"Il y a de petites vestes."
Translation:There are small jackets.
because of the word "de". Using "de" before a noun has a meaning of "many" or "lots". The singular form would've been "il y a une petite veste"
More specifically, the usual plural "des vestes" becomes "de petites vestes" when there is an adjective before the plural noun.
- une veste, une petite veste = a jacket, a small jacket
- des vestes, de petites vestes = jackets, small jackets
When a plural noun is preceded by an adjective, "des" becomes "de." (Note that this is only when the adjective precedes the noun. In cases where the adjective occurs after a plural noun, e.g. "vestes rouges," "des" is used as expected.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't vest translated as "le gilet" in French? Whereas "la veste" is French for jacket? It's like trying to remember that "les légumes" means vegetables, not legumes! =)
Perharps this link may clarify (or not) this matter. I transcribe below just a paragraph of French Vocabulary: Clothing. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-clothes-vocabulary-les-vetements-1371475
"Un Costume: Men's suit. (...) Une veste: a blazer, a sports coat. Un gilet : a vest - watch out for the false cognate - “un gilet” is the 3rd part of a 3 piece man suit, the one you wear under the jacket ≠ “une veste” which is the blazer part. “Un gilet” is also a cardigan sweater. “Un gilet” is also called “un veston” but it’s old fashion."
Further transcription and link: "The word vest comes from the French word ‘veste’ which means jacket, sport coat, the Latin word vestis and the Italian word vesta which means a robe or a gown. In very simple and general terms, a vest is a garment that covers the upper part of the body and is sleeveless. It is also used to refer to a sleeveless under-jacket in some places."
I would suggest the following translation: "There are small vests."
Your own citations above say:
Une veste: a blazer, a sports coat
the French word ‘veste’ which means
jacket, sport coat
ie neither source indicates that "veste" equates to the English "vest".
The first source also says, as you cite it:
Un gilet : a vest...the one you wear under the jacket ≠ “une veste” which is the blazer part.
which specifically indicates, as I read it, that vest... ≠ (does not equal) "une veste".
Note: in American English "vest" = "waistcoat" whereas, in the UK it is an undergarment. The French Vocabulary article seems to be using the American meaning (= "gilet").
@Learpholla. Objects and their denominations, within the same or a different language, are generally produced in a generous variety that keeps a language alive, rich and interesting. Your note provides precision to this subject, thank you.