Dress codes don’t go away. They just change shape.

So goes the story of the vest.

With the “power suit” all but passé, today’s business world pressed this formerly informal garment into princedom. But what may have been intended as a move away from starched-shirt rigidity has merely replaced flannel with fleece.

Relaxing of rules? Far from it. In cities all over the world, the unmistakable look of “vest over long sleeve” has merely become Suit 2.0. Call it the “Midtown Uniform.” Thanks to corporate culture’s love affair with vests, layering anything short of a jacket with sleeves risks exposure to the ultimate modern wackness: looking like you use the word “Humpday.”

But all is not lost! Venture outside the cubicle farm and you’ll find a world of stylish, practical layering pieces, none of which scream “yuppie-approved.” Looking for the solution to summer outerwear? Keep scrolling.

Shop our favorite vests below.

Y-3 Cloud Vest

Cloud Vest

Cloud Vest

$294

Y-3

Buy at Matchesfashion

Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3 has long been perfecting the sportswear-luxury crossover. The Cloud Vest exhibits this fusion with a nod to traditional Japanese garments in the quilted pattern.

Burberry Wool Gilet

Wool Gilet

Wool Gilet

$2190

Burberry

Buy at Matchesfashion

Burberry offers up the perfect vest here. It's architectural, clean-cut, and beautifully rendered.

C.P. Company Taylon P Vest

Taylon P Vest

Taylon P Vest

$402

C.P. Company

Buy at Matchesfashion

You can be sure that C.P. Company has already mastered anything with even the faintest ties to utilitarian style. Exhibit A, above.

WE11 DONE Cotton Vest

Cotton Vest

Cotton Vest

$925

WE11 DONE

Buy at ssense

A million miles from the fleece iterations on the back of VC & finance fellas, this rebellion of a vest features worn denim and stenciled detailing.

Nicholas Daley Cotton Vest

Cotton Vest

Cotton Vest

$525

Nicholas Daley

Buy at ssense

British designer Nicholas Daley puts his spin on traditional British pieces. This vest features big hunting pockets and is subverted by ties to each side.

Givenchy Vest

Vest

Vest

$1200

Givenchy

Buy at Harvey Nichols

Task Matthew Williams with redesigning the vest and the outcome was always going to be black, sleek as hell, and boast silver hardware.

Dickies Carpenter Vest

Duck Carpenter Vest

Duck Carpenter Vest

$90

Dickies

Buy at Urban Outfitters

While the vest has come to be known as the Midtown uniform, in times gone by it was a staunch fixture of hard-wearing wardrobes. That's why workwear labels like Dickies are a failproof option.

Monitaly x Chamula Vest

Chamula Vest

Chamula Vest

$462

Monitaly

Buy at Urban Outfitters

Giving big '70s hippy vibes, this collaborative piece from Monitaly and Chamula features a striped finish perfect for bold summer fits.

Stüssy Diamond-Quilted Vest

Diamond-Quilted Vest

Diamond-Quilted Vest

$136

Stüssy

Buy at Slam Jam

But, if you're not looking to rock the boat, keep it simple with this quilted number from Stüssy.

Stone Island OFF-DYE OVD Vest

OFF-DYE OVD Vest

OFF-DYE OVD Vest

$803

Stone Island

Buy at Slam Jam

Stone Island always comes through with the best dyes. The OFF-DYE OVD Vest is cut from pure cotton but the neon acid dye makes it feel futuristic.

Want to keep browsing? Head to the Highsnobiety Shop for more products that we love. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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