October 12, 2011

A Vest Obsession Is The Best Obsession...

That's what I always say!
Well, no. I don't say that...ever, but maybe I should start! 
[ source ]
The vest may be the most underrated hijabi fashion essential out there. I suppose there's some legitimacy as to why: the trends usually dictate that vests must be super-short, super-fitted, or simply too costume-y (think about cultural icons known for wearing vests: cowboys, motorcyclists, hippies...oh my)! Vests obviously don't get the best reputation this way. But, ladies, we really need to raise awareness of how awesome an ideal vest can be as part of anyone's outfit. Let me tell you exactly why vests are great must-have for a modest wardrobe:

1. An ideal vest adds structure to flowy and loose clothing. Structure helps tone down and organize an initially messy look; it takes you from drowning in fabric to tastefully layering fabrics.

2. An ideal vest also adds a touch of sophistication (or subtle attitude, depending on the vest) to everyday outfits. Similar to adding a carefully chosen accessory, an ideal vest can help upgrade a weekend-casual outfit to going-out-with-friends-casual (read: "I clearly don't care" to "Oh this? I put it together at the last minute ;D").

3. Even though vests are generally tailored to hug waists and emphasize curves, an ideal vest can actually work the other way to add modesty. It's an instant fix when worn over tops that are too fitted from the bust to the hips. It's ironic how so many long tops are actually quite fitted, but a well-chosen vest can allow you to have the best of both worlds by blocking out the curvaceous areas (assuming the top isn't fitted all over).

So now you know how vests can be a perfect addition to your wardrobe, and you want to go out and buy some, right? Contain your excitement a little longer, it'll be worth it. If you go out hunting for this ideal vest (trust me, it exists!) without any clue what to look for, you'll quickly become frustrated and give up. That's why you need to check out my guidelines below for choosing the best vest!
Opt for Longer Lengths; Avoid shorter
vests that create choppy illusions

A. Opt for longer vests. Anything that doesn't reach your waist can be a challenge unless you're wearing a structured top underneath. That being said, if it does reach your waist...avoid. Why? Because anything that lands around the hip area creates layering chaos and choppy, unflattering illusions on your body. Remember though, this is just a general rule of thumb. Make sure to try on new vests to check if they fit your unique body shape, in the right places.

B. Avoid overly-tailored vests. A tailored and contoured vest totally cancels out advantage #3 above and can actually turn an initially modest outfit into a shape-revealing, curve-enhancing mess. If you do happen to have a tailored vest on you, you'd be better off leaving it un-buttoned. That way, the side contours won't reveal your curves, which is more hijab-appropriate.

C. Seek subtle details; they allow for more outfit versatility. Definitely indulge in the occasional quirky print/detail, but if the rest of your wardrobe is already screaming with prints and bright colors, you might want to look for a vest that can help tone it down every once in a while :) [See advantage #2 above] Think of vests in context of the clothes you already wear to help strike the best balance.

D. DO NOT wear a jean vest with matching jeans...or vests of the same material as anything else you're wearing. Think of vests as an opportunity to contrast, not match. Look back at advantage #1, then reconsider floral and flowy with leather, suede, or other less "feminine" fabrics. Think about elegant satin on worn-in cotton, smooth silk on soft wool. Think vice versa.

Denim on Lace [ source ]; Leather on Print [ source ]; Fur on Floral [ source ]
A great vest won't be easy to find, but once you do find one, it'll be invaluable!
Below are some snapshots to help you identify a good inVESTment from a poor one:

This cloth vest doesn't reveal the wearer's curves.
The length of the vest also complements the dress's length.
Vests Done Right:
Completes a Modest Outfit [ source ]  Complements through Contrast [source ]  Adds Structure to Flow [ source ]

Do you already have an "ideal vest"? Send us a pic & tell us why it's perfect for you! What kind of outfits have your worn it with?

Update: Maybe finding the perfect vest isn't so hard, after all! Modern Mary has a lightweight cotton blend vest that's loosely-tailored for a modest fit and measures 34" of comfortable coverage! If that doesn't get you, then get this: It's also REVERSIBLE with pockets on both sides! Is this what it feels like to be in loveeee?! lol check it out:

I shall call you "Ideal Teal"; don't you think the name fits?
[ Get it Here ]


Laila said...

No I haven't one :( I shoul look for one now!! and thanks for the post so awesome!

wafa said...

Aw, thanks for reading Laila! ♥ 
I had 1..but it was one of those cropped jean vests...idk what I was thinking when I bought it haha...
Luckily I ran across a few "more ideal" vests and mashaAllah they seriously come to my rescue when I'm having clothes issues haha...

Seema S. said...

Yes, we love vests too! check out Modern Mary's reversible vest. http://www.modernmary.com/products/REVERSIBLE-HOODED-VEST.html

wafa said...

Goodness gracious, I am in LOVE with that vest!...this post needs update'n :D

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