Waistcoats have fast become a fashion staple for women this summer. Forever a key player in suiting and once synonymous with Kate Moss's boho 00s style, they're been rising in popularity and are now the epitome of quiet luxury.
Paired with cool wide-leg trousers or sleek midi skirts - as seen on celebrities and the street style set - they create effortless ensembles that give the illusion you just threw something on while actually looking very chic. The perfect middle ground between a tank or crop top and warmer winter pieces, they're ideal for layering as we move into autumn, making them the most worthy sartorial investment you can make right now.
We spoke to London-based fashion stylist Holly Coopey about her thoughts on waistcoats having a style moment for autumn: "Waistcoats are a great transitional piece for layering," she said. "I love when masculine tailoring gives an androgynous look for my clients. What's more, the waistcoat can totally transform the simple jeans and tee look with a directional twist. The waistcoat also works over a printed midi dress for the ultimate 70s vibe."
Looking for a waistcoat to add to your fashion repetoire? We've found the best pieces available now, from M&S to Arket and Reformation to & Other Stories.
Celebrity women wearing waistcoats
Jennifer Lawrence nailed transitional dressing in her waistcoat and wide-leg trousers while out in New York City recently. The 33-year-old actress chose contrasting silhouettes and hues, completing the look with square lens sunglasses, a Loewe tote bag and slides.
Queen of the high street Frankie Bridge went for a cropped style as she left the Apollo theatre in London last month. The West End star paired her fitted black New Look waistcoat with matching wide-leg trousers from Stradivarius.
Always ahead of the game, Kendall Jenner wore this ensemble in LA in summer 2021. We love a neutral-toned waistcoat paired with black trousers for a look that will take you through autumn and beyond.
How we chose the best waistcoats
- New-in: Where possible we've included the new-in pieces from our favourite fashion brands. Check back for updates as the autumn/winter collections start to drop online.
- Colour: All of the waistcoats in this edit are in black, white or neutral shades so they can be styled with everything and slot seamlessly into your capsule wardrobe.
- Price: We've chosen pieces to suit a range of budgets from New Look's waistcoat at £29.99 to more luxury pieces around £200.
The best waistcoats for women to shop now
How to style a women's waistcoat
- If you've read our styling notes above, you'll know it's all about keeping the humble waistcoat from looking too office-mode. Granted, if you're looking to wear your waistcoat to work, that's fine, but you don't want to look like you're competing on The Apprentice. Pair yours with wide-leg trousers or a slip skirt, and most importantly? Channel your inner Kendall Jenner and wear it with confidence. Stylist Holly shared: "If you're looking for an easy way to lean into the suiting trend gently, wear on its own for a chic deconstructed tux look."
- When you wear a waistcoat in the daytime add a pair of white trainers to help keep the look casual. Keep your hair looking fuss-free - there's a time and a place for a bouncy blow-dry, but this isn't one of them. In fact, wearing your waistcoat with natural makeup and a slicked back bun is also a vibe we've seen on the cool girls of Instagram.
- For a nighttime look, make it sexy. Think glossy skin, a chic bag (no office-style totes) and a pair of barely-there heels. Channel your inner Parisian.