Women’s Waistcoats – a versatile addition to any woman’s wardrobe

A women’s waistcoat a timeless classic garment that doesn’t go out of fashion. You can appear confident and professional both in and out of the office. Waistcoats are for Proms, Bridesmaids at weddings, evening wear and countrywear.


A waistcoat looks smart in group celebrations such as proms and weddings, and one trend is to co-ordinated outfits where the waistcoats match. At a prom, the young lady wears a beautiful taffeta waistcoat with a skirt and her escort wears a matching waistcoat/bow tie/cummerbund – so they really stand out as a couple. Similarly, at weddings, the bride takes pride with her groom, best man, ushers & bridesmaids all with co-ordinating where the waistcoats are an important part.

Waistcoats are much more recyclable and reusable for other events and celebrations after the wedding or prom.

Popular fabrics are taffeta, embroidered silk and brocades. Not many garments are as versatile when it come to being made in a wide range of fabrics.

Back in Fashion

Women’s waistcoats really are back in fashion and are a popular clothing item in the UK with style icons such as Kate Moss and various indie-type bands wearing them over casual shirts and jeans as fashionable daywear.

Designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood have consistently reinvented waistcoat designs. Examples of different women wearing waistcoats are Bianca Jagger and Twiggy.


It’s the context that gives a single waistcoat multi-purposes. They appeal whether you are after a business look, or a chic bohemian look over a loose shirt.

Women’s waistcoats look cute over long-sleeved thin T-shirts. They can go with pants, jeans, shorts, maxi skirts or just about anything!


For practical purposes the women’s waistcoat gives extra warmth, as well as style. As an overgarment it’s easy and quick to slip on and off in public – so you can adjust to whether it gets hotter or cools.

Corset style for easy adjustment

Which type of waistcoat suits you depends upon your body type. A corset style had the great advantage that it’s easier to fit and adjust, especially if your weight fluctuates.

When were waistcoats first worn by women?

They were first popularized by Marlene Dietrich who was an innovator having garments made by top-end menswear tailors e.g. Savile Row. This influence echoes in the stage styles of Madonna and Lauren Bacall. Androgyny remains a powerful fashion influence.

Women’s waistcoats in the 1970s and 1980s and were worn with jeans with a blouse; often a suede waistcoat. Alternatives were leather ones ( e.g. Suzi Quatro’s rock chic look, or Cher ) and colourful ones with flowers on.

A trouser suit looks fab on a woman – especially when worn with a waistcoat underneath. Styles range from pinstripe smart to exotic – remember Bianca Jagger on her wedding day.

Forget images of old guys with pocket watches. Women’s waistcoats have had a radical redesign with super-styled chic with nipped-in at waists, lace-up backs and period detailing.

Traditionally waistcoats were made to match a man’s suit. But nowadays, waistcoats are no longer just for men, which can be seen historically as a statement of equality. There are genuine reasons why proper men’s formalwear survives intact, despite the vagaries of modern fashion: conventions that make sense in terms of style, protocol and lifetime costs. However, with all due respect to the guys, none of the staid rules of masculine apply to women in a post-modernist society.