Has Santorum ruined the sweater vest?
August 11, 2012 11:29 AM Subscribe
Calling academic fashion mavens! Can I rock this look (tweed jacket & sweater vest) as a woman?
posted by BrashTech to clothing, beauty, & fashion (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a professor. I'm in physics, so the fashion bar is low, but I'd like to come across as a little more professional—and older. (I'm pushing forty, and am still frequently mistaken for a student. At first I thought it was my long hair, but I got a more stylish cut, and still.) I've slid from blazers, button-down shirts, and slacks in my early, eager days, to my current uniform of solid-colored T-shirts, cardigans, and dark-wash jeans. I've always liked more of a tomboy look, and I've been struck by how smart a vest looks under a jacket (in general, and on me).
My plan is to get 4-5 conservatively-styled wool jacket/blazers in neutral colors, a bunch of no-iron white oxford shirts, and as many excellent sweater vests as I can lay hands on (and/or knit). For pants, I'm planning to stick with the dark-wash jeans, because they're comfortable and practical, and I don't want to look too stuffy.
I'm in a college town with an impressive array of secondhand stores for this academic year, so I am well-positioned to inexpensively acquire tweed jackets with leather patches on the elbows, and suchlike.
I've experimented with no-iron white oxford shirts from Land's End and found them satisfactory. (Much of the slide from sharper dressing to t-shirts has been due to a lack of motivation to iron.) Sticking to all white, I figure, will make my life easier (though I do already own some colored and patterned button-down shirts.)
Sweater vests for women are the challenge. I just don't see a lot of them in stores and catalogs, and the ones I see are... well, frumpy. More elementary-teacher than professorial/professional. Despite this, I'm confident that through thrifting and my ability to knit I'll be able to assemble a satisfactory stable. (If nothing else it seems like I should do okay with a men's solid-color cashmere vest, right?)
But should I take the paucity of vests for women on the market as a sign? I am aiming for a timeless, classy look that is dignified and professorial; I'm afraid that instead I will end up looking rumply, weird, out-of-fashion, and clueless.
So, give me the Tough Love: should I scuttle this plan? If I do go ahead, as I'm buying pieces, what I should look for, or avoid? Any killer accessories that will totally sell this look? Knitters, do you know of particularly stylish vest patterns?
Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.