April 8, 2014

5 Ways to Wear a Utility Vest

I got this utility vest a few months ago. I immediately took off the faux-military patches (I'm pretty sure I wasn't fooling anyone, anyway) and wore it a couple of times.

I liked it enough that it survived the closet purge, but it was a close call. 

Then, when I put it on a few weeks ago, I realized that the main problem was that it was too long. Twenty minutes later, I'd cut off about 3 inches and hemmed it up. 

Suddenly, it was my favorite thing in my closet. I couldn't believe what a difference that hem made. 

Now I've been wearing it non-stop and feeling ridiculously relieved that I didn't toss it out. 

Wondering what to wear with your utility or military vest? Here are five great suggestions!

Here are five ways I've worn it: 

#1: With Colored Pants and Stripes
Because the olive green is so neutral, it's a great time to pull out the colored pants. I think it would look fantastic with red pants too, but I don't own any (and it looked wretched with my coral pants). 

And the striped shirt adds some nice pattern but isn't overwhelming because you can only see the sleeves. 

Shirt: Shade // Pants: Forever 21 // Boots: Ross

#2: Dressed up with Heels
I love the contrast of the very casual vest with a few more dressy items, like a blouse and some heels. (Also, I bought these heels on a total whim at Ross on mega-clearance, and they are the best. I feel happy every time I wear them).

Blouse: c/o Oasap // Jeans: Aeropostale // Heels: BCBG // Bracelet: c/o Persunmall

#3: With a Pencil Skirt
It was actually this outfit that made me realize my vest was just too long. Thank you, pencil skirt.

I've finally come around on the stretchy pencil skirt as an everyday piece of clothing. Pretty much planning to wear them all the time this summer.

Also, there is NOTHING these oxfords don't go with. Seriously, I can't stop wearing them.

Shirt: Old Navy // Skirt: Avenlie // Shoes: DSW // Bag: c/o Lily Jade

#4: With jeans. Obviously.
The bright sweater makes a nice contrast against the vest, and the white studded shoes add a little texture and pattern. I've worn this outfit about 3 times in the last month. 

Cardigan: Old Navy // Jeans: Aeropostale // Shoes: Aeropostale

#5: With a Big Skirt
This was one of those outfits where I thought, "Is this actually going to look good in real life?"

But then it did! This was the only one, though, where I felt like I really needed the belt to cinch the vest in and keep it from looking sloppy.

And I never say no to a chance to wear these red shoes. I need to make a note to Bart to have me buried in them. 
Shirt: Old Navy // Skirt: Corilynn // Shoes: Payless // Belt: Gap // Clutch: Elaine Turner

P.S. The exact vest I have is out-of-stock now, but I was at Old Navy this weekend and noticed they have one too (plus it comes in multiple sizes instead of the infuriating "one-size-fits-none all" that mine is).


  1. One of my favorite posts of yours ever! I love every outfit... and I've been neglecting my utility vest, too, so this is perfect. Thanks! (Also, I'm a little sad it didn't work with your coral pants. I like olive and coral together... so was it just the style that didn't work?)

  2. I love your ability to chop off three inches of something and then sew it back into something awesome! I need to get sewing skills like that!

  3. That last outfit is my fave and those shoes are fantastic. The perfect red.

  4. I have a very similar olive utility vest that I have the exact same problem with! TOO long! I'm wondering how you shortened yours. Did you just cut some off of the bottom and rehem it or did you take it apart at the waist and cut out a few inches from the middle near the drawstring?

  5. I've seen other "how to wear a military vest" posts and I absolutely love yours! Will be recreating some of these as I have only worn mine once despite all the how-to's I've seen! Thanks for the inspiration! Was wondering, how tall are you and how comfy are those heels and wedges? I'm a flats type of girl and have yet to find a practical pair of heels/wedges.

  6. I can't look at ladies wearing utility vests without thinking of Where'd You Go Bernadette...

  7. I love every single outfit in this post. Also, today I purchased my first pair of oxfords--loved yours so much, I had to.

  8. Janssen,

    Do you use a curling iron to get your soft, friendly curls?



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