Which denim vest is best?

A denim vest is fashionable and complements most outfits by pulling the look in or acting as an outer layer. Though denim is generally considered informal, you can style denim vests to fit almost any setting. If you’re looking for a pair that is edgy and well-made, the Design by Olivia Junior Fit Sleeveless Denim Vest is a superb pick.  

What to know before you buy a denim vest


When choosing your denim vest, consider what items you already have in your wardrobe and if you can pair them together. Your vest should be a color that will be easy to style with as many outfits as possible. Typical neutral jean colors such as gray, brown, blue or black work well with most colors and are the best choice. If you’re looking for something outside your wardrobe style palette, you can go for brighter colors. 


Denim vests can be cropped, distressed or clean cut, and each style is best suited to certain occasions. For example, a clean-cut vest goes better in a professional setting than one with a lot of distressed details. Cropped denim vests are more common than regular-sized ones and are also easier to style. This could be over a cute summer dress or paired with straight-leg pants and a form-fitting shirt that grazes the vest’s hem. 

Structure and design 

Denim vests are usually either loose or form-fitting. The design you choose should be based on your style or what your outfit needs. For instance, if you’re going for a casual look on a cold day, you can choose a loose vest layered on top of a shirt or sweater.  Or you could wear a tighter button-up vest if you have an hourglass or slim shape, as it is the most flattering for those figures. 


Most denim vests are designed to be easy to throw on with as little restriction as possible. Your vest should not be too tight, even if it is formfitting, it should be loose and breathable enough for you to layer and style. Get a size that lets you easily stretch out your arms both horizontally and vertically. A good way to know if the vest is too small for you is to check whether the arm holes hike up your armpit and make you uncomfortable.

What to look for in a quality denim vest

Quality material

A well-made denim vest feels thick, smooth and comfortable against your skin. The heavier it is, the better. It might be a little stiff immediately after purchase because of the weight, but this should improve after the first few wears and washes. High-quality denim vests are flexible and hang nicely off your shoulders. 


Good vests age nicely in regards to both color and fit. The color of your denim vest should not excessively fade in the first couple of years as this indicates low quality. It should also not shrink too much or become droopy and unflattering. 

Uniform stitches

If the stitches on your vest begin to unravel and hang loose, it is an indication of low quality. The thread used to make the vest should be thick, with strong, uniform stitches at the seams that do not budge when stretched. These stitches are usually made with a thread that matches the color of the denim. However, some brands use a different color to add to the fashion aesthetic. 

How much you can expect to spend on a denim vest

Depending on the size and make, a denim vest costs about $20-$70. However, some high-end brands cost up to $150 or more.

Denim vest FAQ

Are denim vests in style?

A. Yes. They are staples, and oversized fits are currently trendy.

What can I wear with a denim vest?

A. You can wear a vest with a T-shirt and jeans, chinos, leather pants, leggings and even sweatpants. You can also pair it with leggings or a dress.

How do you break in denim vests?

A. You can break them in by wearing them for several days. Regular wear helps loosen them up.  

What’s the best denim vest to buy?

Top denim vest

Best Design by Olivia Junior Fit Sleeveless Denim Vest

Design by Olivia Junior Fit Sleeveless Denim Vest

What you need to know: This is a simple button-down denim vest with slightly distressed details. 

What you’ll love: The style is cute and easy to pair with most apparel. There are chest pockets and darts that give the vest some structure and a slimming look. It comes in nine colors and six sizes. 

What you should consider: The color may transfer on the first few washes even though it won’t fade. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top denim vest for the money

Best Gihuo Fishing Vest Utility With Pockets

Gihuo Fishing Vest Utility With Pockets

What you need to know: This V-neck vest has a zipper closure and utility pockets.

What you’ll love: With 16 pockets, there’s enough space to keep any items you may need. It is lightweight, breathable and durable. The fabric does not pill and it is machine-washable as well. The functional design is also great for outdoor activities. 

What you should consider: It may not be true to size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Wrangler Sherpa Lined Denim Vest

Wrangler Sherpa-Lined Denim Vest

What you need to know: This is a stylish sherpa-lined vest with a snap closure. 

What you’ll love: The sherpa lining makes this jacket warm and comfortable to wear. It also adds some bulk and style. It’s durable, and great to use as an additional layer on cold days. 

What you should consider: This may run small. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Nentapmun Gomwalk writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.