Skip to content

Although they might have taken a little hiatus from the limelight for a few years, the sweater vest is nowhere near retired and is, in fact, making a bit of a comeback in recent years.

International Sweater Vestival provides a special way to pay heed to this unique and functional style statement!

History of International Sweater Vestival

The background of the International Sweater Vestival is inextricably linked to the history of sweater vests. These garments seem to have started out as wooly sweaters that offered warmth to the core body without the bulkiness of sleeves.

Particularly useful for sportsmen who used their arms in activities such as rowing, many football players also began to see the benefits of sweater vests.

The early 1900s saw a bit of a surge in the popularity of sweater vests, especially after US Presidents Woodrow Wilson and then Herbert Hoover were spotted wearing them.

These arm-less knitted pieces could be worn underneath sport jackets and suits for warmth, but in a more casual style.

By the 1950s, sweater vests started to become trendy, making appearances in different colors, styles, and designs.

From argyle to cable, with V-neck or crewneck, the popularity continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s building into a ‘preppy’ style that included tennis garb, popped polo shirt collars and deck shoes.

Offering a delightful opportunity to honor and celebrate this versatile piece of clothing, International Sweater Vestival was started in 2008 by a reporter from the Boston Globe, Carolyn Johnson.

The purpose behind the event was to draw attention to the positive elements of the sweater vest, combatting the cold winter days with something warm and comforting.

How to Celebrate International Sweater Vestival

Wear a Sweater Vest to Work

Channel that inner Chandler Bing (the lovable character from Friends played by Matthew Perry) who was a big fan of the sweater vest, especially in the early years of the show.

International Sweater Vestival is just the right time to dust off an old sweater vest from the back of the closet, or head over to a thrift store and pick one up there.

Host a Sweater Vestival Contest

Sort of along the lines of an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, this is a great day to encourage friends, family members, cowoerekers and others to don that sweater vest and see who has the best one!

Remember Some Famous Sweater Vest Wearers

International Sweater Vestival is a great time to tak a nostalgic look back at the different people who have worn sweater vests over the years and made them popular. Check out some of these different sweater vest looks as a throwback:

  • Paul McCartney. This famous Beatle wore a hand-knitted, fair-isle colorful sweater vest during some of the scenes in the movie The Magical Mystery Tour, circa 1967.
  • Michael Jackson. His iconic look in 1983 showed the King of Pop wearing a pale yellow sweater vest with a matching bow tie.
  • Kate Middleton. Princess Kate wore a chic grey sweater vest in autumn 2023, proving that they are definitely making a style comeback!

Also on ...

View all holidays

National Stress Awareness Day

Improve your mental wellbeing at work and in everyday life on Stress Awareness Day by noticing stressors and using tactics like journaling to combat them.

View all holidays

We think you may also like...

National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day

Slacks are out, PJs are in. Save a little time in the morning and roll into work feeling cozy and comfortable on National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day.

Clashing Clothes Day

Express yourself — mix and clash! Don't be afraid to break the rules and mix unexpected patterns and colors.

National Pajama Day

Embracing comfort all day, an effortless shift from formal wear to cozy pajamas adds a delightful twist to routines.


Join the community!

Password requirements

  • At least one capital letter
  • At least one lowercase letter
  • At least one number
  • 8 or more characters

Welcome back!

Log in to get personalized recommendations, follow events and topics you love, and never miss a day again!