The best men's gilets to buy now

·2-min read
Zip vest, £170, Asket; Echo insulated vest, £148, Vuori; Bardy gilet black, £50, Ellesse
Zip vest, £170, Asket; Echo insulated vest, £148, Vuori; Bardy gilet black, £50, Ellesse

Favoured by Marty McFly back in 1985, and more recently by the equine-infatuated Berkshire set, the body-warmer/gilet has nevertheless struggled to find mainstream acceptance or make it onto any “best-dressed” lists. Until now, that is.

Few could disavow the practical benefits a gilet brings: insulation, layering potential, a seamless transition from winter into spring. Now, thanks to its sudden fashionable favourability, it should be at the top of every midlifer’s “must-own” checklist.

There are two ways to wear a body-warmer: as an under or outer layer. The latter obviously makes a bigger statement. As an under layer, opt for a lightly padded down-filled version, such as M&S Collection’s feather and down recycled gilet, which is available in a selection of colours; or Woolrich’s “Deepsix” packable vest in recycled fabric (reduced from £210 to £149), a versatile layer that can be kept close at hand when the weather looks uncertain. Of course there are alternatives to the quilted styles; Cos has a great one that uses a fleece made from pre-consumer waste and repurposed old fishing nets, which will keep you as toasty as anything down-filled.

gilets vest
gilets vest

Military zip V-neck down vest (camel), £85, by TAION, wellgosh.com; Quilted nylon sleeveless down jacket, £190, by armani.com; Golf hybrid performance gilet, £148, by reiss.com; Deepsix packable vest in recycled fabric (blue iron), £149, by woolrich.com; Althorpe gilet (orange) £90 by AUBIN, johnlewis.com; Down waistcoat (sage), £225, by PYRENEX X UNIVERSAL WORKS, endclothing.com; Contrast-panel gilet (dark green), £59, by cosstores.com; Feather & down recycled gilet (olive), £39.50, by marksandspencer.com; Men’s Pike Lake vest (red quartz/shark), £70, by columbiasportswear.co.uk; Classic vest (black rinsed), £130, by carhartt-wip.com; Lightweight gilet (cobalt), £122.50, by hackett.com; Winter polyester gilet, £28, by frenchconnection.com

Worn as an outer layer, the gilet can be more substantial. Aubin’s “Althorpe” gilet (reduced from £129 to £90 in the sales) would look the business over a flannel shirt and a pair of carpenter jeans and will avoid the classic mistake of looking like you’ve just come from mucking out the stables.

Padded Down Gilet
Padded Down Gilet

Padded down gilet, £1,520, Visvim at Browns Fashion

Pyrenex has collaborated with British menswear label Universal Works for a reimagined take on the classic chore gilet; Reiss has one specifically designed to hit the golf course in.

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