Lambswool classic women's waistcoat

6 Ways to Wear a Waistcoat.

The humble waistcoat as versatile as it is simple. The waistcoat has a long history firstly as a men’s formal piece and then as a statement piece for women’s fashion. Who can forget those iconic Kate Moss looks of 2005. Since then, the waistcoat has been somewhat absent from mainstream fashion. But in 2020 the celebrity and high fashion worlds returned to this timeless piece from Victoria Beckham to the catwalk the waistcoat is making waves once again.

At Julian Road we have always had a deep passion for waistcoats, and they have never been out of our collection. But as we finally return to the world outside of our houses, we all need some fresh style inspiration so here is our top 6 ways to style a waistcoat.

I genuinely believe a waistcoat can elevate almost any outfit, use them to dress up a more causal outfit with a bit of structure or use dress them down with a more relaxed outfit pairing. The best part is they are far easier to dress out then a jacket and make for the ideal added layer when you do not want a whole coat or jacket.

As women we are often seeking that ‘’ideal’’ hourglass figure, the waistcoat is the perfect solution to this problem, they are wonderfully flattering as they frame the body and show off the narrowest part of your body – the waist.

  1. The Attitude Statement


Wear the waistcoat as a statement piece on its own as a top – confidence and attitude will emanate from you. Pair with wide leg trousers for a daring but modern look. Channel your inner Victoria Beckham.


Any of our current collection would work well with this look but the Annie waistcoat is my top tip and currently available in Sage or Cornflower.



  2. The Kate Moss


This style is iconic for a reason, so go for it! Throw a waistcoat over a t-shirt or tank top, and pair with jeans. Bonus if you pop a light scarf around your neck to hang loosely. This outfit is casual and cool perfect for late spring and early summer – think shopping trips and girls’ days out.


Our Annie waistcoat is the ideal choice for this look with its traditional and simple cut it shows off the easy and confident style of the Kate Moss look.



 3. The Contemporary Classic


This might just be my favourite way to wear a waistcoat. Choose a solid colour silk shirt, pair with trousers, and pop your choice of waistcoat over the top. This look is simply timeless and works well in both city and countryside settings. Ideal for the workplace or ladies’ lunches.


This look is particularly impactful when using a longer more formal waistcoat style such as the India. Giving you the structure of a more formal piece, which offsets the soft flow of a silk shirt.


4. The Relaxed Weekend


I think now more than ever we are all desperate to get back out at the weekends, either spending time with friends or going to events. This outfit is the perfect relaxed weekend look, take your choice of waistcoat and pair with your favourite jeans and a floral blouse. This look will work from spring through to late summer and offers you a flexible layer outfit – ideal for when the English weather does its thing.


Both the Nehru and the India waistcoats make a perfect choice for this look as the longer cut will add structure to the outfit without making it overly formal.



 5. The Spring Dress Look


I love a long loose-fitting dress – perfect for when I want to look good but don’t want to put too much effort into an outfit. Pair your favourite loose dress with a waistcoat for the perfect spring attire. Easy to throw on and low effort – but no one will know that when you look so fabulous.


The Annie is the ideal choice for this look from our current range, but soon we will have the return of the Farlow and that would be another fantastic waistcoat for this look.


6. Classic Annie Hall


The named our Annie waistcoat for this very movie. This style is sophisticated and modern despite the 70’s movie reference. Take a traditional cut waistcoat – such as our Annie or Farlow cuts – pair with a white button-down shirt and suit style trousers. This style is modern and offers a very androgynous feel ideal for the professional women of 2021.


The classic style calls for our Annie waistcoat, but you can also make this style your own by choosing one of our less traditional cuts such as the India or Nehru



I hope you are feeling inspired now to try out all these styles with your waistcoats. Whatever the style you choose the key is to make sure your waistcoat of choice is well-fitted at the waist. And, definitely, no gaping at the armhole.

We are always happy to offer advice on choosing the right waistcoat for you so please do not hesitate to ask for style tips.