11 best men’s summer vests UK 2023, including lightweight, designer and ribbed options

For the warmer months of spring and summer, a vest can be a useful addition to your wardrobe.

Ideal as a light base layer under a short or long-sleeve shirt, the best men’s summer vests will be comfortable while reducing the wear and tear on clothes worn over them.

A cotton base layer vest is also ideal for pottering about the house or garden on a hot summer’s day, while a looser, more relaxed fit one is perfect for the beach or pool on holiday.

In short, vests come in handy more than you might think, and the right one can be both comfortable and flattering.

Looking to add some summer vests to your warm-weather wardrobe? These are the best out there.  

What to look out for when buying a men’s summer vest

How should a men’s vest fit? 

The way a vest fits is largely down to personal preference, but there are some things to consider.

Firstly, if you want to wear a vest as a base layer underneath garments such as shirts or polos, it needs to fit fairly close to the body.

It shouldn’t be skintight as that might be uncomfortable or restricting, but a slim-fitting vest that hugs the body gently is ideal as it won’t be noticeable underneath other pieces. Go for something too baggy under a shirt, for example, and it will likely be visible, making you look heavier than you are. 

If you intend to wear the vest on its own as an outer layer with shorts and sandals, look for a cut that’s slightly more relaxed.

It should essentially fit like the body of a T-shirt, with a regular cut that doesn’t cling to you. 

How to choose the right colour vest

Whether you go for colour or not largely depends on how you intend to wear your vest.

For base layers, you’ll want to stick to either white or black. White is the most versatile and can be worn under any colour on top, given that it won’t interfere with it. If you wear a black vest under a white or light-coloured shirt, it’ll most likely be visible, so keep this in mind.

For vests you want to wear as outer layers, though, the choice is yours when it comes to colour and pattern. Treat it like you would a T-shirt and opt for your favourite brand’s logo or insignia, or keep it simple with a block colour in the form of olive green, navy or red. 

The best men’s summer vests, at a glance

Best white vest multipack: WarmlandBest athletic vest: NikeBest vest for hot weather: UniqloBest grey vest: Cotton TradersBest fashion-forward vest: COS

Warmland 100% Cotton Vests 6 Pack

(AD) Warmland 100% Cotton Vests 6 Pack, £12.95 from Amazon – buy here

If in doubt, it’s difficult to go wrong with a simple white cotton vest.

Incredibly versatile and easy to wear, this vest is made from 100% cotton and comes with a flattering slim design that hugs the body closely from the waist through to the chest.

With a plain front texture and reinforced ribbing on the shoulders and underarm, it’s an adaptable piece that will complement all manner of shirts and polos on top.

Plus it comes in a pack of six, making it ideal for those wanting to wear vests every day to the office underneath a smarter business shirt. 

Nike Athletic Training Vest

(AD) Nike Athletic Training Vest, £17.50 £16.99 from Amazon – buy here

For something a little sportier, try this vest from Nike.

Made from 100% cotton, the navy blue shade will complement virtually any skin shade, while the soft natural fibre will be exceptionally comfortable against the skin.

Ideal for wearing to the gym or for sports, the slim cut isn’t too restricting and is designed to be worn either tucked in or out.

Subtle branding includes the small white Nike tick on the chest, ensuring it will work with other athletic pieces like drawstring shorts, tennis shoes and even hoodies or sweatshirts on top. 


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Uniqlo Dry Colour Ribbed Vest Top

Dry Colour Ribbed Vest Top, £9.90 from Uniqlo – buy here

Uniqlo has made this vest with its signature Dry technology, designed to keep you cool and comfortable regardless of the heat.

It’s made from a soft cotton and polyester blend and comes complete in an olive green shade, which is both versatile and easy to wear with navy, black or stone. It’s also available in Navy, White, Grey, Dark Grey and Black.

Cotton Traders 3 Pack Sleeveless Vests

3 Pack Sleeveless Vests, £24 from Cotton Traders – buy here

A simple vest, made with a subtle grey marl cotton that mimics the look of a classic sweatshirt.

With a slim fit that works both tucked or untucked, this is the ideal base layer and one that can be worn around the house or to the gym. 

COS Acid Wash Tank Top

Slim-Fit Acid Wash Tank Top, £19 from COS – buy here

COS has given this vest the acid wash treatment, with a worn, faded black cotton reminiscent of the ‘80s.

Made from stretchy cotton fabric, it comes with a slim fit and a ribbed design that’ll look great worn over black trousers or shorts.

M&S Pure Cotton Sleeveless Vests

3pk Pure Cotton Sleeveless Vests, £20 from M&S – buy here

Coming in a three-pack, this black vest set offers great value for money.

Made from 100% cotton, they are soft and breathable and work as well for lounging around the house as they do in the gym. 

AllSaints Falco Striped Vest

Falco Striped Vest, £45 from AllSaints – buy here

With a relaxed fit and textured stretch cotton construction, this AllSaints vest channels a bit of Riviera cool with its distinctive blue stripes.

An elevated take on the humble vest, it works well with chinos or shorts and canvas low tops. 

Marni Navy Team Tank Top

Marni Navy Team Tank Top, £450 £365 from SSENSE – buy here

If you’re looking for a designer take on the humble vest, then look no further than Marni.

With a basketball-inspired, oversized silhouette, this tank top is interesting yet easy to wear.

And while it’s certainly not cheap, it’s currently discounted on SSENSE, which takes some of the sting out of the price tag.

Farah Mens Gallo Three Pack Vest

Farah Mens Gallo Three Pack Vest, £39.99 £14.99 from M and M Direct – buy here

If you’re struggling to select just one shade for your vest, why not go for three different ones?

This three-pack by Farah includes one navy, one black and one white vest, so you’ve got something for all occasions. 

Rapanui Sunset Surf Vest

Sunset Surf Vest Top, £20 from Rapanui – buy here

Coming with a relaxed fit that’ll be comfortable on warm days by the beach, this Rapanui vest boasts a graphic horizon print on the front.

Made with water-based inks and printed in the UK, it’s a great alternative to plain vests. 

H&M 2-Pack Vest Tops

2-Pack Regular Fit Vest Tops, £9.99 from H&M – buy here

This simple H&M two-pack includes a classic white vest and a more playful green and white striped one.

Both made from a soft cotton jersey, they’re easy to style and perfect for lounging around the garden. 

How to style a vest

Vests are extremely versatile, and depending on what sort of vest you go for, there are plenty of ways of styling it.

In summer, we love the look of a slim-fitting white vest underneath a camp collar shirt, which looks great with either shorts or some slim-fitting tailored trousers.

If you’re going for a more statement vest designed to be worn by itself, then wear it with a pair of short drawstring shorts and trainers.