Knitted vests: how to wear the retro knitwear style for winter

Posted by for Fashion

This retro knitwear style can be a tricky one to get right – these are the best ones to shop and ways to style them. 

What are your initial thoughts when you read the words ‘knitted vest’? Is it the v-neck version you’ll most likely find in the depths of the menswear section at Marks and Spencer? Or, do you automatically associate it with Chandler Bing’s go-to outfit for the majority of the first few seasons of Friends? Either way, we can imagine it doesn’t usually rank high up on the wish list. Until now, that is. 

Designers such as Dior and Prada sent the knit sweater vest down the a/w 2020 runway worn over shirts and a tie in true preppy fashion. Like with most micro trends, the high street is quick to cotton on and follow suit. Now, go-to high street brands such as Cos, Arket and Zara all have versions of the sleeveless knitwear style, as do the cult Scandi brands including Samsøe and Samsøe and Baum und Pferdgarten. The retro style has made a comeback and there are so many ways to wear them this season.

Aya wearing knit vest and striped shirt
Aya wearing knit vest and striped shirt

Fashion influencer Aya tries out the vest and shirt combo as seen on the catwalks with a classic beige style over a timeless striped shirt. Proving it’s the ideal separate to use as a layering tool this season, this is an easy way to look effortless for autumn.

The style set are also looking to statement styles to wear on their own just like influencer Michelle (above) and are wearing a knit style to replace the backwards racer vest top which ruled summer. We’ve found this exact style for you to shop below, along with our pick of some of our other favourite knit vests.

Whether you go for a tighter fitting or oversized style, high neck or v-neck, or choose to wear it on its own or layered – this is the knit to try out this season, trust us. Shop the best styles now. 

Shop best knit vests

  • Cos V-neck vest

    Cos vest
    Best knit vests: Cos

    This collared version from Cos is the perfect addition to your knitwear collection. Add it over a roll neck knit with wide leg trousers and white trainers for a fail-safe winter look that’ll see you through the entire season. 

    Shop Cos wool v-neck vest, £59

  • Monki vest

    Monki vest
    Best knit vests: Monki

    The universally flattering v-neck style with side splits in XXS-XL is a go-to if you want to ease yourself into the trend. Wear this classic black version over a white T-shirt with mom jeans and trainers. 

    Shop pullover knit vest at Monki, £25

  • Baum und Pferdgarten Fair Isle vest

    Baum Und Pferdgarten
    Best knit vests: Baum Und Pferdgarten

    Spotted on our Instagram feeds, this is the vest that’s already making waves amongst the fashion influencers. Imagine it in winter, layered over a roll neck with straight leg jeans and stomper boots. 

    Shop Baum und Pferdgarten Coleen Faroe vest at The Corner, £109

  • Vila vest with collar

    vila vest
    Best knit vests: Vila

    The oversized collar is a mini trend of its own – add this to the knit vest and you basically get a two-for-one buy. This khaki colour will look so good with dusty pink and tan shades so choose your accessories wisely.

    Shop Vila knitted vest with oversized collar at Asos, £28

  • Samsøe & Samsøe cream vest

    Samsøe & Samsøe knit vest
    Best knit vests: Samsøe & Samsøe

    Basically a roll neck knit without the sleeves, this 100% wool style from Scandi brand Samsøe & Samsøe will become one of your wardrobe staples this season. Style with a white shirt underneath, leather trousers and chunky Chelsea boots. 

    Shop Samsøe & Samsøe Amary high-neck wool vest at Atterley, £110

  • London Cashmere Co. vest

    London Cashmere Co.
    Best knit vests: London Cashmere Co.

    Investing in cashmere knitwear is always a good idea if you want them to last. This simple knit also comes in cream, navy and grey but we’re big fans of this blue shade to brighten up dull winter days. 

    Shop Piper vest at London Cashmere Co, £79

  • Zara ruffle vest

    Zara knit vest
    Best knit vests: Zara

    To take the simple knit up a notch, look to Zara’s contrast stitch, ruffle number. Try adding this one over all your printed midi dresses and add fail-safe ankle boots. You can also get a similar style in a mustard shade, too. 

    Shop Zara knit vest with ruffles, £29.99

  • Arket knitted vest

    Arket vest
    Best knit vests: Arket

    On paper a grey knitted vest may not sound that appealing but in reality it can be a winner. Team it with leather trousers, heeled boots and add it over a printed long sleeve top for a splash of colour. 

    Shop alpaca blend vest at Arket, £59

  • Retro Rhapsody striped vest

    Retro Rhapsody vest
    Best knit vests: Retro Rhapsody

    The perfect place to find these retro knits is online vintage stores at the likes of Etsy, Ebay and Depop. This striped version will be a go to with high-waist trousers, a square buckle belt and brogues for an alternative work outfit. 

    Shop Retro Rhapsody vintage 90s striped vest. £69.22 at Etsy

  • Aligne cream vest

    Aligne knit vest
    Best knit vests: Aligne

    We love a new sustainable brand and Aligne is a winner. Launching this summer, its knitwear is high up on the autumn wish list – just take a look at this sleek vest that’s made from 65% recycled yarn. We’ve already spotted influencers wearing this key style on Instagram. 

    Shop Adele sleeveless knit tank at Aligne, £75

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Opening image: Getty

All other images: courtesy of brands

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