Men's Downgilet

While the puffer coat has long been at the apex of menswear fashion, its sleeveless cousin is catching up fast.downgilet A gilet adds extra warmth, without adding bulk to the arms and shoulders, which is particularly useful for layering over a light jacket as temperatures drop.downgilet It can also be worn alone, as a warm alternative to a woolly jumper on those days when the forecast calls for sun but a chill in the air, or over a winter coat on those transitional days where you need a little more insulation from the wind.

There are plenty of gilets out there to choose from - some are so lightweight that you barely know they’re there, while others come with their own stuff sack for easy packing away when not needed.downgilet The key is to find the right fit and style for you.downgilet A slim-fit ribbed gilet, like this one from Uniqlo, will work well with a knitted jumper, while a boxy design - such as the Essential Antwerp model pictured below - can dress down formal tailoring. Opt for a bright colour and it can bring a splash of brightness to neutrals, while reversible options like this one from Uniqlo offer two looks for the price of one.

Traditionally, a downgilet has been associated with casual cold weather dressing.downgilet downgilet It’s the sort of thing you might see being sported by a bearded outdoorsy man in a hoodie, cargo trousers and combat boots, or a tech bro in a puffer jacket and ripped jeans. These days though, there’s a lot more to it than that.

The latest technical gilets are a step up from the basic woollen variety, which often feature bulky down filling, a large hood and a front zip pocket.downgilet They are designed for cycling, with a relaxed fit that works with baggies and an elasticated waistband to prevent the gilet riding up when pedalling. The Rapha Anti Freeze model, for example, uses a recycled Japanese mini ripstop fabric with 850-fill power RDS-certified down and comes with its own stuff sack for compact storage.

If you’re not into cycling, a simple feather-light gilet from the impossibly refined slow Italian brand Brunello Cucinelli can lend a touch of European chic to everyday wear.downgilet It’s ideal layered over a crew neck sweatshirt or knit and can be tucked into a pair of the label’s French terry drawstring trousers.

It’s worth investing in a good quality one, whether for casual use or on the bike.downgilet Gilets should be washed according to the manufacturer’s instructions (for synthetics, try Gear Aid’s ReviveX Pro Cleaner; for down, Nikwax’s Down Wash Direct or Grangers Performance) to avoid reducing its loft and breathability. And, as ever, make sure you’re using a water repellent spray to keep your gilet looking as good as new for longer.


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