Hello gentlemen,

    Long story short, I begin the aircraft maintenance portion of my all-encompassing aviation studies this January. Aircraft maintenance is both a service industry and one where a mistake can cause some big issues, so those in charge of the program desire a formal, professional atmosphere. Luckily, this includes attire.

With that said, how does everyone feel about button-up vests in a more gearhead environment?

If they're acceptable, what styles would you consider appropriate (not over-dressed, and fitting for regular shop abuse/cleaning)?

Where might someone find decent vests on a college budget (say, <$40)?

Finally, does anyone out there have experience wearing vests regularly?

I love the looks, feel and comfort of classier vests, but I am a bit concerned about wearing them in a shop and the general dressier perception they carry. Your input will be greatly appreciated!


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Something along the lines of Filson's offerings might work, though they're hardly budget-priced.  On that point, there's very little that's good that you'll find at the price you mentioned, unless you score something secondhand.

What is your goal for wearing a vest?  Is it merely a fashion statement, or does it serve an actual purpose?


The reason I ask, is that vests are common in work environments, but not usually the dressier button up variety.  Carhartt and Wolverine both make vests from duck fabric, as a light weight outerwear.  Academy Sports sells them, over by the contractor and barn coats, in the back.  I've also seen similar "workwear" vests at stores like WalMart and Tractor Supply.


This one is sherpa lined...it just happened to be a decent photo I found on google.  But I've also seen them unlined.  They're sold as "outerwear" for cooler weather.


If you insist on the button up style, try your local western wear store.  Especially if you hit the right sale/clearance rack, the button up variety is fairly common, and they may even have a lapel. 


Alternately, a leather vest might also work.  It's definitely a tough enough material choice...and leather tends to look even better, the more you abuse it.


Maybe something like that could work for you?  Remember, there's a huge difference between professional, and foppish.

Well, I am hoping for practical wear that happens to look nice-not a suit vest or something. Thinking it over, I suppose a zipper is much more practical and doesn't look as bad as the picture in my head. 

I primarily like the feel of vests as an outerwear that's not too hot or restrictive. I just feel more at ease when I wear a jacket, sweater, whatever it may be; but those aren't options in the shop.

I do like the one you posted, and  stumbled upon these at one point and like the idea of this type of vest, but they always seem too baggy or insulated.

And yes, the thrift shops have been scoured with no vest success (though I came across a still tagged pair of properly sized Dickies pants, much to my excitement). 

Thank you all for the responses.

Why not a denim vest?  Just found this, from Wrangler, and it's less than $25.

this better be sarcasm...

A vest in an industry environment can be sharp, many craftsmen where similar gear.  Should be firm, hard canvas or leatherish material.  Should have some small gear holders, might help show distinction between fashion and usage to other men you are working with.

Thanks, that sounds exactly like I'm imagining. Would you have any suggestions for that type of vest?

i wear a vest every day at work. i like the colour...


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