What Should You Wear With A Gilet Or Vest?

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What Should You Wear With A Gilet Or Vest?

Words by Ms Emma Pradella

26 September 2023

Gilet, vest, tank – whatever you want to call it, this sleeveless item of clothing, which began life as the “jerkin” in the 16th century, comes in many guises. It serves equally well as a base layer under a coat as it does a top layer over a T-shirt. It can be knitted, made from fuzzy fleece or lightweight technical materials. It can feature a variety of practical details – such as pockets or even a hood – or it can be pared back to its bare essentials.

In fact, such is its versatility that the gilet has become something of a men’s wardrobe essential in recent years, and its increasing popularity has got more of us wondering how best to wear one. That’s why, in the latest edition of Ways To Wear, we’re focusing on three outfits built around this sleeveless wonder.

Countryside weekend on the cards? Prepare for unpredictable weather by making TOM FORD’s padded gilet the centre of your outfit. Designed in the kind of streamlined and refined silhouette the brand is known for, it’s padded for warmth while remaining slim enough to be layered beneath a coat. We’ve opted for a double-breasted cashmere style from Swedish tailoring duo Saman Amel.

Dialling up the warmth further is Loro Piana’s cashmere sweater – the stripey pattern will add dimension to your outfit – and a pair of endlessly wearable straight-leg trousers by Nili Lotan, while a pair of Officine Creative desert boots are a safe bet on the footwear front, providing just the right balance of casual comfort and sophistication.

Accessories are simple and chosen for colour coordination, with a Loro Piana beanie – knitted from the house’s prized cashmere – and a woven leather belt from Anderson’s completing the look.

Too cold for just a shirt, but still too warm for a chunky knit? Enter the gilet, king of transitional staples, those wardrobe essentials that’ll make dressing for the in-between months a lot easier. This one, from Hartford, is a particularly wise choice for that early autumn weather, providing ample toastiness without the bulk.

A checked shirt from Mr P. – worn solo or layered over Faherty’s grey Henley tee – and a pair of everyday selvedge denim jeans from OrSlow round off the fit. Style it out like we did, with Birkenstocks and a Aspesi field jacket, or opt for a pair of Chelsea boots if the occasion requires a smarter choice of footwear.

Keep it casual on the accessories front with some jewellery (such as Tom Wood’s chain necklace) and a more refined version of the classic baseball capAMI PARIS’ is made from tactile cotton-corduroy.

Few brands do outerwear better than Stone Island, so we couldn’t help but pick a gilet from the label’s new collection. A pioneer in textile research and dye development, Stone Island makes the kind of jackets you’ll brave the elements with – and this gilet, filled with insulating down, is no exception.

For extra warmth, wear it over a fuzzy jacket, such as this Moncler Genius fleece, which was designed in collaboration with Mr Salehe Bembury, or keep the layers to a minimum with WTAPS’s T-shirt and C.P. Company’s cargo trousers.

Keep things sporty with a pair of hype-worthy kicks (New Balance’s 860 styles are some of our favourites at the moment) and understated accessories – Porter-Yoshida & Co’s bucket bag for storage on-the-go, Le Gramme’s ring and Bamford Watch Department’s steel watch, which has a dual-time display for globe-hopping jet setters.