Like most essential items in a man’s closet—boots, blazer, button-down, leather jacket—an insulated vest can be admired as much for its looks as for its functional utility in a wide range of settings. Read on for our top-20 vests—plus tips on how to wear them anywhere, from work to weekend.
HOW TO WEAR A VEST. There are three basic schools of thought. Apply them as the occasion requires, and as your mood dictates:
– UNDER a denim jacket, topcoat or parka (left).
– OVER a raincoat, blazer or suit (center).
– ON ITS OWN—layered with sweaters and flannels for cumulative warmth on days that are only mildly frigid (right).
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EDITOR’S PICKS—conveniently divided by classification:
1. Rock-Solid Solids. Don’t mistake subtle for boring. These solid-colored, but finely detailed basics will never fail you. The most versatile of all, you can layer them under or over a blazer at work, and with anything you own on the weekend.
L-R: Relwen | PRPS | Kent & Curwen | The Rail | Patagonia
2. The Great Outdoors. These ruggedly handsome specimens are inspired by the wilderness, but feature civilized details that put them at home in the concrete jungle. They can still be worn to work with tailored clothing, if you wish to achieve a high-low, city-country contrast.
L-R: Burton | Rodd & Gunn | Barbour | Canada Goose | Slate & Stone
3. Notice a Pattern. The dressiest of the bunch, these vests feature classic menswear patterns like houndstooth and tweed (click through to their product pages to view them up close). Wear them over or under a solid navy or grey suit or topcoat—or mix patterns if you’re confident in your keen eye.
L-R: Kent & Curwen | Woolrich | 1901 | Marshall Artist | Polo Ralph Lauren
4. Make a Statement. From denim and corduroy paneling, to a biker-inspired asymmetrical zipper, to a one-of-a-kind hooded puffer in all leather—these vests were born to be worn as your outer-most layer.
L-R: Duvetica | Diesel | Polo Ralph Lauren | Gant by Michael Bastian | The Kooples