Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I love wearing vests as part of my Business Smart-Casual dress code. It's carries a clean, professional effect without being a full suit. Vests can be worn comfortably throughout all seasons with a t-shirt, turtleneck, or oxford - skirt or pant - denim or poly-blend. Versatile layering at it's best. I don't think it's a look for everyone, but definitely worth considering if you work in a corporate setting.

Who came up with this vest idea anyway? When I think about it, it's a rather odd item.

Insert here: I clear my throat, put on teacher specs, flip over a chalk board and point with the pointer-stick-thingy to....

King Charles II. Who made a Royal Proclamation on October 7, 1666 introducing the vest... waistcoat... whatever. I'm going to call it a vest. Apparently, King Chucky was sick and tired of the extravagant French style infiltrating his kingdom, so he threw a royally political fit and started donning the simple vest. And the peasants rejoiced.

Back then, it had a few of the same attributes of today's vest: simple design, fit close to the body...And that's about where the similarities end, because...

It had sleeves. And was made to be longer than the coat worn over it. Then sometime in the 1700's, some brilliant individual decided to lose the sleeves and crop it to waist length. By then it also came in single and double-breasted styles. And the peasants rejoiced.

Enter King Edward VII who reigned from 1901-1910. Rumor has it that dear King Eddie was a bit pudgy, so to be comfortable he left the bottom button of his vest unbuttoned. Taking this as a fashion statement, his subjects began doing the same. To this day, many men's vest, suit, and sport coat bottom buttons are not designed to be buttoned. I personally tend to let the bottom 2 buttons go so there is no bunching when I sit. Hail King Eddie.

This concludes lecture 1.1 on the History of Vests. More than you ever cared to know, I'm sure.

Shirt: Dots - $10
Vest: H & M - $25
Pants: Gap - $9
Belt: J. Crew - $13
Shoes: Chinese Laundry via DSW - $20


Christina Lee said...

LOVE it Jillie!

steve said...

Huzzah! (Peasant rejoicing)

Sal said...

Wow, a little history lesson - and a darling vest to go with it!

Girly Muse said...

SO very cute!!! I adore those shoes. The vest is really great too. OK, it's all great.


Boutique Girl said...

Cute look! It is great to see you on here!