The Sweater Vest Trend Is Here To Replace The Shrunken Cardigan In 2020


Up until high school, I wore a uniform everyday: a crisp white polo, sweater vest, and a plaid skirt or khakis. I envied my friends at the nearby public school who had the freedom to wake up every morning and wear whatever they wanted. But looking back at my required ensemble, I'm surprised to find myself now wanting to recreate the look I spent so much of my childhood hating. How could I have predicted that the sweater vest trend would be actually cool as an adult? With the return of so many '90s and early-'00s trends, I'm navigating how to make things I wore decades ago work as an adult.

"Vests in general are really in right now, Paris-based influencer Maria Bernad tells TZR. "At the same time, sweater vests [have a] vintage aesthetic, which is also a trend at the moment." If you need further proof the sleeveless knit is fashion-approved, look to luxury powerhouses like Prada, Longchamp, and Gucci — all of whom included styles in Spring/Summer 2020 collections. Thanks to intricate patterns and oversized silhouettes, these luxe sweater vests feel especially modern. Prada's 2020 Resort collection showed oversized, chunky vests styled with classic striped blouses and flowy midi skirts.

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And contemporary brands are getting in on the sweater vest craze, too. Copenhagen-based label Ganni showcased fitted iterations covered in quirky argyle patterns this season. Thanks to the brand's signature quirky-cool styling, the 2020 iteration of the sweater vest no longer feels like something you'd find in prep-school hallways or in your dad’s closet.

If you want to steer clear of a look that feels overly stuffy, take styling notes from Bernad. "I love them worn with a button-down shirt with a print or stripes combined, or with a turtleneck in any color when it's a bit colder."

Below, find eight sweater vest outfits to recreate this season. Not to fret: You won't look like an elementary school girl.

Sweater Vest + Puff Sleeve Top

Mix together a trendy puff-sleeve blouse and bold sweater vest. And to add a bit of grunge to balance out the look, opt for metal embellished combat boots.

Sweater Vest + Cow-Print Bucket Hat

Center your look around nostalgic pieces, like a '90s inspired bucket hat and sweater vest similar to one you might have owned as a child. Because fashion is supposed to be fun, right?

Sweater Vest + Loose Fit Denim

Spice up a long sleeve tee and jean combination by throwing a sweater vest into the equation. It will keep you warm while adding texture. Coordinate with your boots for a polished finish.

Sweater Vest + Mini Skirt

Couple a sweater vest with a sleek mini skirt for an unexpected '90s-inspired look. For cold weather consider layering a white turtleneck underneath and finish off with knee-high boots for a wintery ensemble.

Sweater Vest + Bright Boots

Let the slime green trend live on this winter. A bright sweater vest paired with equally vivid booties will make your look really stand out.

Sweater Vest + Chunky Loafers

For the perfect laid back weekend look, couple your sweater vest with a chunky loafer. On cold winter days, throw a turtleneck underneath and finish off with a puffer coat to fashionably face the cold.

Bright Sweater Vest + Black Ensemble

Shake things up with your head-to-toe black ensemble and throw a bright sweater vest on top. Make the exciting vest really pop by keeping your accessories minimal, as shown above.

Sweater Vest + Neutral Color Palette

Want to ease into the trend? Pair a cream sweater vest with a white long sleeve. And keep the remainder of your look around the same beige color palette for a polished approach.