Styles: You have the option to choose between the short-sleeved ‘tee’ and the more popular deep sling cut. Most classic white vests are plain and are made of very soft, highly absorbent cotton. However, some vests can also be stretchable (with a hint of Lycra or elastic) and can come with a textured or ribbed finish.
On top: White vests look good on their own, as long as they stay looking crisp, spotless and clean. You can wear them at home with boxers, pyjamas, drawstring pants or outdoors for a ‘construction worker’ or ‘wild west’ look – with a pair of fitted skintight jeans and boots.
Underneath: Worn under shirts, vests serve just one purpose: to absorb excessive moisture and keep your shirt dry and sweat free. While wearing fitted shirts, T-shirts and tops we recommend you wear seamless vests so the stitching lines and folds don’t show through.
Multi-coloured sports vest
Where and how: Single or dual coloured sports vests can be worn for daywear; which includes leisure, casual, gym and sports wear.
The most popular cut has a deep round neck, a high back and an average mid-length, but you may also find styles with variations like thicker (or thinner) shoulder straps, deeper (or closer) armholes and a longer (or shorter) length.
Colours: To avoid making sports vests look like innerwear, you should opt for bright eye-catching colours like yellow, red, orange, blue and green. Most sports vests come with contrasting colour bands on the shoulder straps and armholes – some may even have details like prints, logos and labels on the ends and front or back panels.
Combinations: Sports vests can be worn with just about any lower – but work especially well with short and long shorts, track pants, casual trousers and jeans. They also look good under unbuttoned casual shirts, zippered sports tops and casual jackets.
Why and how to keep yourself dry underneath
After a shower and before you put your socks, vests or underwear on, ensure you wipe your body really well with a dry towel, especially in and around the fold areas as leaving any moisture behind can lead to a stale odour, mild rash or skin breakouts thereafter.
It’s almost imperative to wear cotton socks; inner and underwear that will help absorb the sweat as well as keep the vital areas of your body free of wetness and humidity. If you have an active and sporty lifestyle, or tend to sweat excessively, you are safer changing these twice daily.
Avoid keeping your shoes on throughout the day or for more than 10 hours at a stretch – try and remove them occasionally to allow both the footwear as well as your feet to periodically breathe and ventilate. If your shoes end up getting wet with sweat, dust some talcum powder into them (before you put them on or after you take them off) to soak up the excessive moisture.
The cut sleeve top
Arms and ammunition: Cut sleeve tops give you an active, sporty and energetic look. As they are a strong trend this season, we suggest you don’t hesitate or hold yourself back from wearing them – irrespective of your arms being beefy, muscular, hairy, smooth or slim and lean.
USP: Cut sleeve or sleeveless tops (that end at the shoulder and arm level) don’t just allow for easy and unrestricted hand movement but will keep you well ventilated through the hot months as well. If you have hairy underarms, it makes sense to remove or trim the excessive hair growth – not just to keep you cool (and dry here) but to also avoid the bush from showing through each time you lift or move your arms around.
Shrink & Fit: When picking a cut sleeve top, it’s best to choose a size smaller than you normally would wear in your regular T-shirt – this will ensure a better fit when you put it on, especially around the armholes. A snug fit is highly recommended – therefore unless you are wearing a comfortable cut sleeve top to sleep in, there is no reason for you to wear either a loose or ill-fitting one when outdoors.
Full over half: Even though it’s peak summer, we recommend full sleeve tops (with high collars) for those of you who have issues with exposure to the sun or more specifically with your arms (and neck) getting an unwanted tan and looking darker than the rest of your body. We however suggest you pick lightweight fabrics – ideally soft materials that allow air to pass through, so you stay cool and dry underneath.
Unzip and undo: It also makes sense to occasionally undo the zip of your top and roll up the sleeves – not just to show some amount of skin (or what you have on underneath) but to also avoid ‘getting hot under the collar’. Remember not to pull the zip any lower than your chest level and if you prefer to keep the sleeves rolled up, they should always rest below the elbow level. Try and ensure the cuffs and collar of your top stay clean and free of stains and grime, as these are areas where sweat and dirt tend to accumulate.
Under and over: You have the option to wear nothing under your zippered top, but layering it with a cotton vest or cut sleeve top will help regulate and balance your body temperature. What you wear on the inside could be ‘tone on tone’ subtle or in a contrasting colour or a prominent print to grab attention. Sports shorts and tracks are highly recommended as lowers.
Prints and patterns
Your vest or cut sleeve top can be plain, printed or textured. If you are wearing one with a print, ensure the print you pick matches your persona (and body type) as well as the overall look and feel of what you are wearing. For instance, masculine and action-oriented images of bikes and cars will work if you look (and are) rough or beefy. If your overall built is slim or lean (and you have a softer image) you are safer wearing abstract prints or tops with fun messages or witty one-liners.
Stripes always work because they are eye-catching (even from a distance) and look trendy. If you are lean, opt for horizontal stripes, as they will make you look fuller. However, if you are built slightly heavy, stick to vertical stripes to look both slimmer and leaner.
3. Style and design
Neck: Choose the cut you fancy, but conventionally, round necks work with slim necks and V-necks suit men with thicker necks. If you have broad shoulders or prominent collarbones, it’s a good idea to wear vests and tops that are cut deep, so you can show off and flaunt this area.
Length: If the overall length of the top is short then you should avoid tucking the ends into your lowers. If the top ends at your hip (or any lower), then that’s your cue to know that it should be tucked (neatly) into whatever you have on underneath: be it tracks, shorts, jeans or casual trousers.
Leave your mark
The new range of Levis jeans, known as ‘Imprint’, comes with ‘crocking’ technology that allows you to customise and create your own pair of signature denims. To break it down – you can control what your denims will look like: not just in texture and finish (after a few washes) but also with what gets imprinted on them.
Watch what goes into your pockets when you wear these fun denims, since whatever you put into them – whether coins, a key chain, wallet or a mobile phone – will leave its mark on the surface sooner, if not later. This is customising at its very best – and just another reason to live in your jeans!