March 5, 2013

Style Feature: The Down Vest


Right now in NYC the weather refuses to decide whether it is winter or spring. This makes it difficult to dress in something warm enough for the early morning and evening but cool enough for the day. Layering is a great way to deal with this and a down vest is the perfect piece to use. Its versatility lets you stay comfortable whatever the weather and it is pretty easy to find the right one for any occasion.

1. Layer Down


If I know I won’t be home until after dark (when the temperature has been dropping 20+ degrees lately), I’ll usually dress for the early morning and then throw a vest on top. When midday hits I can lose the vest and still be comfortable and come sundown I can pop it back on.


Extra Tip : In major metro areas like NYC, many people don’t have cars to store things in. A large tote or messenger bag is a great place to store things, like your vest, when you don’t need them.

Vest, jeans, and undershirt by Uniqlo; Sweater by Nautica;
Shirt by J Crew; Boots by John Varvatos; Belt from Gap;
Gloves by Bloomingdales; Sunglasses by Prada

2. Under-Dressed


If the vest is thin enough, layering it underneath a jacket is a stylish twist that will keep you just as warm but with a little more subtlety.


Extra Tip : The important thing when buying a down vest is to keep it light. There is nothing good about looking like Stay Puft’s cousin, so avoid anything that is too bulky.

Vest by Uniqlo; Jacket by AllSaints Spitalfields;
Knit by Iceberg; Chinos by PPD; Sneakers by Paul Smith Jeans;
Sunglasses by Alexander McQueen

3. Down to Business


Not all down vests are puffy and shiny. A lot of designers are making cotton, wool, and even corduroy vests that can hold their own with a nice pair of trousers and a sport jacket.


Extra Tip : Even though this is a down alternative vest (read: polyester fiber fill), it actually keeps me just as warm. The benefit of a poly fill is that you won’t get the leakage that you will with down which allows woven shells, like this cotton herringbone.

Extra Tip II : The nice thing about wearing a vest over a jacket is that you don’t need to worry about the fit in the shoulders. This lets you keep a slimmer profile without restricting your mobility.

Vest by Nautica; Jacket by Ted Baker; Shirt by Gant Rugger;
Chinos by Uniqlo; Shoes by Johnston & Murphy;
Tie by Burberry (vintage); Tie bar by Link Up;
Belt by Brooks Brothers

No longer reserved for streetwear and skiing, down vests are making a stylish comeback. Now available in a wide variety of price points and fabrications, it is easy to find one to fit almost any style and budget.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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