Sweater vests: the sweaty sister to muscle tees


photo by Bethany Barker

Chay’s Closet is a recurring column where Staff Reporter Chanson Cadet shares her thoughts on the most recent trends in fashion.

This past summer’s fashion was less than ideal. People were confined to their homes and the bar for what was acceptable to wear was lowered. Most people wore the same set of pajamas for days at a time, but the worst of the worst wore muscle tees in place of regular shirts. These monsters should have been stopped when the weather became too cool to excuse the horrible fashion choice but instead, they adapted to make a warmer version and worst trend of 2020: sweater vests.

Sweater vests were at their peak popularity back in the ‘90s, and frankly they should have stayed there. They are exactly as they sound, a knitwear sweater with the sleeves cut off. 

Typically, when thinking about who would wear a sweater vest, professors, Englishmen and kids named Ronald come to mind. For the past year, menswear has been exceedingly popular, which was reflected in the blazer trend of fall 2019. However, pairing menswear with the thrifting phenomenon has led to people reviving this long-dead clothing item.

While it is true that celebrities like Harry Styles, Bella Hadid, and Emma Chamberlin are wearing the novelty piece, it does not look good. Celebrity influence over fashion is bearable to a point until the celebrities themselves look bad in what they wear. Sweater vests will just never be cool. 

The only plus side to sweater vests is that they are pretty easy to find and relatively cheap at either the thrift store or in your dad’s closet. Thrifting itself is a great way to expand your closet ethically and on a budget, but at its core, they are called thrift stores for a reason: a place where you discard your unwanted items.

This trend would not be as bad if people were buying sweater vests that fit them. The way sweaters are made, they already have an added bulk that other apparel lacks. Vo matter the person’s body shape,wearing a too loose or tight vest looks awkward. Either the armholes are cutting off your circulation or it looks like you needed extra space to air out your sweaty pits.

The most popular print of sweater vest is Argyle, a diamond pattern made up of various colors on a plain background, because of the academic aesthetic that is associated with it. However, for those that love the print, they make regular sweaters featuring the pattern year-round. There is no need to spend over $50 on a thrifted argyle sweater vest from Depop that just looks like an extra bulky muscle tee. The world is already distraught enough without the added terror of sweater vests.

Scan this code to view a Pinterest board showcasing sweater vest don’ts.