What's that saying about the best things in life being the ones worth waiting for?

By Lauren Phillips
Updated March 16, 2018
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Woman wearing a denim vest from Madewell
Credit: madewell.com

Peek into my closet, and you’ll see a sea of basics. I swear by black shirts and black jeans, which I pair with a rotation of denim, army, and leather jackets. My choice of wardrobe means it’s easy for me to find shirts I love—if they’re solid and dark-colored, I’ll take them—but I’m also always on the lookout for new outerwear.

Six months ago, I decided I needed a denim vest. My denim jacket gets a lot of (i.e., too much) use, and I decided a vest would be the perfect update for spring and summer. I thought it would be an easy wardrobe staple to find … I was so wrong.

It might have been the season—close to the end of summer, when stores are already stocking fall lines—or just that denim vests aren’t a must-have on many people’s lists, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. The only store stocking one was Madewell, my go-to anyway for high-quality, long-lasting wardrobe staples, but it was only available in an extra-small (something I could possibly squeeze into, but not a risk I was willing to take). So I decided to wait.

And wait I did, for six long months. I knew Madewell had stocked denim vests in the recent past, so they likely would again, and resigned myself to checking their site every week or two. I had just about given up hope when the Jean Vest in Albert Wash entered my life.

This cropped, light-wash denim vest was just what I’d been waiting for. Since it came from Madewell, I knew it’d be something I could rely on for years to come (the overalls I bought there in 2015 are still going strong, after all) and was thus worth the $80 investment. The close fit (I sized up to give myself a little breathing room) and cut is immensely flattering, and the wash is light enough that I can pair it with anything—I might even attempt the elusive denim-on-denim look.

I’ll be wearing my new denim vest all spring and summer long, possibly with my new Emmett Wide-Leg Crop Pants or even the Striped Plaza Dress (which I wish I’d bought and may return to buy in the near future). I’ve already worn it several times with long-sleeved shirts and sweaters this winter—freezing weather can’t stop me from wearing my new favorite denim accessory.