Skip to main content

How to style the must-have piece of the winter season: The gilet vest

You need to know how to style a gilet vest, trust us

man wearing puffy vest
DSD/Pexels / Pexels

The winter season can be tricky to navigate with your wardrobe. With all the various layers needed to stay warm, it’s easy to set aside style to keep yourself cozy. However, this season’s trendsetting gilet vest is the perfect item to round out your winter wardrobe without leaving you in the cold. Also known as just a vest, the gilet vest has become a staple in winter closets because it’s sleek, stylish, and elegant. With the proper styling techniques, your gilet vest can be the perfect touch to take your winter looks from cold to hot. 

Start with the right gilet

No matter what you call it, gilet or vest, this item is more than another useless layering piece. Depending on what vest you reach for, this item can help insulate the heat and keep your torso warm and cozy during the entire season. If dressing up in coats and gloves isn’t up your alley, the gilet vest is the perfect alternative that adds a casual touch to an otherwise flat look. 

Some gilets will be puffy, while others come in a sporty fleece. Choosing the right one for your lifestyle and wardrobe is crucial to pulling off this look. Depending on which vest you reach for, you might have the space for extra layers on top or underneath, making it another piece of your winter look. If you’re looking to use it for layering, choose a gilet that can give you the space to wear underneath your favorite winter coat or jacket for a put-together look. 

man wearing puffy vest under jacket
nappy/Pexels / Pexels

Opt for the sporty puffy gilet

If you’re looking for extra warmth, opt for a puffy gilet vest from brands like North Face or Canada Goose that can offer some added protection against the bitter wind. On the other hand, a sporty fleece gilet vest from brands like Patagonia and Moncler can give you a touch of elegance for your casual day-to-day. These two gilet options allow you to rock your piece without sacrificing warmth. Use statement colors like neon greens or reds to draw attention to your piece and stay true to that winter adventurous style. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to the trails or taking a stroll around the city because this sporty gilet is ideal for both. To complete the look of a sporty puffy gilet, you’ll want to add a casual blazer or jacket on top, complete with a neutral long sleeve underneath. These three pieces will give you the perfect laidback yet dressed-up attire that can last you all winter. 

North Face Apex Bionic 3 Vest
North Face / North Face

Reach for statement texture vests

Besides the voluminous puffy vest, there’s another way to bring more attention to your outfit via your gilet. Using textured materials like shearling or leather is another ideal way to create more visual interest in your look while staying warm. Options from brands like J.Crew will elevate your look without being too distracting. Using materials like wool or suede can give a stark contrast against your look that looks like you’re strolling around the countryside. With a touch of rural elegance, you can make your winter looks seem much more dressed up and polished without having to do much. 

Contrast your textured gilet with softer pieces to help make it pop even more. Stick with sleek cotton materials that’ll help your textured vest stand out. Play with color and create fun color combinations with vibrant colors or neutrals. For those heading into the office, a textured gilet will still give you the professionalism you seek without having to wear a suit to the office. 

Moncler Tibb Down Vest
Moncler / Moncler

Simplify the look with a neutral vest

Any gilet, no matter its texture or material, is worthy of being part of your winter wardrobe. For minimalists who love a more lowkey and sophisticated style, a neutral gilet in any material is more than enough to create a polished look. Stick with earthy colors like brown or tan for a layering piece that’ll pop well against any other color. 

While not everyone loves sticking to one color palette, a neutral gilet ensures you can reuse this piece in various outfits. If you’re splurging on a gilet vest for winter, opting for a neutral color will be well worth your investment, as it can work well with most of your outfits. 

man wearing puffer vest with jacket
Mary Taylor/Pexels / Pexels

The gilet: A timeless piece

While the gilet might seem like an over-the-top, sophisticated layering piece, it’s an item that’ll serve well during your casual and dressed-up days. Unlike other trendy pieces, the gilet is a timeless article of clothing that can last you for many more seasons. Being able to use the gilet with various styles, whether you’re a fan of sophisticated or sporty, this piece is the ultimate winter wardrobe savior. 

Editors' Recommendations

Leslie Leon
Leslie is a Los Angeles-based writer and content creator. She is always researching and finding the latest fashion trends…
How to wear 1970s fashion if you aren’t Harry Styles
Thanks to Gucci and Harry, 1970s style is back — this is how to add it to your wardrobe
Harry Styles at the 2022 Venice Film Festival

Harry Styles may only model as a hobby when he isn't busy being one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but he still managed to take over the 2022 Venice Film Festival with just two looks. The two Gucci ensembles, personally curated by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, went so viral over Labor Day Weekend that they overshadowed everything else at the legendary film festival. Styles has been collaborating with Gucci for years, replacing Jared Leto as the unofficial face of the brand. While everything Gucci creates is heavily inspired by the 1970s, they have leaned into that decade especially hard recently when outfitting Styles for brand campaigns and public appearances.

'70s outfits for men are still a thing, and here's how to do it
While Gucci and Styles had the menswear community salivating, the looks they put together are admittedly too eccentric for even the most fashion-forward common man. However, that doesn't mean the rest of us mere mortals can't embrace the 1970s aesthetic. The decade provides some fun inspiration for anyone's wardrobe with big lapels, bigger pants, and the biggest swagger. So we put together this guide on how to wear 1970s fashion if you aren't Harry Styles.
The jacket
Jackets from the 1970s were all about wide lapels and bold shoulders while maintaining a form-fitting but not tight silhouette. The style offers a fresh alternative to the slim cut, soft-shouldered, narrow lapel look that dominated suiting in the 2010s. It is also a more refined look than the 1990s-inspired big, baggy suiting that has trended recently.

Read more
How to clean suede: Your complete guide
Keep your jacket looking its best for the life of the coat
man in suede coat in the snow

Sure, a solid leather jacket can make you look as cool as Indiana Jones or Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, but it isn't the only kind of jacket that can give you the essence of coolness. A good suede jacket gives you the same silhouette and the same aura, only with a softer look. Of course, if you are going to pick up a suede jacket, you need to know how to care for it and clean it properly.

We are here to tell you that you do not have to be intimidated by suede! You can keep your jacket looking fresh by following this simple guide. With a couple of small tools, you can clean your suede jacket at home, saving time and money. These tools, designed specifically for suede, will also help restore the beautiful nap of your jacket that made you want to buy it in the first place.

Read more
How to get Austin Butler’s look: You need a Carhartt jacket (and these are the best to get)
The Carhartt Detroit Jacket (and more)
Austin Butler


Recently, Academy Award-nominated actor Austin Butler showcased his signature style, leaving Polo Bar draped in a vintage black Carhartt workwear jacket, adorned with a brown corduroy collar. The Carhartt jacket ensemble also featured a black baseball cap, loose black trousers, and old black shoes, and it exuded an aura we affectionately term "incognito Austin Butler."

Read more