and pants have to match it. Add a brown vest to a black suit for a bit more visual interest, particularly when you ditch the jacket and accent with or without a silk tie. Gals can create a unique twist on this theme by using the vest as a camisole, if it's not too low-cut. Pair the brown vest with a navy suit or add it as a darker contrast piece to an ivory suit.

2 Hipster Spin

Take one piece out of the three-piece suit to add a hip edge to an otherwise casual outfit. Guys want to start with both a well-tailored vest and cotton button-down shirt; you don't want either piece to be baggy. Add a pair of dark jeans and a leather belt, which should meet the bottom edge of the vest. You can add a tie, even in a casual fabric like a cotton knit, and knot it loosely underneath an unbuttoned collar. Woman can borrow from the boys and add a menswear vest to dark skinny jeans and an untucked, fitted button-down, making sure the vest is tailored so that it nips the waist instead of hanging relaxed and loose. Add a structured leather bag and slender high heels as the final feminine details.

3 Luscious Leather

The vest goes far beyond a satin-backed suit piece, as any cowboy or motorcyclist might tell you. Give a leather or suede vest a city spin by adding one over a maxi dress or over a tunic and leggings. If you're working with some Western-style fringe, make the vest the centerpiece of your look with well-worn jeans and a white T-shirt. If you've got moto-style leather, soften the look with a cream-colored sweater and tailored trousers or dark jeans. Guys can work a leather vest in much the same way as a dressy one, with jeans, a button-down shirt and optional askance tie.

4 Furry Fashion

One of the coziest ways to don a brown vest is to pick one in plush faux fur. The beauty of this touchable piece is its versatility, not to mention its cuddly warmth. Layer the fur vest with casual pieces, such as jeans and a white sweater or long-sleeved tee for a snow bunny look with snug shearling boots. Belt it with a ribbon tie over slim black pants and a sleek long-sleeved top for a cool office look. Add it as a layer on an especially cold day between a jacket and sweater, taking care to not pick pieces that are too bulky.