For the A/W season, vest is best
As the seasons slowly change, choosing what to wear can become a chore.
Low temperatures in the mornings give way to bright and warm afternoons but evenings turn chilly again. It's the season for layering and this season's must-have layering item? A knitted vest.
Knitted vests can be layered on top of T-shirts, shirts and dresses, and not only provide warmth but also a way to express one’s individuality. Layering one over a short-sleeved shirt offers a casual look while adding a collared shirt underneath fits into the classic preppy style. Layering a knitted vest over a simple dress offers a unique look.
In the 1990s, knitted vests were popular with college students, but as the retro trend continues to dominate Korea these days, the layering pieces are emerging as a trendy fashion item among millennials and Gen Z-ers.
Popular celebrities are also getting in on the trend, as evident on their social media accounts. Singer IU wore a vintage knitted vest embroidered with diamond patterns when she appeared on the recent episode of “IU’s Homebody signal” uploaded on Edam Entertainment’s official YouTube channel, while girl group members Rose of Blackpink and Jung Eun-ji of Apink each presented two different styles of layering a knitted vest on top of a white shirt, either by matching it with a skirt or a pair of jeans on their Instagram accounts.
Major fashion houses including Dior, Prada, and Lacoste showed knitted vests in their Fashion Week 2020 collections.
Dior offered a feminine look by layering them over organza blouses, while Prada presented a vibrant look by layering a patterned knitted vest on top of a patterned shirt. Lacoste presented a cozy styling with a fluffy, oversized knitted vest.
A representative online fashion mall popular among young generations, Musinsa, said the number of vests sold during the month from Aug. 23 to Sept. 24 increased by 41 percent compared to the same period last year.
While vests with simple designs had always been steady sellers, more recently it's been vests with unique patterns and bright colors that have been gaining popularity. And in a nod to the crop top trend that was popular over the summer months, cropped vests are also proving to be a hit.
"In this year’s collection we have a wider color variation of knitted vests — from achromatic colors to brown, navy, purple and pink," Huh Eun-kyung, director of casual fashion brand Hazzys, said. "In terms of size, oversized vests are expected to be more popular than more tight-fitting ones."
A fashion industry insider said the popularity of vintage knitted vests also correlates to the retro trend that is ongoing in the fashion industry.
“Vintage-styled knitted vests and hand-knitted vests are especially loved amid the ongoing retro boom," Jung Sae-rom, a manager at the online fashion mall 29CM, said.
But styling a knitted vest requires some fashion sense because certain styling can be unflattering.
For those who have slim frames, choose a thick, twisted or patterned knitted vest — otherwise a thin vest with a simple design is more flattering. It’s also important to match what you're wearing on the bottom accordingly. The cropped vest goes well with high-waist pants as it accentuates the legs and makes them appear longer and slimmer. For vests with various colors and patterns, it is recommended to match the bottom with a simpler design.
BY YOO JI-YOEN [firstname.lastname@example.org]