Think gilets aren't for you? Think again. The once-divisive sleeveless garment – which you may also know as a body warmer or padded vest – has evolved well beyond its associations with bearded lumberjacks and a certain breed of preppy west Londoner to become a must-have menswear staple that's as functional as it is stylish.
There are myriad ways to wear a gilet. Try it as part of a workwear-inspired ensemble: think selvedge denim jeans, boots and a chore coat, or give it a business casual twist, by layering it over an Oxford shirt and lightweight cashmere jumper and completing the look with chinos and derbies. If it's a sports-luxe aesthetic you intend on channeling, layer your gilet underneath a hoodie and team it with sweatpants and leather trainers.
Ready to give the gilet a go? Here's our pick of the best men's gilets to buy right now.
Durable, waterproof and insulating, SIRPLUS' padded gilet is an all-rounder that you'll reach for time and again. In typical SIRPLUS style, it's sustainably made, using recycled polyester for the outer shell and inner lining, with eco-friendly microfibre down that retains the warmth and breathability of feathers, minus the allergens.
L'Estrange's innovative quilted vest is made from water-repellent recycled nylon and filled with insulating and eco-friendly kapok fibres, which trap cold air and keep you warm. Layer it over a tee in the warmer months and between a sweatshirt and coat in winter.
Sleek and simple, like the rest of ASKET's understated offering, this gilet is the ultimate year-round layering tool. Consciously made from water-repellent organic cotton poplin and insulated with Primaloft™ Silver from 100% recycled PET bottles, it's as sustainable as it is stylish.
This thick zipped pile fleece vest from A Day's March is a cosy favourite that you'll reach for time and again. Wear it over a cashmere crew neck and buttoned shirt for a smart casual look or take it down a notch with denim and a hoodie.
Riley Studio specialises in sustainable, made-to-last staples that transcend seasons, trends and genders. Made from 100% recycled materials and being fully recyclable, this gilet epitomises the brand's commitment to offering fully circular solutions. It boasts multiple pockets for ultimate functionality, as well as a bomber-like ribbed collar for just the right amount of character.
CLOSED never fails to impress us with its cutting edge and ultra stylish constructions. Case in point: this recycled nylon vest in a gorgeous pale khaki colour. It's lightweight yet insulating, perfect for year-round wear over a plain white tee with your favourite pair of jeans and high top trainers.
The best men's gilets are the ones that fuse functionality and style, like this quilted Beetle Vest from Danish outdoor wear experts Forét. Drawing aesthetic inspiration from utilitarian and military design, it will ensure you always look the part – whether you're exploring the great outdoors or commuting to work.
Oliver Spencer's take on the ever-versatile fleece is a must-have for the cooler months. Layer it over your favourite sweater and team it with corduroy trousers and sturdy boots for a look that's as appropriate for hiking through a field as it is meeting your friends at your local watering hole.
Now, discover 7 more menswear staples you shouldn't be without.
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