Choosing a Size for Brookdale Vest

The Brookdale vest offers 10 different sizes to pick from, ranging in bust circumference from 30” up 64”. It’s an A-line style so the hem circumference is larger than the bust and that ranges from 34” to 67.75”. These measurements are from front edge to front edge, as this is an open-style vest.

So how do you pick a size?

There are a few factors to consider! In the pattern I suggest a range of 2-5” of positive ease, but it comes down to how you want your Brookdale to fit on your particular body.

First, let’s talk about what positive ease means. When I say ‘picking a size with 2-5” of positive ease’, that means picking a size whose finished bust circumference is 2-5” larger than what your actual bust circumference is. It’s also good to keep in mind the hem circumference of Brookdale – you can find this on the schematic page of the pattern. For this style vest, it’s good to make sure that you have at least some positive ease at the hips as well as the bust. Speaking of, let’s talk about fit…

Let’s talk about fit

Personally, I like to wear my vests with a minimum of 4” of positive ease at the bust. I don’t like my vests to be too fitted because I want lots of layering options. And when it comes to vests, I personally feel like a little bigger is better than a little too small, since for me vests are all about layering. This is why with this particular design, if you find yourself in-between 2 sizes, I suggest sizing up. Worst case scenario, if it comes out bigger than you expected, you’ll still have more styling options than if it comes out too small. Unlike a sweater where you may feel a size too large will have you swimming in it and be unflattering, if a vest comes out bigger, you can style it over a more fitted shirt and it will still look great. Just my 2 cents at least on vests & fit!

But, with all that said, picking a size is totally personal and everyone has a different way they like their knits to fit. If you prefer a more fitted look, you can go with a size that is on the lower end of that range. Just keep in mind that this is an open-style vest – the less ease you go with, the more open it will be in the front. The more ease you go with, the more fabric you’ll have in the front. So if you would like the option to perhaps add a closure to the front, then definitely pick a size with more ease (at least 4” or more).

Keep in mind the A-Line shape

The other factor to consider is the hem circumference. It’s an A-line style with the hem being approximately 4” larger in total circumference than the bust. If your hips are larger than your bust, it’s important to keep your hip measurement in mind as well when picking a size, especially if you want to make sure you have extra coverage in the front.

Note: would you prefer a straight-style and not A-line? You’ll need to make that decision before cast-on. The information on what you do will be included in the next lesson all about casting-on!

Interesting in closure options?

The construction and style of Brookdale is open-style. The way the front panels wrap around the back of the neck means that the vest is meant to be worn ‘open’. Plus the stitch pattern used for the front panels will likely fold in a bit (how much depends on the yarn). However, if you knit a size that has extra positive ease, you’ll have more fabric to ‘play’ with in the fronts. With more fabric, you can then choose to add an ‘after-thought’ closure. These are closures you purchase afterwards – like shawl pins or magnets, or Jul closures like these.

I hope these sizing tips and guidelines are helpful! The more garments you knit (in a variety of styles and constructions), the more you’ll learn what sizing you prefer on your own body. But hopefully this advice has helped point you in the right direction!