Difference Between Vest and Waistcoat (With Table)

There are a variety of garments that are worn on different formal and informal occasions. A suit is such a garment that can be worn on a formal occasion as well as on an informal occasion. The suite consists of a vest or a waistcoat. The vest or waistcoat are often confused with one another.

Vest vs Waistcoat

The difference between a vest and a waistcoat is that a vest is worn on informal occasions and is usually worn with something underneath it but can be worn without anything. The types of vests are robe, cover, crop shirt, singlet, waistcoat, etc. Whereas a waistcoat is without any sleeve and it forms the third piece of a formal business suit generally worn by men, it is worn with a shirt underneath and a jacket over it.

The vest is an informal sleeveless and collarless garment worn with or without anything underneath. A vest may refer to informal garments such as a robe, cover, crop shirt, etc or it may refer to a formal piece of garments such as a waistcoat. 

The waistcoat is a formal and informal sleeveless and collarless garment worn over a shirt and underneath a jacket. It forms an important part of the formal business suits of men.

Comparison Table Between Vest and Waistcoat  

Parameter of ComparisonVestWaistcoat
What it refers to  The vest is a word of American English that is used to refer to a sleeveless and collarless garment worn over a shirt but under a jacket.The waistcoat is a word of British English that is used to refer to a sleeveless and collarless garment worn over a shirt but under a jacket.
What are theyThe vest may have various meanings across the world, it may be a crop shirt, waistcoat, singlet, robe, cover, etc.A waistcoat is a sleeveless garment that is part of the formal attire of men worn on the upper body.
When and how to wearA vest is an informal garment that may either be worn with or without anything underneath.A waistcoat is a typeof formal garment and is worn with a shirt and a jacket, it serves as a third part of the formal business suits worn by men.
Types 1) Puffer vest
2) Gym vest
3) Suit vest
4) Fleece vest
5) Gilet vest
6) Travel vest
7) tuxedo vest
1) Classic waistcoat
2) The Donegal tweed waistcoat
3) Windowpane waistcoat
4) Notch lapel waistcoat
5) Peak lapel waistcoat
6) Double-breasted waistcoat
7) Shawl collar waistcoat
8) Low cut formal waistcoat
Benefits of wearingOne of the benefits of wearing a vest is that it is a versatile piece of cloth that can be styled in many different ways or can be worn with different casual outfits. Many types of vests cost less than a waistcoat.Wearing a waistcoat completes the formal look of the suit. It could be worn on different occasions such as job interviews, meetings, graduations, weddings, etc. It also serves the purpose during winters. They are easy to put on and off.

What is Vest?

The word vest came from ‘Veste’ of the French language that refers to a sport coat or jacket. Some believe that the word came from the Italian word ‘Vesta’ that refers to a robe or gown. A vest is a sleeveless and collarless garment used to cover the upper part of the body. It may refer to the robe, cover, crop shirt, singlet, etc.

The vest is usually worn either with a shirt underneath it and can also be worn without anything. The vest is only informal wear and is worn accordingly. Vests are designed by keeping the materials and formats in mind, some types of vests are gym vest, suit vest, travel vest, fleece vest, etc.

The best thing about the vest is that it is a versatile piece of cloth and thus can be styled in many ways, also it could be worn with different casual outfits. Vests are less costly as compared to the waistcoat.

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What is Waistcoat?

The waistcoat is also a sleeveless and collarless garment used to cover the upper part of the body. The waistcoat is always worn over a shirt and under a jacket. Waistcoats serve both formal and informal purposes.

Waistcoats are designed keeping in mind the purpose of wearing them. Some of the types of waistcoats are the classic waistcoat, the Donegal tweed waistcoat, the double-breasted waistcoat, the notch lapel waistcoat, the peak lapel waistcoat, etc.

Wearing a waistcoat completes the formal business and interview looks. It also keeps a person warm during winters.

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Main Differences Between Vest and Waistcoat

  1. Vest and waistcoat both are sleeveless and collarless garments worn on the upper body.
  2. A vest can be worn with or without anything underneath but a waistcoat is always worn over a shirt and under a jacket.
  3. A vest is an informal garment and is worn only on informal or casual occasions, on the other hand, a waistcoat is both a formal and informal garment that can be worn on both formal and informal occasions.
  4. The waistcoat is an important part of the formal business suits whereas the vest is only informal.
  5. A vest is designed keeping the clothing material, design and format in mind, on the other hand, a waistcoat is designed keeping in mind the formal occasions that it is worn on.
  6. The benefit of wearing the vest is that it is a versatile garment and can be styled in different ways whereas wearing the waistcoat completes the formal look of a person.
  7. Some of the types of vests are puffer best, gym vest, suit vest, fleece vest, etc and some types of waistcoats are classic waistcoat, double-breasted waistcoat, shawl collar waistcoat, low cut formal waistcoat, etc.

Conclusion

Vest and waistcoat both can serve as formal and informal wear, however, the waistcoat is more of a formal garment. Both are sleeveless and collarless upper-body garments. The vest can be more stylized than the waistcoat. Both are easy to put on and off.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/750857
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/174329508×290497

Last update on 2021-04-11 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API