How to design trendy personalised vests this summer

As a person who describes himself as the “Summer Grinch”, I find it particularly difficult to talk positively about the warmest time of the year. Sarcasm ahead — you’ve been warned.

Is that time of the year again, when the days get longer and clothes gets shorter and shorter and shorter… Often forcing us to meet body parts of our coworkers in ways we were never meant to. If you work in a casual office, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sometimes suits and ties do have their perks.

People often complain about winter clothes, but personally speaking, it is easier for me to dress for cold weather; A nice coat can do wonders and not to mention layering. During the summer we have to come up with descent outfits with three or two pieces of clothing — a pair of shorts and a personalised vest in a worst case scenario. It can be stressful that is unless, you don’t care about fashion. I have a friend who cannot wait for May to start wearing his pair of khaki Bermudas. He shows his legs and calls it a day. If you’re like him that’s fine, but please, just promise me one thing: Whatever you do — and it doesn’t matter if Anna Wintour condones it herself — never EVER wear socks with sandals.

Small rant out of the way, today I’m here to talk about a summer favourite: the vest! This famous piece of clothing is perfect for this time of the year thanks to its comfort and ability to keep your arms fresh. It’s like a t-shirt, but without sleeves! Shortest sales pitch ever. The only downside is that in a sea of casual want-to-go-to-the-beach-but-have-to-stay-in-the-city inhabitants, making a statement with such a simple piece can be difficult.

In a previous post we covered the main trends for the Spring Summer 2016, but today we’ll take a closer look at them and use them as a first step to personalise your favourite vest. 

Ways to personalise your vest top

Don’t have the money to invest on a designer vest or you just simply don’t feel identified with the options that are out there on the high street? Then create your own! Buy a basic white vest or grab an old one from your wardrobe and customise it. By creating your own clothes you will:

  • Save money
  • Create something unique nobody else will own
  • Possibly discover a hobby or even a new source of income
  • Be creative
  • Create something that will fit your body perfectly

Dye it

The process of dyeing fabrics is almost as old as humanity itself. It is not just for fabrics though, remember the tie dye t-shirts you wore when you were a kid? Well they’re back, more on that later. For now, all you need to know is that dyeing an old vest is an absolutely valid way of giving new life to an otherwise old and/or boring garment. It’s cheap, fast, easy and all you need can be bought off  the counter. Here’s a simple how to guide for tie dye.

Cut it

Cutting a garment is one of the easiest ways of customising it. Why pay £20, £40 or even £60 for an asymmetrical top when you can do it yourself? Here’s a quick guide on how you can cut a garment. It is made with t-shirts in mind, but it works for vests just as well.

Print it

Shameless self-promotion, I know. But it’s not just us, there are many companies that offer apparel printing. It’s pretty simple and even economical depending on the quality of the materials. Find a design you like (use a high resolution file, please) and send it over to your printer so they can produce your original vest. If you’re a “hands on” person, you can always purchase your own printing equipment and do it from home.

Trends for personalised vests tops

Now that you know how to pimp your vest, it’s time to learn what’s “in” this season.

Colours

A while ago we talked about the colours Pantone predicted would show up on the runways for S/S 2016 and while they all saw an apparition, some were more popular than others among designers.

Grey Lilac vest by Your Turn

Grey Lilac vest by Your Turn

Lilac Grey

As a colour that’s usually reserved for the colder months, grey made a strong statement this season. And it makes sense, why wouldn’t you wear grey during the summer? It is a cool colour – temperature speaking. If you want to fully marry the trend, then go grey from head to toe. Combine different garment in different shades for a look even Karl Lagerfeld would be proud of.

Green Vest by ADPT

Green Vest by ADPT

Green Flash

Green is THE colour of the season. If you tend to be more minimalistic with your wardrobe then I’d suggest sticking to a military of sage green, but if you’re not afraid of going full on technicolor then choose the flash or grass tones which will make you stand out.

Vest top by ASOS

Vest top by ASOS

Iced Coffee

Maybe they were inspired by Cecil the lion, who knows? But some designers felt the need to go on safari this season. Cruel joke, I know, but I couldn’t help myself. Pantone calls it Iced Coffee and Ana Wintour prefers the name Chamois, while the sales assistant at your nearest Zara refers to it as Khaki, but they all belong to the realm of the light browns. These are shades that are easy to combine and look good on almost anyone, just make sure it’s not too similar to your skin tone so you don’t give a “nude” illusion — unless that’s what you’re into — and you’re good to go.

Vest top by Bones

Vest top by Bones

Rose Quartz

One of the colours of the year! Unless you didn’t get the memo, pink is not just for girls anymore, everyone is invited. Unlike what most people think, this pale pink is really easy to pair up with other shades — just think of it as a white that got a bit of personality injected to it. 

Themes

From China to the tropical beaches of Hawaii and the animals of the African savanna, it seems like designers wanted to travel far away during the spring and summer seasons. If you want to personalise your vest during this time of the year. Look into these themes for some inspiration.

Vest top by Gsus

Vest top by Gsus

Pattern on Pattern

Colour blocking has been a thing for a while now, that’s why prints got jealous and decided to invite themselves to the party. Print blocking is just as it sounds, mixing patterns with other types of patters. I’d suggest staying away from this one if you’re not experienced, but if you absolutely want to, then stick to combining big patterns with small ones.

Vest by Element

Vest by Element

Chinoserie

This is a term, that kind of like “Americana”, refers to certain time and place but everybody has got a different definition of it. Chinoiserie is a word that was invented to vaguely refer to prints and motifs from China and sometimes even Japan. We’re talking about dragons, cranes, cherry blossoms and the like that may be found printed or embroidered onto different garments. The silk bomber jacket was a favourite of Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, for example. A bit of Asian flavour might give your vest that extra punch it needs. 

Mesh vest by American Apparel

Mesh vest by American Apparel

Athleisure

Is another one of those words that was created to baptise a new fashion trend. If it goes over your head, I don’t blame you. Keeping up with all of these fads can be a hassle. Check out Beyoncé’s new clothing line Ivy Park which represents it to a t. Both consumers and brands seem to love the trend it so it won’t be going anywhere soon. And the great thing about it is that you can rock it whether you really go to the gym or not — beacause, who’s checking? Adding a mesh or a synthetic fabric to your vest is a way of joining the “athleisure” movement.

Vest by Zara

Vest by Zara

Tropicana

I know what you’re thinking: been there, done that. We tend to run away from the Hawaiian print because it’s got negative connotations. People associate it with the obnoxious tourist that drinks Piña Colada and has turned into an unhealthy shade of red lobster due to too much tanning. In my personal opinion, beautiful prints shouldn’t be punished because of bad decisions made by a few others. Combine a printed tropical vest with a white button-up shirt and maybe throw in a Panama hat if you’re feeling festive. It is a great look for the beach or a bbq.

Elongated vest by Topman

Elongated vest by Topman

Elongated

As part of the ongoing “comfortable fashion” trend, tops seem to be getting wider and longer. Some men feel that any garment that extends beyond the crotch is a dress and to them I would say this: One, it is not a dress and two, even if it was, what’s the big deal? 

Tie dye vest top by H&M

Tie dye vest top by H&M

Tie Dye

It’s back! Many of us swore we would never wear a tie dye t-shirt again! Which goes to show you, never say never. I still haven’t broken my promise though, I was probably ten the last time I wore a tie dye t-shirt, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re fun. Still, a tie dye vest is not the proper look for an office, regardless of how “chill” or “casual” your workplace may be. It is more appropriate for the weekend. 

Vest top by Adidas

Vest top by Adidas

Animal Prints

Leopard, reptile, zebra, what’s your fancy? Animal prints, leopard in particular, made a strong comeback this season. Personally it’s a trend that I wouldn’t invest too much in since it comes and goes pretty quickly. It is also harder to combine than other themes on this list. Approach carefully.

Vest by Topman

Vest by Topman

Stars & Geography

Our longing for answers makes us look at maps for the best route and search the skies for answers. Fashion, not unlike art, is a reflection of what is going on with us as a society so it is not a coincidence that themes such as maps and constellations end up on our printed garments. How about printing a map of your country on a vest to show of some pride? Make it look like an ancient pirate map for that special touch.

Vest by Jaded London

Vest by Jaded London

Tribal 

Again, a vague word to describe a different culture. I don’t mean to be snarky, but “tribal” is just a fancier and slightly more specific word for “ethnic” which is a term that makes my skin crawl. Because it is not precise, what I might consider ethnic is not the same thing that someone in Asia thinks. It is the ambiguity of it that bothers me. Anyway, where was I going with this? Yes, that’s right, tribal print is “in” this season and in many different shapes and forms. You may go down a more minimal route with only black and white designs or choose a more colourful path.

Essentials

Colours and patterns that are fashionable every spring and summer. You can never go wrong with these ones.

Vest by H&M

Vest by H&M

Snorkel Blue

More commonly referred to as navy blue, this colour is a stable in every spring summer collection because it’s summer and we swim in the ocean which is blue — Get it? 

Vest top by Vero Moda

Vest top by Vero Moda

Florals

Florals? FLORALS?! Really? Do we still have to talk about this? Saying that floral patterns are trending for the spring/summer season is like saying that people wear swimsuits to go swimming. It is pretty obvious, so why do we keep talking about it? Big or small, colourful or pale, realistic or abstract, any kind of pattern will do.

Vest top by Tommy Hilfiger

Vest top by Tommy Hilfiger

Stripes

Ever since Coco Chanel* introduced the breton stripes into the world of fashion (before they were only worn by French sailors) the industry hasn’t been the same. The breton stripes are an essential item every man and woman should have in their wardrobe, kind of like the “little black dress” and the “grey suit”. In the past they used to be only on sweatshirts, but today you can also find them in t-shirts and vests and they don’t even have to be black. Stripes come in all colours and sizes now. Fancy a rainbow? Go ahead! I don’t think Coco would approve, but don’t mind her. She was always a bit of a prude.

* If you don’t know much about Coco Chanel then do yourself a favour and google her now! The woman did everything before anybody else.

Dye it, print it, cut it, there are many ways in which you can personalise your vest this summer. Use these trends as a starting point and let your imagination fly. The sky is the limit!

Do you know of any interesting ways to personalise your vest tops this summer? Please let us know in the comments below! You can also reach us via any of our social media outlets. In the meantime, keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.


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