Vests walk the line between wardrobe staple and extraneous accessory. The best vests fit into your outfit with a seamless air of prominence, tying it all together, but you should also toss them on with the same excitement with you would add a great shoe, bag, or statement necklace. Whether a cozy layer, a swing of texture, or the touch of leather you need to give your look some power, the right vest will change your entire mood in a heartbeat. Just look at Heidi Klum recently out in Los Angeles. Her crinkled leather vest sets a new tone for her L’Agence halter-maxi. What once was flowy and romantic now has a daytime-tough update. So what are you feeling: smart minimalist, rugged aviator, breezy bohemian, caped Goth, or sexy earth goddess?
1) The Row Robertson Leather Vest: Not your typical leather vest. This soft-as-satin shell is made of top-of-the-line lambskin, and with refined lines and minimal design, it suggests a sense of polish rather than an air of grizzled Harley rider. At Bergdorf Goodman for $1,890.
2) Helmut Lang Weathered Shearling Vest: Who needs a bomber jacket when you have a vest this action-packed? An oversized collar of shearling will be a pleasure wrapped around your neck when the temperatures dip. Wear this under a roomy, slouched coat when they really do or as a cropped outfit-punctuator when you don’t need double-warmth. On Ssense for $995.
3) Diane von Furstenberg Anca Leather Vest: I love a vest with some movement to it. This one has enough elongated fringe to dance in the wind. Diane’s leather vest is an unimposing layer that that has spirit to spare. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $398.
4) Rick Owens Leather Wedge Vest: Owens was thinking about doves when designing this dark vest, so no surprise it looks like it might let you take flight. With a dramatic A-line back, you get the theatrics of a cape; with a nonchalantly cropped front, it’s actually wearable. At Bergdorf Goodman for $2,145.
5) Sachin & Babi Tali Leather Vest: Vests don’t have to be fringed or voluminous to make a statement. This woven vest almost wears more like a major necklace than a garment – and that’s what I like about it. With a racer-back and simple tie front, just slip it on over a slim silhouette and you’ve taken your favorite dress from same-old to brand-new. On ShopBop for $130.50 (from $435).