Our Guide to the Top 16 Men’s Gilets For Autumn/Winter 2014 – Ultimate Gilet Review
A gilet is perhaps one of the most versatile and practical pieces of clothing any man could own for the autumn and winter season. The sleeveless vest not only looks great, but it will keep your core warm while allowing for free movement of your arms. This has the additional benefit of giving you free reign to add layers without your arms overheating. You can dress the gilet up or down, depending on the occasion and need. Variety is the spice of life, and as such there are plenty of options in choosing the right gilet for your needs. With that in mind, this article will take a look at the top sixteen gilets from the most popular retailers for this autumn/winter season.
Mantaray Gilet by Debenhams
Debenhams offer up a solid choice for men’s gilets. For the purposes of this review, there are two standout options to consider. From Mantaray, we have the big and tall navy padded funnel neck gilet at £58. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but this slight inconvenience is made up for with quality. As the name suggests, this particular item has a stylish funnel neck, which will give you that little extra protection from the elements. Nylon and polyester give the gilet a lightweight feel whilst doing a good job insulating. With the solid navy colour, this makes for a layer that will go with almost anything; perfect for over a casual shirt.
John Rocha Gilet
The second piece comes from RJR. John Rocha, a designer dark grey diamond quilted gilet at £55. This is a great, quality designer gilet at an affordable price. The diamond patterned shell works as a fantastic contrast choice to your other layers, and adds definition to the shoulders. The inner line comes with cotton and polyester for a comfy, snug feel. Like the navy piece before, dark grey is brilliantly versatile; a worthy investment for your wardrobe.
Selected Homme offers up the Whelm Gilet in autumn red at £55. Not only does it look great, but this classically styled piece also screams out autumn and an embrace of the season. How you wear this gilet is entirely up to you, for its cable quilted design and zip fastening allow for simple style. This gilet is perfect for a casual setting, such as taking the dog a walk in the park; complete with a cosy sweater of your choosing underneath and mid-wash jeans.
On the higher end of the gilet spectrum, we find the Hilfiger Denim Nolan Gilet
, black iris. This comes in at £98, but is reduced from £140 so bear that in mind. The justification for the higher price is quite simply how stylish and level of quality found in it. It has a contrasting jersey hood, adding to the practicality and value of this vest jacket. Moreover, a contrasting block of light tan for the shoulders breaks up the design and squares off the shape of your shoulders. The rest of the vest is 100% indigo chambray, lined with 100% cotton; luxuriously smooth and comfortable. With this, you can wear under a topcoat for added style and warmth. Equally perfect with a pair of chinos or corduroys for higher dress level; making it a fantastic choice for a Christmas present.
House of Fraser
Criminal Gilet House of Fraser
First up from the House of Fraser is the Criminal Sullivan Quilted Gilet. At £24 this is a quality, yet cheap gilet that’s quilted and comes in that wonderful colour of navy. Resting on the hip and having a checked pattern adds casual and simple style to it; this sort of gilet is more suited to the everyday wear and tear. It is showerproof, but it doesn’t have a hood of its own, so you’re best to pair it with a hooded top if the weather looks suspect. Unlike other gilets this one requires dry cleaning, but don’t let that put you off; this is a fantastic addition to the wardrobe that will see plenty of use.
If you prefer the hooded variety, Superdry has the New Academy Gilet
. A tad pricey at £94.99, but you’re guaranteed a long lasting and durable gilet that can be worn daily with a range of clothing options and styles. The hood is removable, so you can customise your gilet for the needs of the day while the padded cotton interior will keep you feeling warm. The black shell allows you fantastic freedom for layering underneath, with lighter coloured casual button down shirts or a dressier alternative. Even more, the black colour with storm flap has the benefit of making your body form more defined. As it’s machine washable, this makes for a rugged and dependable jacket, perfect for the likes of taking the kids trick or treating.
Jack Wills Gilet
The Paddlesworth Classic Gilet is an autumn must have, combining functionality and style in an aesthetically stunning way. The price is £89.50, so it’s a pricey investment but definitely worthwhile. The moss colour gives great standout appeal to the vest and goes well with anything. When wearing it, you’ll notice the soft cotton mix, half duck down and half duck feather, with a peached finish that just feels luxurious and chic. Additionally, the gilet comes equipped with a hood and two-way entry deep pockets for securing your items, or your chilly hands. This is a stylish choice for a variety of occasions, even such as bonfire night. As it’s machine washable, you don’t need to fret too much about getting any debris or mud on it!
Seaspray Crew Gilet
The Seaspray Lightweight Gilet comes in at £75 and looks incredible. Taking inspiration from a nautical, sailing theme, this gilet is showerproof and ready to protect you from the cold and wet all day long. The inside has a micro-fleece lining filled 50% duck down and 50% duck feather to retain your core temperature and maintain a cosy warmth, which is aided by the ribbed outer shell. The key point to this is the lightweight nature, allowing you to do more and move more freely without hindrance or discomfort.
Ridley Gilet by Crew
In similar style to this is the Ridley Gilet. This shorter, more compacted navy gilet is £95 and at the higher tier of vest jacket choice. The lining is filled with duck down and duck feather to ensure warmth and comfort, while the three available zip pockets on the outer shell provide functionality. This can be dressed down for a more casual and laid back feel, with the wide collar unbuttoned over a shirt or pullover. An eye-catching design and Crew Clothing insignia make this a very smart choice and is sure to impress.
Marine Gilet by Joules
Joules’ Mens Padded Gilet in marine navy is a great example of taking classic design and incorporating modern twists into it. Modestly priced at £69.95, this rugged and durable will see you well in the coldest of autumn and winter breezes. The outer shell holds true to the marine navy classic design with cabled lining and shiny poppers for the storm flap. Underneath the flap is found a zip fastening and lovely contrasting colour variation of autumnal dark red. Under arm eyelets give the wearer an extra amount of breathability and ventilation. The ability to machine wash is equally quite pleasing, how handy polyester is!
Joules Burghley Gilet
The other option is Joules’ Burghley Padded Gilet in marine navy. At the same price as the first padded gilet, think of this version as the classier, more sophisticated and well to do brother of the two. You’re getting the exact same high quality as found with the first gilet, but this has the embroidered logo of the Burghley Horse Trials. The Logo is placed on the right, and the crest and badging detail in gold stitching on the left. Welt pockets are an addition to this variation; note the outer shell is a shinier and lighter shade of blue than the first. In either case, you are getting an extremely fashionable gilet vest that looks fantastic.
Boden Down Gilet
On offer from Boden is quite simply, the Down Gilet. This is a very simple and straightforward gilet that you can mould into your own choice of style. A more casual option for everyday wear going out, the grey and blue variations of this jacket can be used to compliment most pullovers, sweaters and shirts. The shell itself is duller and softer in appearance with no harsh or defined lines, compounding the relaxed feel to it. The colourful pattern under the storm flap adds a flourish of brightness and vibrancy when exposed, coordinating with the pockets. The lining inside is 100% cotton and hugs the body closely for comfort and offsets the cold. With a pair of jeans and boots, this will give you an excellent and functional outdoorsy look.
Black Ripped Gilet
Topman offer fantastic denim gilets, the first one being the Black Ripped Gilet. At £40, this is a very affordable and stylish alternative to the traditional idea of an outdoor gilet. One thing that you will not be short off when wearing this gilet is attitude, that and the attention for envious onlookers. The ripped denim look is a timeless classic and goes well with anything, and the shiny steel buttons add to the effect. Before you begin to wonder, yes you can wear denim jeans with your denim gilet. The key however, is to go for a light or mid wash pair of jeans so that it contrasts. Wearing a lighter colour t-shirt or button down shirt will break up the colours and make it work even better. Slight distressing above the chest pockets adds to the rebellious and casual look.
Topman Blue Gilet
The other option picked out from Topman is the £15 Blue Denim Hooded Sleeveless Gilet. A lot of words, but this is essentially the same as before, but in blue and with a hood. This is a light wash denim with one chest pocket with minimal distressing of the material. Immediately noticeable is that the length on this piece falls to the waste and creates an elongated appearance to the body. Traditional style white buttons and white hood compliment the light wash, and overall gives a calm and casual feel. These gilets are naturally not going to give you the same degree of warmth as the more commonly imagined gilets, but they are perfect for indoor wear at anytime of the year and are light enough to add as a layer in winter.
The Mixed Fabric Padded Vest from Zara is simple and elegant. This gilet is priced at £45.99 and offers great value for money. It comes in navy blue and black, but for this we’ll focus on the black variant. It keeps itself to a solid theme of plain black, with the zip and inner lining reflecting this. The styling of the outer shell is classically cable lined with two pockets. This can be worn with dressier trousers and shoed, and would serve as the perfect way to keep yourself warm walking to work while still looking professional. This is a gilet for quick and practical use, it keeps you warm and makes you look stylish at the same time.
River Island Gilet
The Red Berry Diamond Quilted Gilet from River Island is delightfully autumnal and bold. Not only that, but the price point of £20 will ensure delight all around! This gilet has a detachable drawstring hood, allowing you the ability to keep it looking fresh and varied for different uses; it’s always important when buying an item to consider an aspect like that. Made with 100% polyester, it’s machine washable and easy to take care off. Two pockets add practicality to the gilet, and enhances the stylish diamond pattern of the overall shell. Solid, non-patterned red for the shoulders adds distinction and width to the appearance. This is an item of clothing that will look fantastic and certainly impress.
As can be seen, the gilet is an item of clothing that manifests itself in a multitude of ways. The sheer versatility and stylish potential of the gilet makes it an essential piece to add to every man’s wardrobe. The gilets mentioned above are just those that caught attention for this review, but there are many more out there if you look!