I like the internet.
Hmmmm...after searching online for about 2 minutes, my efforts to find a history of the sweater vest proved to be fruitless. However, I do have a theory... perhaps they evolved from the need to have a fashionable way to cover up food stains on the your shirt, back in the days when Shout and Oxy Clean didn't exist, and your wardrobe was so limited that you needed to wear your sleeves several days in a row (like in winter, or to cover your gross arm hair)...
hmm, I should proof read my comments before I post them - meh.
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