A vested interest in women's closets

April 15, 1993|By New York Times News Service

When vests were first taken up by women, they were designed pretty much as a novelty item. Either they were patterned after those worn by men or, more often, they were made more shapely and decorated with bows, medallions, dangling pins and such.

Now simplified, with the frills removed, it is made in every fabric and every length from midriff to mid-calf.

These new vests function like a jacket or even a coat. But because they are sleeveless and usually only fasten -- if at all -- with a button or tie at the breast, they are lightweight and floaty, a perfect component in today's fluid silhouettes.

Women who like to dress in a casual, sporty manner find that the classic vest adds snap and a sort of mannish panache to their outfits.Women who like to dress in a casual, sporty manner find that the classic vest adds snap and a sort of mannish panache to their outfits. Working women have discovered that the vest can function as a jacket but is more comfortable to wear.

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