As every gentleman knows, a high-quality waistcoat can turn a good suit into a great suit. You may believe that decorative waistcoats are only for special occasions, but nothing could be further from the truth. A beautiful waistcoat can improve even an everyday outfit. However, before you don a waistcoat, you have to decide whether it should be plain or patterned and what colour it should be.
It can be tempting to shy away from patterned waistcoats if you believe that you have to choose one that exactly matches the pattern of your suit, but this is not necessarily the case. In reality, a plain suit can be paired with a waistcoat that features any pattern. You only have to worry about ensuring that your waistcoat’s pattern matches your suit if your suit features pinstripes, plaid or another pronounced design. In fact, a waistcoat that features an elaborate pattern can often underscore the simple elegance of an otherwise plain suit.
In contrast, plain waistcoats tend to have a more subtle effect; they effectively complement any suit regardless of its pattern. They don’t draw the eye, but they do give your outfit an indefinable sense of quiet ‘completeness’.
It is also vitally important to ensure that your waistcoat is the right colour to work well with the rest of your suit. If you intend to wear a plain waistcoat, you can be somewhat flexible in your choice of colour, you can select any hue that adequately complements the colour of your blazer and trousers. In fact, choosing a waistcoat that isn’t exactly the same colour as the rest of the suit can help invigorate an outfit, as it provides an element of contrast. However, if your waistcoat features a pattern, it is highly advisable to make sure the colour of the garment matches the rest of your suit as closely as possible. The pattern on the waistcoat is already a strong statement, making it a different colour would be overkill and may cause it to clash with the rest of your ensemble.
Bespoke tailoring can help you create the perfect waistcoat to complement your suit. However, it is ultimately up to you to decide on the item’s colour and pattern. We hope that the guidelines we’ve provided here help with that decision.