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Why You Need a Down Vest

What’s the most versatile item of outerwear in your wardrobe? If you answered anything other than “my down vest” then please do read on. On the whole, gilets haven’t got the best reputation when it comes to style. Maybe it’s Marty McFly’s fault, or perhaps it’s because they’re seen as the territory of middle-class dads who wear them when they pick their kids up from school in a Volvo. Whatever it is, we disagree with the stigma, because guess who else wears down vests… lumberjacks, that’s who and obviously, lumberjacks are inherently cool. Jokes aside though, the down vest is a wonderful thing, an essential element of every man’s wardrobe and it can be layered on top of crew neck sweaters, button down shirts, or even underneath your favourite jacket if you’re rocking a lightweight style.

Now that you’re suitably reassured of the merits of buying a coat without any sleeves on it, please do take a look below for our recommendations to suit every budget from £50 to £350+.

Best for under £50 

Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Vest: Uniqlo does two things better and cheaper than almost anywhere else and those two things are Oxford shirts and lightweight down vests and jackets. The Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Jacket is (unsurprisingly) very light, packable and is thin enough to layer underneath jackets and coats. 

Price: £39.90


Best for £50 to £150 

Paul Smith Logo Down Gilet: This is another great option when it comes to vests at the more lightweight end of the spectrum. When you’re buying Paul Smith you can pretty much buy with full confidence and he’s known for his outerwear so you can be rest assured that this bad boy is a solid choice. 

Price: £149

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

Best For £150 - £250 

Canada Goose Freestyle Down Vest: If it’s good enough for arctic researchers and explorers pushing it to the absolute limit, then it’s probably fair to assume that it’s good enough for your Friday evening stroll to the pub in London. With a fill power of 625 and a hardwearing outer shell, this particular vest is rugged enough to stand up to whatever you throw at it.

Price: £250

Canada Goose
Canada Goose

Best for £250 - £350  

Stone Island Garment-Dyed Down Gilet: Lightweight but super warm, this vest from iconic Italian brand Stone Island is a good investment for any guy. No sleeves though, so where is that badge going to go? Well, the answer to that particular question is ‘on the left-hand side, sort of near the bottom’, and do you know what? It looks pretty good. 

Price: £309

Stone Island
Stone Island

Best for £350+ 

Visvim Reversible Down Gilet: If money is no object and you really want to push the boat out, then you could do a lot worse than this particularly good-looking number from Visvim. Crafted in Japan from cotton-blend flannel, it features a printed, mountain-climbing-inspired toile on one side and plain green on the other – in case you’re feeling a little less adventurous. 

Price: £1,275

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