Time to Invest; If You Buy One Thing This Spring, Make Sure It's a Vest. They Are Back and They Go with Everything

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Byline: MOLLY GUNN

HOW do you know what is going to be "in" this season?

Forget swotting up on trend reports, all you have to do is take a trip to the Topshop megastore and check out what is occupying the most coveted retail space. Walk in there today and you'll be bowled over by vests - cotton vests, sporty vests, string vests, basketball vests, dressy vests, strappy vests, stripy vests and every other possible vesty permutation.

The grand volume of vests is a pretty big indicator that they are going to be big.

The tops appeared on every catwalk at the spring/ summer shows, from tight and black at Prada, gothic and punky at Jean Paul Gaultier, cutaway and khaki at Alexander McQueen and de luxe and sporty at Chanel. They work because they go with everything: silky combats, fitted jeans, satin trackie bottoms, micro-minis, Lycra leggings and floaty skirts. In fact, you would be hard pushed to find a trend you couldn't mix and match them with.

The key to choosing the right vest is to keep it simple - the look is as much about showing off your body as the vest itself. Plain white cotton vests are favoured by David Beckham (because they show off his toned, tanned, muscly arms), Robbie Williams (ditto) and Britney (double ditto).

Madonna's favourite vest is a black Juicy Princess one from LA label Juicy Couture, while Britney uses hers to tell the world "F**k you".

If you want something more daring, string vests offer the flashier, fleshier alternative. …