Gilets, vests, body warmers or sleeveless puffer jackets – no matter what you call them- have transcended utility to become a stylish fashion statement in their own right. Navigating the winter with style can often be a daunting task. The problem? How to keep warm without falling into the repetitive embrace of your trusty, albeit mundane, winter coat. The answer is simple: stow that coat away in the depths of your closet and embrace the art of layering. In the realm of winter fashion, one can quickly tire of the monotony of wearing the same coat day in and day out; however, fear not, you can postpone the coat season and inject a dash of colour and patterns into your winter wardrobe with a sleek or robust puffer jacket.

While puffer vests remain an enduring fashion choice, they can be unflattering if not chosen wisely. It’s tempting to grab any old vest and unintentionally resemble a watermelon; still, you can effortlessly sidestep this fashion faux pas with a few style guidelines, so pay heed to these rules, and all shall be well. Opt for one with a lighter filling and a tailored fit to prevent the illusion of sudden weight gain, as yes, they can indeed create that illusion if not approached thoughtfully; ensure it’s the correct size; it’s too small, and you might resemble a sausage wrapped in a blanket. Don’t sport it year-round; reserve it for the present moment when the air turns crisp, or consider donning it in a few months, layered over a thick knit or slipped beneath a lightweight jacket and only if it fits well.

Here’s a secret you should be privy to: the quilted field vest is the ultimate winter warmth solution this season. It effortlessly complements every suit or sportcoat in your wardrobe; its lightweight quilted design provides ample warmth without adding unnecessary bulk. Gilets were ideal for staying warm while trudging through the freezing English countryside in Wellington boots while maintaining the flexibility needed for shooting activities. However, you can embrace this piece without blood or clay in modern times—it’s entirely versatile.

Follow the lead of trendsetting individuals and leave the bottom unbuttoned or slightly unzipped. Alternatively, wear it fully open when things get a bit toasty. Avoid overwhelming your outfit with excessive layers; use the gilet to elevate the style quotient of tailored sweatpants, chinos, or dark-wash jeans. Slip on a cosy sweatshirt or a long-sleeve T-shirt underneath for ultimate comfort. Consider layering it over a suit if you’re adept at dressing well, choose a vest in a complementary colour and resist the temptation to over-accessorise.

Please refrain from wearing it to the beach or pairing it with a tank top. When it comes to colour, feel free to get creative. Opt for two-tone vests to channel your cool camp counsellor vibes, or embrace dark jewel tones for a classic Italian flair. If you opt for the timeless black, take a moment to evaluate whether you inadvertently resemble a security guard before stepping out of the door – your choice of black jeans or combat boots might be the culprit here.