Here's How to Wear a Waistcoat in 2020 Without Looking Like a Waiter

I think Kate Moss has ruined me when it comes to black waistcoats. How could anyone make it look as chic as her? Kate's signature style used to be as simple as throwing one over the top of a T-shirt and denim shorts and maybe tying a scarf around her neck. Sometimes, for extra sassiness, she'd just wear the waistcoat buttoned up with nothing underneath.

Honestly, I could spend hours just looking at Pinterest compilations of her dedication to the garment. Many of us mere mortals, however, didn't quite manage to make it look so cool. Family members and friends alike would ask if you were planning on playing snooker later or whether it was part of a fancy dress costume.

But to those people who poured scorn on the early '00s trend, it's back and genuinely better than ever. While it might be deemed an "ugly" trend in that it's not an easy look to carry off, it's already won me over. This time, however, it's easier than ever to wear.


(Image credit: Getty)

Kate Moss wearing a waistcoat in 2006.

This year's take on the trend is similar to Kate Moss's classic look. Throw one over a shirt or a loose-fitting dress for an ideal ensemble for spring. Or if you prefer a more tailored look, wear it with a matching suit à la Who What Wear shopping editor Joy Montgomery. You can even wear it with a pair of trousers that clash with the colour of the waistcoat. What I'm saying is that anything pretty much goes. Just wear it with confidence. 

And if you need more inspiration, you can even look to other A-listers for their styling. Last year, Olivia Palermo wore a waistcoat suit with a shirt underneath, as did Diane Kruger. Alexa Chung, ever the early adopter, had worn a waistcoat-and-trouser set back in 2015, and Victoria Beckham also proved she was a lover of this matchy-matchy look back in 2016.

Ready to see the trend and how to wear it right now? Keep scrolling and then shop the edit of the best waistcoats around right now. 


Street Style Looks
(Image credit: Style Stalker)

Style Notes: Have a favourite summer dress? Simply wear an oversize waistcoat over the top. 


(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

Style Notes: For preppy styling, wear over a buttoned-up shirt. Add a miniskirt to keep the whole outfit fun. 


(Image credit: Style Stalker )

Style Notes: Layering a waistcoat over a shirt and skirt looks super chic. 


(Image credit: @jen_wonders)

Style Notes: Mismatching your waistcoat with a pair of tailored trousers looks so much better than it sounds. 


(Image credit: @joy_monty

Style Notes: Long live the three-piece suit. 


On the A-List
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Style Notes: The outfit that prompted me to start hunting down a similar outfit. The brown shirt, boots and belt are what really bring this look to life. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Style Notes: Opt for a bold colour and pair with heels. Try Zara for a similar outfit. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Style Notes: While Alexa ditched the blouse, there's no reason you couldn't go with this ensemble for an evening look.


(Image credit: Getty)

Style Notes: VB wore this look in 2016, but it still looks chic now. To make it feel more 2020, opt for slightly wider trousers. 

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Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know. 

Elinor Block