Closet Classic: The Waistcoat

Yesterday started out as one of those grumpy, frumpy, PMT-fueled days. Exacerbated by grumpy, wumpy kids, and a grumpy clumpy husband. My tummy felt plumpy, and my skin too bumpy. And I had nothing to wear.

In a rush to escape the house, I pulled on my favourite black jeans, a slightly creased white shirt, and a tailored waistcoat I’d bought back in 2007. I then haphazardly buttoned up that waistcoat to cover the shirt’s creases, hoping it’d also disguise my plumpy tum.

And as I rushed to school drop-off, an equally harried mum stopped in her tracks as she was unloading her twins from her car into the double pram and breathed, “Wow, you look great!” Shocked and slightly dumfounded, I flushed with embarrassment and mumbled something about wearing the kid’s Vegemite toast on my jeans.

And at childcare drop off, another mum, rushing to get her offspring into care before she headed for the office raised her eyebrows, smiled and murmured “Gee Andrea, you look so polished.” I had to look behind me to see if there was another Andrea walking in behind me, but nup, she was talking to me! Crike-a-rama!

 

My “I dunno what just happened, but I kinda liked it” selfie
taken in the car post child-care drop off.  

 

 

Two lessons I learnt yesterday:

1) When in doubt, top your outfit with a tailored waistcoat. Think of it as the cheat’s way to looking polished.

2) Always give compliments to other harried mums. It’ll make their day.

 

5 ways to wear a tailored waistcoat

1. Over a shirt

As per my example above, it’ll hide creases and smooth lumpy bits.

 

2. Over a maxi dress or skirt

Adds a touch of tailored to all that flowing fabric.

3. Over a tank or singlet

It’s a simple way to add chic to a cheap and cheerful singlet. And perfect for when you’re nursing. A trick I learnt from my friend Frannie when our kids were babies: pop a tailored vest over a breastfeeding singlet to cover up those nursing bra clippy-clips and inevitable rogue milk stains. And try a $7 Bonds Men’s Singlet with a waistcoat, jeans, wide-legged pants, or shorts. As Frannie would say, you’ll be “Cool bananas.”

 

4. Over a t-shirt

You know those days when a t-shirt feels too revealing? You may be worried about clumps of back-fat poking through from your too-tight bra, or your love handles seem to be peering over the top of your jeans? A waistcoat solves both problems at once, and will give you a streamlined silhouette. Triple win!

 

5. Top with a blazer

According to Karl Lagerfeld, a blazer is one of the 4 essentials everyone needs in their wardrobe. And no-one’s gonna argue with the Kaiser (least of all because he’s getting bitchier and funnier – depending how you look at it – in his old age.) So top any of the above waistcoat combos with a blazer for a classic, chic look that Karl would approve of.

 

Where to buy a tailored waistcoat?

Hunt around the menswear section of thrift stores, keeping your eyes peeled for one that can be cinched in at the waist, or pay a few more bucks and have it tailored to fit.

This black waistcoat from boohoo.com is a bargain at $15.61, or try a crisp white waistcoat like this one from Ann Demeulemeester $399.72.  And if the budget permits, invest in this black DOLCE & GABBANA waistcoat $435.63 from farfetch.com.

 

 

Oh, and following from my other lesson about compliments…this one’s for you:

 

 

 

What’s your failsafe fallback item of clothing for those lumpy, clumpy, grumpy days? 

baby hanger1 Pregnancy things youll love to death...and the ones youll want to burn

  • Alisha Schultze

    This is great!! TFS!!

    • FoxInFlats

      Thankyou x

  • Beck

    Great post 🙂 love it

    • FoxInFlats

      Thanks Beck x

  • Thanks for this post. I found my once much-loved black pinstripe waistcoat in the ironing basket recently and decided to try it on. Buttoned every button, it sat the way it should and is now back in my wardrobe. Your post has inspired me to wear it again. And that pic of Jen Aniston has inspired me to start doing dips and bicep curls again LOL

    • FoxInFlats

      LOL yes to all!

  • Al

    Love It! xx

    • FoxInFlats

      Thankyou x

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  • I have a black waist coat from 1997 🙂 and i still wear it. showing my age now.

    • FoxInFlats

      Perfect!

  • Trudi

    I like to throw my black trench over jeans or other to feel less like a slob. On a somewhat related topic I have to share that I have just become a kinder mum and OMG – the catty mums. Wow!
    Also I have so much trouble using disqus. Is it just me. It can never sign me. Any tips

    • FoxInFlats

      That’s a good tip Trudi! I must dig my trench out and do the same.
      Bummer about the catty mums. I’ll bet there are a bunch of gems in there somewhere though (fingers crossed!)
      Disqus – I’ve not heard of issues (but thats not to say they dont exist) Can you sign in via your Facebook or Twitter?
      xA

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