IIRC, the vest comes out of the monastic tradition. The monks are to wear the exorasso all day - a difficult thing if one is working around the monastery. The vest & the short-rasso were both made to allow the wearing of the outer garment while still providing the freedom to work. At least in the Greek tradition it is not limited - as long as you are "rassoforo" (i.e. have permission to wear the exorasso) you can wear it. So you, as a deacon, can wear it around if you wanted to.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 01:01:42 PM by Fr. George »
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.