How to Style a Women's Winter Vest

Ever look back through photos from wintertime and feel a twinge of disappointment when you see the same drab winter coat over and over again? I’m sure there was a cute outfit underneath that coat but it had to be covered up in the name of warmth. This winter, don’t let the cold weather freeze your fashion game. Read up on how to style your women’s winter vest so you can look fabulous, not freezing!

Why Winter Vests Are Wardrobe Must-Haves

The great thing about winter vests is that the exposed sleeves let your style shine through without sacrificing heat. It’s surprising how warm you’ll be from just insulating your core. Another great benefit is that they don’t restrict your arms, so you can wave them around as much as you need as you struggle to keep your balance on icy sidewalks.

The one downside is that it is tricky to style a women’s plus size winter vest in a way that adds sophistication to your ensemble rather than bulk to your torso. However, that slight drawback can be remedied by learning a few styling tips.

The Outfit Underneath

How often do you find yourself staring into the abyss of your closet, unable to decide what to wear and contemplating staying in PJs all day? If the weather looks bleak, pull out your favorite winter vest and build your outfit around that. Unless you are aiming for the bulletproof vest statement look, ignore your short sleeve tops and stick to matching winter attire.

  • Tops—You could go for a classic long-sleeve cotton turtleneck or go dressy with a polished sweater. Steer away from loose flowy tops since they’ll just get squished and wrinkled under a zipped up vest. A fitted top close to your body will balance out the volume that a winter vest inherently comes with. Indulge in your tops with interesting sleeves since they’ll be on display under your vest.
  • Bottoms—Keep your outfit sleek by donning a pair of fitted jeans or slim chinos. Tailored sweatpants and leggings are also totally acceptable for casual looks. Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean you can’t slip on a skirt. Long and short skirts worn at the waist look amazing on all curvy ladies! Just slide on a pair of cozy knit tights underneath to continue the winter vibes and your winter vest will complete the look.
  • Dresses— Dresses are perfect for the woman who hates wasting time wondering which tops to pair with which bottoms. If you’re wondering if you could style a winter vest with these time-saving gems, the answer is yes! Pair a sweater dress with tall boots and a winter vest to let people know you are classy, you are confident, and you are effortlessly stylish. It’s simple yet effective.

Along with these tips, make sure your clothes fit and flatter your body type. There is an overwhelming number of articles on this subject, so you should have no trouble learning what fits your body type. If you have a triangle or rectangle figure, tuck your top into high waisted bottoms. Wear a wide belt to quickly tailor any garment. Adding a winter vest on top does not alter these general rules, and every body type can pull off a snug winter vest.

How to Accessorize

Accessorizing is how you turn plain outfits into fashion masterpieces. You could probably even get away with wearing the same basics and vest all week if you artfully mix and matched your accessories. Never underestimate the power of accessorizing. Here are a few ideas for how to jazz up your wintery look:

  • Scarves—If you are someone who is always the coldest person in your group, a chunky scarf is the perfect accessory for added warmth. Even, if you feel adequately bundled up in your winter vest, you can throw on a light scarf for additional whimsy. Wrapped completely around your neck or left loosely hanging in front of your body, scarves are timelessly trendy pieces.
  • Hats—Hats are essential accessories because they can completely switch up the mood of your outfit. For example, imagine a standard long-sleeve tee and skinny jean set under a winter vest. Looks pretty ordinary, right? Well, throw on a cute baseball cap and suddenly you’re a hip laid-back woman who could be on her way to hike up a summit or cheer on her favorite sports team. Now, swap the cap for a beret and, like magic, you are a chic cosmopolitan.
  • Jewelry—Bracelets are the best bet with winter vests since necklaces are likely to get lost in all the fabric around our chest. Small rings and earrings are also beautiful accessories to pair with winter vests because their delicate glimmers break up the heaviness of thick outerwear.

Layering Tips

Do you ever have to try on 3 or 4 jackets before finding the one that doesn’t look weird with your outfit? We’ve all been there. Layering is difficult and frustrating but when done right, the results are sensational.

These four general rules should get you through the layering struggle:

  1. The thinnest piece of clothing should be the one closest to your body.
  2. Each layer of outerwear should be longer than the one beneath it.
  3. Puffy winter vests are usually worn as the outermost layer, however if the vest is made of lighter fabric it can look nice under a thick jacket.
  4. Limit the number of layers to 3. More than that and you’ll start to feel like an onion.


Black, gray, and dark blue are usually our go to colors when picking winter wear. These classic colors complement other colors and have a slimming effect. But, every now and then it’s fun to play around with hues. Subdued shades of red, purple, and green go really well with fall, winter, and spring tones and yes, you can still wear “winter” vests in other seasons if it happens to be chilly where you’re from.

Wearing a brightly colored winter vest could lead to being mistaken for a cross guard or a shipwreck survivor. But, if you enjoy rocking vintage looks you could pull off the punchy color blocked puffy vests. Just make sure to use neutral or muted tones on the rest of your outfit to avoid sensory overload.

5 Types of Winter Vests

Now that you know how to style a general winter vest, here are five versions of the winter vest that you can play around with to achieve a look that fits your character.

  1. Puffy Vest— A puffy vest is usually the first style that comes to mind when talking about winter vests and can be worn on any cold occasion. Their down filling makes them light and cozy. However, an oversized puffy vest runs the risk of morphing your outfit into a marshmallow costume. To avoid this, make sure you have a size that softly hugs your body. It also helps if the panels separating the puffs are sewn diagonally or in a quilted pattern, rather than straight horizontal bars.
  1. Knit Sweater Vest—A knit sweater vest is an iconic preppy piece. The key for curvy women is to choose a vest that ends in a straight flare rather than cinching in at the hips. You’ll be sure to turn heads at the office by wearing a stylish sweater vest over a collared shirt.
  1. Fleece Vest—If you are an adventurer, or a self-proclaimed granola girl, then this is the vest for you. It keeps you warm while still being thin enough to wear under a weather-poof jacket, and is made of breathable fabric so sweat won’t get trapped as you trek along. Even if you aren’t an outdoors enthusiast, you can still sport this vest to convey your relaxed personality.
  1. Faux Fur Vest—Faux fur vests exude glamor. When you put one on you’ll either feel like a million bucks or feel like you have a million bucks, or both! Some days you want to bask in the spotlight, and honestly, we all deserve that kind of admiring attention. A faux fur vest is the vest to don for days like that.
  1. Long Draped Vest—The long draped vest is a bit of an oxymoron; it’s like luxurious loungewear and comfy formalwear at once. You can wear one with booties and be ready for fashion week or wear one with slippers and find yourself snuggled up on the couch, binge-watching Netflix. No matter what you choose to do in a long draped vest, you’ll look fabulous doing it. If you don’t own a long draped vest, try styling your favorite poncho to achieve the same effect.

5 Occasions to Flaunt Your Winter Vest

You may have the perfect vest and the perfect clothes and accessories to style it with, but do you have an occasion to wear this perfect ensemble to so that everyone can appreciate your great sense of style? Don’t let your winter vest hide in the closet. Flaunt it and you may end up inspiring others around you to take advantage of this trendy outerwear. Here’s a list of five occasions where a winter vest would work wonders.

  1. On the Snowy Slopes—Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or just being in any snowy environment is the perfect time to flaunt a puffy vest or fleece vest. They’ll keep you toasty while standing around taking in nature’s beauty. And, when you start to work up a sweat from trudging through the snow, they’ll help you dissipate that body heat.
  1. Ice Skating— Jackets make it harder to flail your arms around for balance while slipping on the ice which is why vests are ideal for this activity. A faux fur vest on the rink will have you feeling like an ice queen.
  1. Nighttime Walks—Once the sun goes down, your surroundings can get extra frosty. Maybe the daytime was too warm for a full jacket but if you brought your vest you’ll be covered for the nighttime temperature drop. Whether you’re taking a stroll in the park with a date, or going barhopping with friends, save yourself from freezing into a popsicle with a vest.
  1. At the Pumpkin Patch—Going to the pumpkin patch is a wonderful way to welcome autumn and the coming wintry months. With leaves changing beautiful colors, and nostalgic farm scenes like petting zoos and freshly brewed apple cider, you will definitely want a few pictures taken in front of this beautiful backdrop. You and your stylish vest will live on forever in a cute photo commemorating a day full of wholesome fun.
  1. At Holiday Parties—The holiday season is arguably the best season for fashion because of all the parties you get to dress up for. Sweater vests are sweet for family gatherings like Thanksgiving. On more extravagant nights, like New Year’s Eve, you can bust out your faux fur vest. And, for the office holiday party you can’t go wrong with a long draped vest.

In-VEST in Yourself!

Dressed up or dressed down, a women’s winter vest is the best way to flaunt your style during chilly months while still keeping cozy and warm. Perfectly Priscilla’s plus-size boutique is always here to help you find that perfect women’s plus size winter vest. They have a wide variety of beautiful pieces that are high-quality and designed to complement plus-size figures. Elevate your wardrobe with one or more of the five types of vests outlined for you in this article.

Follow the style guidelines to achieve a balanced look that flatters all your curves. Don’t forget to accessorize and don’t be afraid to play around with colors and layering for unique outfits all season long. Finally, make plans to experience one of the occasions described above so you can show off your winter vest. Instead of blending into the dreary winter background with your tired winter coat, stand out in a winter vest that fires up your confidence.


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