The History of My Sweater Vests

by Bob Schwartz


A number of years ago, I wore buttoned sweater vests for a while. They were kind of colorful and designed, and I thought pretty cool. Not everybody liked them, not everybody who mattered liked them, but I did.

Then buttoned sweater vests disappeared. In their place were the equally traditional pullover sweater vests. So I swung that way, mostly solids in the core colors (grey, brown, blue), but a few with designs. It went like that for years, though I never gave up looking—mostly unsuccessfully—for the next generation of buttoned ones.

The low point was probably Rick Santorum attempting to “rock” his pullover sweater vests during his 2012 campaign for President. Every time I went out wearing mine, I was moderately embarrassed, as people affirmatively mentioned Santorum when they saw me. He and I share nothing, then or now, except our belief in sweater vests. This didn’t stop me from wearing them.

Buttoned sweater vests arrived again this past year. Actually, all kinds of vests arrived on the racks, along with three-piece suits. I was able for the first time in a while to have some new and attractive buttoned sweater vests to wear casually, or under a sport coat, or whatever. Awesome and attractive, to me at least. Others, as mentioned above, are not so sure. Or are vocal dissidents. Oh well.

The photo above shows an example of one of my new sweater vests. That is not me, just some model for Macy’s, but you get the idea. Honestly, I think I carry it off just as well. My watch isn’t that big or clunky, but I can cock my left eyebrow just as insouciantly. Of course, he got paid for wearing his, while I had to pay for mine. Totally worth it.