The Slimming Effect of a Waistcoat

I am a fan of the waistcoat. It adds a certain level of interest to an ensemble. Whether it is a three piece suit (not to be confused with a three pice suite. It’s easily done….), a contrasting waistcoat, or indeed a knitted one for those colder days, waistcoats routinely add some interest and class to an ensemble.

Ideally a waistcoat should be worn with a jacket rather than on its own. With a jacket you look cool. Without a jacket you run the risk of looking like a waiter.  Thrown in a gun, however, and you look like a secret agent….  Well I guess not that ‘secret’ if your gun is a big as Bond’s below.


During winter the waistcoat allows for some additional layering which helps keeps you warm and looks great. They can also be a means of introducing some colour into your wardrobe, or of linking a non matching jacket and trouser combination.

For example, a waistcoat in burgundy looks great with a charcoal suit or a tan tweed jacket. Waistcoats can be had in single or double breasted styles.

20131211-220319.jpgHowever, there is an additional upside to the humble waistcoat. It has a slimming effect. That the waistcoat covers the stomach means that for those of us men who are beginning to succumb to middle aged spread, a waistcoat discreetly conceals our widening girth at the midriff. Now let’s be clear, a waistcoat is not an alternative to regular exercise and a healthy diet. A waistcoat does not not compete with the gym. And there will be some of us for whom not even the most flattering waistcoat will disguise our gut. If that’s you, then a new year’s resolution might be in order….. Gym memberships are cheaper in January.

Nonetheless, for many, the simple act of putting on a well tailored waistcoat will be to create a slimming effect. However, a warning. This does not apply to knitted waistcoats. Knitted waistcoats often have the opposite effect. They often gather around the waist giving the impression that they cover a growing spare tyre around the waist, even when there isn’t one. So if you do have a spare tyre around the waist this will be even more accentuated by a knitted waistcoat.

20131211-220312.jpgSo if you like waistcoats but have a bit of a beer belly, you might want to put your knitted waistcoats into deep storage until your time in the gym working on your sit ups and crunches begins to kick in.  In the mean time try a great tweed one like the chap above. For an even more streamlined look avoid wearing a belt with your waistcoat. Either make sure your trousers are adjusted so you don’t need a belt, or use braces.

I met a man recently who has been trying to institute a tradition called Waistcoat Wednesdays.  The clue is in the title.  So if you are a little nervous about taking the waistcoat plunge, why not try it on a Wednesday…..?

What do you think?

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