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A vest is one of two things: either it's part of a man's three-piece suit: pants, jacket, and vest (note that our British friends wouldn't use the term "pants" either, I don't believe). It's the part that goes over the shirt, under the jacket. It doesn't have any sleeves. It's difficult to see the vest, but you can see where the jacket ends; the vest is under it.
A vest can also be a knit sweater without sleeves.
In BrE (unless it has changes since I lived there), a vest is the undergarment that you wear under your shirt, while a waistcoat is, eg, the sleeveless upper part of a 3-piece suit.
What I call a 'waistcoat', I believe Americans call a 'vest'.
Correct, we would not use 'pants' in the above.
In British English the term 'pants' = underpants worn by males.
You can also call something or someone 'pants' to mean they or it are rubbish/no good.
e.g. The England team are pants at scoring goals.
And yes, be careful, there is a difference between British English and English English. The Scots, Irish and the Welsh are not the same, with their own native celtic languages. What you need to use as a yard stick is known as BBC English, Queen's English or Received Pronunciation - and they vary as well!
You waste people's time when they're just looking for an answer, not a lecture. They probably already know!
And by the way, what do you call the kind of open buttonless shirt that American Indians wear in the movies?
People are waiting to help.
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