The Best Layering Piece of the Season

Add a vest to your outfit for an easy and seasonal style upgrade

One of the many reasons I love this season is that it's a great time for wearing outfits that involve layering, a cozy look that's as practical as it is cute. Especially in New York -- where your walk to the subway is freezing, the subway ride itself is unbearably hot, your office can either be frigid or sweltering, and same goes for your apartment -- layering your outfits is not only smart, it's a necessity. And if looking cute while you're doing it is also a "necessity" of yours, then make a sweater vest your next winter purchase!

Why a sweater vest? By design, these vests come in soft, super-warm materials, but their sleeveless-ness is ideal for those in-between days when you don't want to wear a full heavy sweater. There are so many (wallet-friendly!) versions to choose from right now, so you won't have trouble finding a vest that fits in well with the items already in your closet. Longer vests like this one from Lucky Brand (pictured left; $58.26 at Zappos) work great for days when you want to minimize your hips, while shorter versions like this Luca Bow Vest (pictured right; $29.50 at Delia's) look cute with a longer layer underneath (try a simple long-sleeved jersey tee or classic button-down shirt and a long statement necklace). I love this Fur-Trimmed Vest (pictured center; $29.50 at Charlotte Russe), which adds a chic trim of fur (faux!) to a cuddly waffle-knit vest that you can cinch at the waist with a belt you already have (if you want to accentuate your figure).

I've been pairing my vests with skinny pants and my favorite knee-high boots, but sweater vests can really work with everything -- over a long men's style shirt and leggings, with dark jeans and an eye-catching belt, and even over a bright dress or skirt. There are so many ways to wear 'em, and chances are, once you buy one, it'll inspire you to re-visit your closet and dream up several new outfits from pieces you already own (which is what happened to me). You'll probably also be compelled to run out and buy a few more of these versatile, fashionable fall vests, so I'll keep watching the sales and let you know if I see any more great deals!

Are you already rocking a sweater vest this month? If not, what's your favorite fall item that's a wardrobe multi-tasker?

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