Fashion Blog Post

Substance, Post advertising new collections + trends for independent retailer Substance

It’s snowing one day. Raining the next. We’ll call this Ohio weather in transition. And that means your wardrobe is in transition too. We know the drill: dresses (or shorts for the daring) over tights, layered sweaters, and scarves for every day of the week. All good options. But if you’re like us, you might be ready for something new. Something a little unusual. We invite you to consider the vest: a small garment with a lot of substance.

In 1666, inspired by Persian court fashion, England’s Charles II introduced the vest through royal proclamation. A monarch with a fashion agenda! We like it. But the reason, as always, was a political one. The king wanted to present England as the wholesome repudiation of Versaille’s continental extravagance. Fast-forward a couple hundred years: dandies gave the vest new flair in the 19th century, along with a new name (“waistcoat”), transforming the once-staid garment into a luxury item, with a cropped length, intricate buttons, and spectacular floral prints. Imagine a solemnly-vested Charles II turning in his grave.

Vested Interest, our latest Design Lab collection, has decidedly humbler—though no less interesting—origins. We challenged ourselves to use salvaged and overstock black tees from our private label to create new objets d’art (forgive our French, Charles). The result is a wearable, truly contemporary collection with just an inflection of history. Vibrant embroidery and piping add texture and embellishment, recalling the elaborate costumes of past eras. Sturdy tailoring gives shape, while purposefully unfinished ends keep these vests a bit unpredictable. Inspired by menswear, British trench coats, and geometric prints, Vested Interest combines our love of sustainability with the wit and storytelling that makes fashion so bloody fun.

Here are our favorite uses for a vest:

  1. Make a statement of color and pattern over an ordinary tee and jeans.
  2. Add a necessary (and complementary!) layer over billowy spring organzas, chiffons, and violes.
  3. Provide contour on a boxy blouse—not to mention some camouflage for those resolutions-in-progress. After all, we love our bonbons as much as the next woman!

Button it or leave it hanging open. Call it garment, accessory, political statement, or body armor. However you wear it, trust these vests to take you from winter’s sober chill right into the dandified brilliance of spring.

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Questions? Email me at hellolightcreative[at]gmail[dot]com.
Can’t wait to hear from you!