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7 Ways To Style A Utility Vest

September 19, 2017


Erin Schrader

If there is one thing I have learned about fall and fall fashion, it is layers. Everybody loves layers and rightfully so. One minute it’s 54 degrees and the next it’s 77. It has to be the most indecisive season of all. Women and fall apparently have a lot in common.

If you’re anything like me, well for one I am sorry, but for two, you probably love utility vests just as much as the next basic girl. There’s just something about them that makes me feel so put together without trying too hard. The better part about utility vests is that you can pair them with virtually anything. No, but really, anything. T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, dresses, button up tops, sleeveless tops, IT DOESN’T MATTER – ANYTHING GOES IN VEST WORLD! Because these are such a hot ticket item, I thought it may be beneficial to give you some outfit ideas so you too can wear these on the regular.

I found this vest at Macy’s and was so happy with it, I bought it in two colors. Green because duh, who doesn’t love that color but also in the most delicious autumn leaf color for something different. It turns out both colors are equally as versatile so basically, I never have to wear anything else ever again. Macy’s has a ton of great options to pair under those vests at even better prices [especially right now with their VIP sale going on which means SO many items are 30% off with code VIP] so yeah, it’s one big win all around. Let’s jump in take a look at several different ways to style those utility vests..

1. With a gingham top. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Lucky Brand Checkered Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Vintage America Boho Skinny Jeans [similar, true to size] // similar booties // Vince Camuto Baily Saddle Crossbody

There is something so classic about this look. For this particular top, I love that you can mix it up with both black and brown tones. I did prefer the olive with the black/ivory color scheme as the rust could have made it look a little Halloween-ish. Simply roll the sleeves a couple times, throw on some booties and go! You could also easily dress this down with Converse if you’re headed out to a football game or somewhere a little more casual.

2. Style it with Chambray. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Style & Co Utility Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Lucky Brand Brooke Jeggings [true to size] // Lucky Brand Baley Perforated Chop Out Booties [true to size]

Who here doesn’t love chambray? Always a great basic piece to have in your wardrobe and it’s a great way to try out that denim on denim trend without getting too crazy. I love how the denim pairs with this rust vest and jeans. This is a great look for fall parties, trips to the pumpkin patch or you know, your local Starbucks for that beloved PSL.

3. With a sweatshirt. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Karen Scott Funnel-Neck Active Sweatshirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Lucky Brand Brooke Jeggings [true to size] // Chuck Taylor Shoreline Casual Sneakers [true to size]

I feel like this is the ultimate soccer mom outfit and I absolutely love it. Sometimes I want to be a soccer mom just so I can wear the cute outfits. This is such a comfortable take on how to wear a utility vest. While you could get away with many sweatshirts, I like how the funnel-neck on this one gives it a little more shape underneath the vest.

4. With a work appropriate dress. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Similar denim dress // similar booties

Who said you can’t rock the utility vest look at work?! All you need is a work appropriate dress [ie: long enough, isn’t showing all of your lady friends, etc] and throw that vest on over top and you’re set. If you are hesitant to wear a shirt dress because you feel that it doesn’t give you much shape, definitely try one under a utility vest. It’s amazing how the vest can give you a shape again. Tie it all together with a pair of booties and done!

5. Add a pop of plaid!American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Jessica Simpson Plaid Choker Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Lucky Brand Brooke Jeggings [true to size] // Lucky Brand Baley Perforated Chop Out Booties [true to size]

And, I think I just found my personal favorite utility vest look. Give me plaid all day long and I’m a happy camper. Give me plaid with a choker top and small little tie sleeve and I’m happier yet. Regardless of the style of plaid, it’s going to look good under that vest of yours. Here is another fun feminine plaid option!

6. With a classic swing dress. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Style & Co Short-Sleeve A-Line Dress [size down if in between, wearing in small but could have done XS] // similar booties

God bless the swing dress, amen? Every time I eat something I shouldn’t [which happens to be always] I am so thankful that this style of dress exists. These are the most comfortable and easy to hide lumps and bumps dresses on the planet! Again, sometimes they can feel a little shapeless but with a vest, not only does it provide some fit, it also keeps you a little warmer on those cooler summer days.

7. With a tee and scarf. American Rag Utility Vest [true to size, wearing in small] // Style & Co Striped Long-Sleeve T-Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Vintage America Boho Skinny Jeans [similar, true to size]// Steve Madden Twinkle Camo Wrap & Scarf in One // Chuck Taylor Shoreline Casual Sneakers // Nine West Canyon Tote

As fall progresses, the temps begin to fall and what was once a short sleeve tee turns into a long sleeve tee and what was once a bare neck turns into a neck wrapped in cute little scarves. This is the perfect day of shopping or running errands outfit and because of the utility vest can be as warm or as cool as you need it to be [just be sure to have a bag big enough to toss your extra layers into as you shed them!] Keep it comfy with casual tennis shoes and you’re ready to roll.

So there we have it vest friends – seven different ways to fulfill your vest loving desires. Remember to take advantage of the 30% off sale happening now at Macy’s with code VIP! Which look are you loving the most?

Shop today’s post easily below —

Disclosure: Thank you to Macy’s and ShopStyle for partnering on today’s post.

Photos shot by Raina Jo Photography

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  1. Mireille says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! Got an olive vest from Macy’s last year and these are definitely some combos I will try!

  2. Lauren says:

    OMG the grey striped shirt is only $10?! I am off to Macy’s!

  3. Kim says:

    What size were you in the J Crew downtown quilted field jacket from a few posts ago? I can’t figure out what size to get, and my build looks similar to yours. Thanks!

  4. Susan Jeffries says:

    Thanks for the tips! I never though to wear this vest with a dress!! I appreciate all of the great outfit ideas!

  5. jenna says:

    Great outfits! I need to rethink how I wear my vest!

  6. Tiffany H says:

    I bought an olive vest last year and have struggled with what to wear it with. Thanks for a great post! BTW, love these posts where you show how to wear one item a variety of ways.

  7. Stacey says:

    I love all of these looks. I am a huge fan of the utility vest. I just bought a camo one and can’t wait to pair it with so many different outfits.


  8. Beth Greene says:

    Jackets never go out of fashion. I have recently come across this site EvelynAndArthur.com/Discover-Newest-Planet-Clothing/ & am a fan! Their beautiful collection of planet jackets is awesome & suits all body sizes… I’ve bought them & so has my sister.

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