‘Power vests’ for men are once again taking over Midtown and beyond
March 23, 2022
These men are saying “yes” to the vest.
Spring has sprung, the city is reopening, workers are returning to offices, and, Midtown men are out in vests in full force.
“You don’t want to wear a sports jacket to the office anymore. The vest just comes in perfect for every day,” said Julio Maya, 33, an accountant for a property-management company who was spotted in a navy-blue fleece vest on 48th Street and Sixth Avenue on Tuesday. “One day I saw some guy wearing a vest and I said, ‘Hey, I think I need to get one.’ ”
Queens native Allen Fok, 30, a customer-success manager for a tech company with offices near West 46th Street, is a big fan of his Uniqlo puffer vest that he snagged for $50.
“It’s the most versatile article of clothing in my closet,” Fok told The Post. “It’s warm, lightweight and perfectly complements dress shirts while still appearing professional. It can also be easily dressed down in a casual setting.”
Indeed, the vest has become the unofficial “Midtown Uniform,” with an Instagram account of the same name and 175,000 followers parodying the finance-and-tech-bro types that tend to sport it (and who the account’s creator refers to as “Brads and Chads”). Fleece or quilted toppers from outdoorsy brands such as Patagonia spawned the nickname “power vests” for their popularity among Silicon Valley honchos, including Jeff Bezos, Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi and Dropbox founder Drew Houston.
“When you don’t want to wear a big, bulky sweater and a blazer is too formal, a vest is that easy answer,” said image consultant and fashion stylist Amanda Sanders, who recently styled a few male executive clients in Peter Millar’s $200 reversible quilted takes on the trends. Sanders noted that some clients especially love the vest because it conceals the infamous “dad bod” or any pounds packed on during the pandemic.
“A vest hides a multitude of sins — if it’s something darker it’s going to make you look slimmer and hide that belly,” she said.
Vests are currently ubiquitous at retailers all over New York City. Wall Street types are more prone to purchasing pricey iterations such as a $595 Corneliani vest, Sanders told The Post.
At Brunello Cucinelli boutiques across the city, men’s vests are top sellers in spring and fall, particularly in nylon, woven and tailored fabrics, suede and leathers, a spokesperson for the company told The Post in an email. And at mom-and-pop retailer Peter Elliot Blue on the Upper East Side, which sells its own private label and high-end brands like Canada Goose, vests have been flying off the racks.
“We sell them like hotcakes,” owner Eliot Rabin said.
His longtime customer, Charles Fuller, 64, from the Upper East Side, said he’s been wearing vests to work for years and couldn’t care less whether they’re hot with billionaire types.
“I’m not trying to be a bro, that’s for sure,” Fulller said.
The same rings true for Carlos Magill, 55, who teaches English as a second language and says his teacher’s discount comes in handy for buying new workwear — particularly his navy blue, quilted and pocketed Lands’ End vest which he wore to work Tuesday with a pair of J.Crew jeans.
“It dresses up my workday ensemble. I have three blazers in my work closet, and I don’t use them,” he said. “I just use the vest.”