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As colder weather has arrived recently, there have been a few questions from readers about gilets or vests. It’s not a category we’ve covered in much detail, so Alex and I took a bunch to the studio last week and had a play with a few outfits - in order to illustrate how I wear them and, as a result, what I like (and to an extent don’t like) about them. 

Gilets are one of those pieces that are burdened with associations. For some it’s a preppy thing, the sloaney ‘Fulham lifejacket’. For others it became synonymous with the ‘tech bro’ uniform, worn over a dress shirt and trousers. Then there’s the outdoorsy guy, in ripstop and multiple pockets. The streetwear look with the trainers and beanie. The quiet luxury version (Loro Piana/Cucinelli).

What all this says to me, though, is that gilets don’t have to have any particular association - that they’re actually quite versatile. What matters is the type of gilet, how you wear it and what you wear it with. 

Personally, I like gilets best as outerwear, and therefore quite chunky. Usually down-filled, I wear them with thick knits or sweatshirts, in lieu of a jacket or coat. 

The first one above is a good example. An old collaboration between The Armoury and Rocky Mountain Featherbed, it’s the Christy model but in roughout suede with a shearling collar. I’m wearing it with a quarter-zip sweatshirt from The Real McCoy’s and Rubato chinos. 

The vest is big, as you can see in the image below. Even though down-filled ones bed down over time, and so lose some of their volume, they’re always going to be chunky. As a result they’re best with other larger fits - not huge, but not skinny or slim. 

My Rubato chinos have enough volume to work (these haven’t been slimmed down) and so does the sweatshirt. A chunkier knit would be ever better - perhaps a thick roll neck - but a simple two-ply crewneck would get drowned. 

I also think the volume of a gilet is something to enjoy and lean into. I used to wear this one buttoned up the whole time, trying to keep it close to the body (mostly using poppers high on the chest). But over time I’ve become comfortable with having it open and voluminous. 

It’s not the kind of silhouette that fans of tailoring will necessarily find easy. But it’s no different to the volume you get in the skirt of a coat, or the leg of a trouser - it’s just a different shape in a different place. Getting used to it just requires some thought and experiment and play - a little exercise of the aesthetic muscle. 

The other clothes there are a PS T-shirt, a PS watch cap and scarf, a Frank Clegg tote and Rubato/Doek shoes. 

This second gilet is probably my favourite - a black deerskin from The Real McCoy’s

The down-filled volume is similar to the snuff-coloured vest above, but the outer is softer and compresses more easily. The feel of the deerskin is also beautiful - for me, top-end deerskin is the best combination of strength and luxury in any leather. 

Underneath this one is a rather bigger sweatshirt - a Camber hoodie from Beige Habilleur. Camber uses a particularly thick material in its sweats, a 90/10 cotton/poly mix with a fleecey inside but harsh outside. They’re not the most luxurious, but they are extremely warm and hard-wearing, which is what they were designed for. 

And the silhouette is great - this is a size small and it’s still big on me, but it has a shorter cut that stops it being too much and actually makes it quite flattering. 

An important aspect of both these vests is that the suede and pointed yokes give them a Western style that is not one of the more common associations. 

It’s not unknown - many will have some image of Ralph Lauren on his ranch wearing one - but it perhaps separates them from the other associations readers could worry about. That might be why Rocky Mountain in particular has become popular, though I don’t like the more common nylon outer materials as much.

The McCoy’s one here is worn with vintage Dutch cargo trousers, a PS watch cap and Color 8 cordovan boots. 

The last gilet is from a similar but different tradition, that of American outdoors wear. This is a rich seam for menswear, and one that has become particularly popular as outdoor clothing in general (sometimes known as ‘Gorpcore’) has become fashionable.

Gilets in this mould tend to be a little smaller and lighter, often used for layering in the same way as those ‘tech bro’ ones. But older models are made from better materials - usually around 50/50 cotton and polyester, which gives them a matte, natural finish. 

The colours are usually better too - either natural beiges and olives, or bright colours like this red. (Red or orange is often used for hunting, I'm told, because deer see all such colours as shades of brown, while hunters can see each other easily.) 

I don’t wear this style of gilet as much, but I do like this old Eddie Bauer model for its pop of colour. Shades of Marty McFly perhaps, but if I’m going to impersonate anyone, a white suburban kid isn’t much of a stretch. 

Here it’s worn with a henley-style thermal from Real McCoy’s (the Joe McCoy model) and vintage Levi's. A sweatshirt works just as well, but it needs to have a shorter body, given the short length of the vest. Same goes for the higher rise of the jeans. 

The boots are Galways from Edward Green. A model like the Cranleigh is good too, but given everything on top is quite close-fitting, chunkier Alden or Viberg work boots aren’t so in keeping. 

To some, a heavy gilet can seen an odd choice - why wear so much down on your body and then leave your arms uncovered? 

I’ve always found it surprisingly practical as long as the knit underneath is warm, and you can use the pockets when needed. Their popularity in recent years probably supports that. 

A reader also asked recently about fleeces, which in many ways fall into a similar category. 

I can see the appeal of a Patagonia-style fleece, but for me it’s a shame not to wear materials like suede and leather as outerwear, given it’s such a rich, enjoyable area for menswear. A fleece feels akin to knitwear, whereas a gilet like this is more similar to a suede blouson or leather flight jacket. At least with the first two in this article, the materials arec ertainly more in line. 

Down-filled vests or gilets won’t be for everyone, but they’re certainly practical and enjoyable, and I don't think anyone should worry too much about associations. 

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I’ve also gotten into vests the past few years. Like you, I find them particularly nice over chunky knitwear in place of a coat (after all, your core is the most important thing to keep warm).
How are you liking the Rubato chinos with the leg not slimmed down? I found I could not get comfortable with the width at the bottom, and eventually tapered mine slightly.


Not for me, I am top heavy with 48in chest, more volume bulking out top half makes me look like a toffee apple.


Hi Simon,
I try to wear trousers, not jeans or chinos.
Two reason, I prefer wool and I have 17.5in calf. so on a 36in jean waist (which is the right size in Jeans despite being 38-40) nearly all legs cling to my calves. Skinny legs I have to peel off.
So fairly standard trousers, I am a little against wider trousers for two reasons:
1, too much cloth, I am an OK shape but I feel wider trousers need bigger lapels etc, taking up too much visual space, personal feeling rather than an observable fact,
2, I was 13 in 1975 when Bay City Rollers, Docker Pocket, 6 button waistband flared trousers and 3 star jumpers were de rigeur, Lord knows, I can’t go back there.


I really love the cargo pants and would love to find something similar. Any suggestions on makers/brands? I know that cargo pants and cargo shorts is seen as bad style or “dad clothes” but I actually find them practical when I am on a vacation and need a lot of pockets. Especially if the weather is too hot for a field jacket. Even a slim power-bank disturbs most ordinary pockets due to its weight but fits well in most cargo pockets. Security rules has also made bags forbidden in some arenas and museums.


Thanks. I get your point and I wouldn’t wear them at a better restaurant. But I may look at OrSlow and that kind of brands.


Hey Carl, was going to suggest OrSlow too. Bought one for the reasons you mentioned and they do take a good beating.


I own the same type of vintage Dutch cargo pants. Great color, great weight (heavy cotton), cool contrasting buttons, but very high-waisted and baggy. Great with a sweatshirt or Shetland and tee in winter. Did you do anything to slim yours down?


I wear quilted Mickfield vests from Lavenham year-round in CA with pockets that can hold a charger or big phone without sagging. But for summer travel away from home, First Pattern (https://www.1stpat-rn.it/) makes a light-weight cotton vest that is less tactical that fills this niche for me. I don’t see them on the site now, but they are a perennial item. I would love a heavy-weight linen equivalent. It

Hertling makes cargo pants that are more elegant: https://www.hertlingusa.com/collections/all-trousers/products/wool-military-cargo-grey

They used to do MTM, so you may be able to get them in a lighter fabric now or wait for summer items to show up.

Jamie mcp

I have some that are very similar from Brycelands


I have a couple of Cucinelli cargo pants that are quite stylish; not too “dad clothes.”


A couple of years ago I bought a suede vest with a zipper and buttoned flap that can cover it. While it looks great, my issue is that I can really only wear it for a very short period in the autumn and spring. It quickly gets either too warm or too cold for it.


Unzipped, it should allow some cool air in if it gets too warm and you don’t really want to undo the buttons.


The biggest issue I find with most gilets is that they tend not to be cut for people wearing high (or, I should say mid-high) rise trousers. They look good so long as you wear them open, but not so much when zipped (or buttoned) up. Any brand suggestion, Simon, in this regard?
I also find the ROI of the investment a bit limited, as a coat will almost always be a preferable choice for warmth in the winter.
A great and stylish piece nonetheless, particularly in corduroy or cashmere. I love it over a chunky turtleneck and with a baseball cap.


I have the same issue, partly as my chest size means I need to size up quite often. But I also need a taper towards the waist.
Would it be possible to have something like the suede custom made or do any brands offer MTM/MTO in a gilet?


With the weather we’re having in London today, cold but calm and sunny, a gilet over a chunky woolen is ideal if you want to walk about without the bulk of a coat.

James Fettiplace

For associations, if you are a child of the 80s, who can forget Marty McFly and his ‘lifejacket’!!
I personally find gilets only really work in a narrow temperature window – neither too cold or warm. And the trends we are seeing in the UK of milder autumns before a sudden shift to winter (this week a good example) means I’m using a gilet less and less.


correction! last winter was so mild…. until around new year it started snowing. and than it was coldest winter in quite a while for quite a while! and I don’t think I remember when I needed outerwear until may. when was last time you remember snow for more than a day on the ground in London? but yes, other than that I agree. weather is weird lately.

James Fettiplace

I know what you mean Simon but I’m in the countryside and it’s typically 4-5 degrees colder than London – maybe I’m also a bit precious about my arms getting cold!
Interestingly, I recently got a thick shawl cardigan from Colhays and this has now become my default step-down outerwear when it’s not cold enough for full the full coat work-up…..so sort of replacing my gilet in that respect.


Hey Simon, a sideways glance at dressing for the winter. Have you ever done a piece on layering for winter? Especially the choice of men’s underwear to consider, ie. thermals, Long Johns, vests, etc. It remains a constant source of dilemma: wear thermals and you could regret it if the temperature heats up indoors or go without and find you’ve left your guard down in minus-zero conditions. Could a winter coat eliminate the need for thermals? Do you wear thermals? Do they have a place in our winter wardrobes? Thanks.


Thanks, lol! Feel your pain here too. OK, I must confess that I picked up three Long Johns at M&S yesterday. Alas, I had to protect my ‘crown jewels’. It could be a long winter.


Heavy woollen trousers (in flannel, cavalry twill or whipcord) are a practical alternative to long johns in cold weather.

A long, heavy coat (a least 24 oz in tweed or melton wool) provides even more protection and is a valuable investment. They are not easy to find but Private White VC and SEH Kelly are worth considering.


Merino long johns are pretty standard. Never felt the need for thermal vest. As we say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.


I split my time between Ukraine and England and have done so fairly consistently for the past 6 years or so, including the winters which can be as low as -30 but usually are somewhere between -10 and -20 at their coldest weeks. All my (young) Ukrainian friends laugh at the concept of long Johns but I find them very useful nevertheless. You mostly lose heat through your torso, head and thighs. For me, with a mop of curly hair, hats are pretty much a no go unless it’s really plunged to extreme cold – the priority then is thighs and torso. My sheepskin coat has the torso covered; my long Johns the thighs. This allows me to basically wear the same winter outfits with minor adjustments in either country. Most people tend to wear hats though, and so then I think you can afford to have colder legs and get away with it. Hope that’s helpful food for thought!


Interesting piece. A personal note. I travel quite a lot (+100d/year) and there is two things i always have in my bag.
A gilet + the small navy PS square scarf. Never know if it going to be colder than expected, in a plane, in a office etc.
Have tried lots of gilets. Hard to find something, that isnt from one of the outdoor brands, that is both packable and have traditional menswear look. My current go to is a version from Slowwear.
Is there any plans on bringing back the PS square scarf? Mine is due for a replacement.


Another vote from me.
I missed buying the original one as I was still into building fundamentals of my wardrobe but I would appreciate buying it now.


And from me, especially a silk one too. I’ve checked Hermes a few times but nothing simple enough for me.


I’d be on board for a PS silk square scarf, similar to the ones profiled from Hermes. I assume Simon would not be able to get the same quality of screen printing—seems like that is a unique Hermes’s capability. But perhaps we could do a simple Maccesfield design.


Begg and Co. still list and sell the square scarf in several patterns and colours through their web site. Search for “Wispy Square” on their web site. Unfortunately, most patterns and colours seem to be out of stock currently (printed patterns are in stock, at least), but you can sign up for a “Notify” list which will hopefully signal interst to them.
They have a sale on if you find one of interest.

david rl fan

Vote me in on the square scarf, Anderson Sheppard haberdashery ones look good too.


No love for the vest over a suit jacket I see, shocking!! 😉
I have a charcoal wool-filled flannel vest from Private White that I love wearing over a chunky cream rib-knit jumper. I tried it over my Aran but it wasn’t the same. I also quite enjoy it as a layer under my field jacket.


Funny enough, your favourite gilet is the one I like the least, and my favourite look is the Eddie Bauer one.
I only ever wear a slim gilet as a bodywarmer (and extra pockets) under a tweed jacket, a raincoat or even a wool overcoat when it gets really cold, I never thought about wearing those as an outerwear. I just saw the Rocky Mountain Featherbeds walking in front of the Jinji store, I have to say I love the design and colours.

Peter Hall

We have a cold,sunny day , here in the Netherlands so the weather is perfect. Mountain Equipment down vest over a charcoal Aran and cream chinos.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Have any readers (or you Simon) tried the Drakes/Rocky Mountain Featherbed collaboration? I am constantly tempted by the grey herringbone tweed version. I dislike most gilet’s standard nylon outers and the Real McCoy’s deerskin is lovely, but a significant step up in price and therefore a bit of a risk given I’m not completely sure about gilets in general.

I imagine the grey tweed would be quite flexible, and given the companies involved I’m sure quality would be good to excellent but if anyone has experience with it I’d appreciate their thoughts!


Thanks Simon, that’s really helpful. Appreciate the reply as always.


Hi Simon, what size is your camber hoodie? I understand they come up quite large


Hi Simon,

In an old article I asked for your views on Cromford Leather’s Malkovich gillet. At the time, which was quite a while ago, you said you had not tried it on. I thought I’d ask again if you’d had the chance to give it a try, especially as this article is directly related to the subject (whereas the previous article was not)?

Many thanks.


Thought you might say that, Lol!

Eric Twardzik

In addition to the associations your raised above-Sloan Rangers and venture capitalists-there’s a more obscure grouping I’ve always been inspired by. What the Japanese call “Heavy Duty Ivy,” taking after the way American college students in the West dressed in the ‘70s-prep staples like a rugby shirt or an Oxford and a Shetland worn under a chunky Eddie Bauer puffer. I have a quilted nylon gilet from Waterville that I like to wear under a Shetland-the textural contrast of smooth nylon and fuzzy, brushed wool really does it for me.

Eric Twardzik

Sorry, I should have typed “over” rather than “under” (still early over here!) as I’m typically layering the gilet above a Shetland crewneck. That being said, I see nylon gilets worn under tweed jackets often in New England and like the look.

Neil Laurence

I wear gilets quite often as I don’t feel the cold too much in my arms, which are exposed. For years, I’ve been wearing a down-filled one I picked up from Timothy Everest – it’s so thick that I can wear it in these current UK temperatures and still be warm. I usually wear with heavy cotton trousers and anything long or short sleeve underneath.
Although not the same insulated vests you are focussing on in the article, I find Schoffel gilets great for an added layer when roaming the countryside.
I had a slight chuckle at the Marty McFly reference. Immediately reminded me of “Biff, get a load of this guy’s life preserver. Dork thinks he’s gonna drown”


Another informative article. I agree about association. These can be positive or negative depending on taste and context. I don’t personally like the ‘wannabe Succession’ look, but really like the workwear approach which looks less contrived. I was recently in New York where I saw construction workers wearing a thick hoodie under a quite thick gilet (or what I used to call a body warmer) similar to the old Eddie Bauer in style with the bulk of The Armoury and Rocky Mountain Featherbed version. I suppose that makes me a wannabe construction worker, but to paraphrase your good self- there are some good associations!


I have only heard of Succession two months ago (and watched it in the meantime). For me the „Succession Look“ is simply the casual-chic look as understood on this webpage with an Italian twist. So it is nothing new but looks like e.g. the look books of the Luca Faloni or Canali webpages, both brands I have enjoyed long before becoming aware of the series.


Any thoughts on cotton corduroy with a down filling? I was thinking wide wale in chocolate or dark green if I can find it. It seems easier to incorporate into my wardrobe than leather or suede.


I’ve recently been enjoying the trend of gilets over blazers, but my largest problem has been getting the buttons/zippers right (something you alluded to above). Yesterday I wore a beige suede Zegna gilet that has both zippers and buttons with a grey silk blazer. I have done this dozens of times, never getting it right. However, I finally found that if fold the collar of the gilet down, use the zippers to zip it for about 6″ halfway up, and keep the blazer buttoned the look works. My point for sharing is that it can be incredibly hard to nail a look using a gilet and I appreciate all the advice.


It is about 2 inches shorter and it contributed a lot to the problem. That was part of the reason why I found rolling the collar of the gilet down helped; by showing a bit of the jacket’s collar I feel it provided balance to the bit of the jacket you saw at the bottom. It also then meant that (because the gilet’s lining is a light blue) that I needed to use the top and bottom zippers to cinch it closed in the center, thereby leaving the flap with the button holes free to open and close and flash a bit more of the lining. Typing it all out just made me realize that it may have been more work than it was worth, lol.


Sometimes I have to go to the office very early and in autumn the shirt & jacket won’t cut it (not even with a thin wool knit) but I know I won’t need a coat for the rest of the day. In those cases, instead of an outerwear gilet, I have been throwing on top a quite roomy leather jacket.
I like the look better than your typical gilet (though I should note I mostly wear odd jackets, not worsted suits which would contrast more), but it still has the same problem of being shorter so although it’s passable when open it still doesn’t look good when zipped close with the jacket peaking out underneath.
But I only really wear it (mostly in the car) until reaching the office in the early morning so I’ve made piece with it, don’t feel it’s worth it to buy something else for such a niche use generally only seen by me half-asleep (and possibly the cleaning staff at the office).


Hi Simon, great piece. I have been looking at this very RMcCoy’s sweatshirt for a while. Can you tell me which size you took? I’ll keep on looking until I find an available one…


“I’m not a regular dad. I’m a cool dad.”

On a serious note, the EG’s with the EB elevates everything and is exactly what not an American would do (sneakers forever). Great post.


I really like the suede as an outer material. I’ve gone completely off synthetic/mixes as I’ve had a quite expensive jacket get lightly snagged on some wire and it ripped very easily – not so easy to repair. That’s aside from the rustling noise they make when moving.
I like the shearling collar too as when it’s quite cold but calm it’s nice to have something for the neck if it gets breezy.
One feature I like that I’ve seen in the past is elasticated cuffs set back a little under the shoulders to stop cold air getting in around the core of the body. A main zip aswell behind the popper buttons works the same at the front.
Hand warmer pockets a must so you don’t need to be faffing around with gloves as much.
Am still on the lookout for my ideal gilet as I can’t seem to find one with all the features I want.

Peter K

I spend a lot of time in winter at ice hockey arenas volunteering with my son’s team. I use a down vest as a layer and it keeps me nice and warm.


Any thoughts on gilets made through tailors, e.g. out of coating cloth?


really great arrticle, like other mentioned I really like the look of the cargo pants with the black gilet! Would love to see a picture with the boots you used 🙂
kind regards and all the best wishes!


I have two vests by Crescent Down Works. V good quality and have lasted years.


Thank you for another nice article. I quite like the L’Etiquette/Beige H vibe.
I just wanted to add to the multitude of associations to choose from. In the wine business, one often sees vignerons working in the vineyards and cellars wearing gilets of different kinds. It is a very casual, confident and practical look.
Furthermore, there is also a cool East Coast ’90s hip hop vibe which pulled off gilets in good way.

J Crewless

There has been a noticeable shift in over the years in what is considered to be “Permanent Style.” This post makes it quite evident when comparing it to the original intent of this website.


I bought the Anglo-Italian gilet a couple of years ago and it has quickly become my number one piece of outerwear. Living in Australia there tends not to be much call for the heavier vests, but the lightly padded shell-style of the AI is perfect from March to September.

It is also really well featured, with 7 pockets, side tabs to adjust fit when layering, and a two-way zip. Mine has a drawstring hem but that may not be on the current version.

I can’t recommend it highly enough if you want a shell layer.

Guy W

Great article, thanks Simon. I’m a fan of the gilet as a practical piece and was recently looking for a piece that didn’t look ‘tech bro’. I ended up getting this one from P Johnson as, while I love your one from The Real McCoys, it’s simply too warm for where I live: https://pjt.com/collections/vests-gilets/products/navy-quilted-trail-vest. On one side, it’s a lovely, luxurious wool (which isn’t dissimilar to those from Stoffa), and the other side is a lightly quilted rip-stop fabric, which is great if its starts to rain, and is sporty, but still nice enough to wear over the top of, say, the Dartmoor. I’ve been wearing it a hell of a lot.
I was about to order the Real McCoys Ball Park sweatshirt but just saw your quarter-zip above. It looks great but, if I only bought one, do you think the regular sweatshirt is a little more versatile?

Jamie mcp

I have a fairly bright Green gilet from Crescent down works. I think it’s their Italian model.

At the moment I practically live in it, normally with a Bryclelands RAF jumper on underneith.

Living in a relatively dry but cold city (Edinburgh) it’s perfect. Occasionally I yearn for some sleeves but not often.


I’ve never worn a gilet except when cycling. The extra insulation on the chest to fend off wind chill just makes perfect sense in that setting, without adding bulk to the arms. I picked up a Rapha one years ago with pockets, and that was a complete game changer. They’ve discontinued it now, so when I needed to replace it with a larger size earlier this year I ended up with a PEdALED one (another great Japanese brand) that’s if anything even better.
Off the bike though, they’re not for me. The proportions are just unflattering. I’d feel I looked like I was just waiting for the helicopter to come and winch me out of the North Sea following a shipwreck. Suggestive of adventure maybe, but more like misadventure.

Simon C (not Crompton)

Personally I don’t think the black gilet ticks any boxes, especially being a pasty white male with (some) ginger hair. I’m a fan of the slimmer styles from Aspesi and Slowear, and find them very versatile in terms of styling options, but in no way keep you warm!


Lolling at the name. Pure genius!

Gary Hunt

I love the deerskin Real Mccoys vest, you mention in the article it is a size small, the website is listing in inches. As a similar sized and proportioned man to you, is yours a 36 or 38?

Bruce Macklie

Simon – a bit unclear from the text, but did you mean the deerskin vest was a size small or the Camber hoodie? Thanks.


This article was excellently timed from my perspective. Was in two minds about getting a Rocky Mountain Featherbed vest for the past few weeks. Pulled the trigger on a beige dobby twill/horsehide Warehouse collab after reading your article, Simon. Now hopefully, i got the sizing spot on.


Hey Chip, you shouldn’t go wrong with an RMF vest. They are well made and will provide a lifetime of warmth and comfort. I’ve had one for some years and have been eyeing that deerskin model Simon wore for a while.

Benjamin London

Interesting article. Working in the City, I have a horror of gilets. Finance bros wearing them under suit jackets, over suit jackets or instead of suit jackets, always seems to be the cheapest plastic ones which look like they are wearing a bin bag.

Then yes the Marty McFly life preserver connotations.

However I have always been attracted by the look of the Rocky Mountain and Real McCoy ones, I just struggle to imagine when I might wear them in London. Only on the weekend, not when it’s raining, not practical with small children, not on a night out.

Benjamin London

Ah I was thinking more of the deer leather one. Also I’m not sure if it would be a good idea for them to be squashed down with children on the shoulders! Akin to wearing with a heavy rucksack which would be a no no I assume….


Hi Simon,
Hiw long in the bidy do you recommend a gilet (like the black one) to be?

Good morning, I bought an RMFD vest last winter and it has become my favorite piece of clothing. I think it's of great quality and it's very warm! I'm going to London in a few days and I would like advice on what outerwear to wear, pea coat or RMFD?
Paul Grove

One advantage of the fleece gilet is that they are far slimmer. Many of these are just too bulky on top.

Unfortunately so many of the fleece options out there have brand associations of overt/extreme unwearable cliche (Schoffel – extreme Sloane ranger) (Patagonia – tech bro or east London hipster).

Other ones are so often cut boxy and far too big.

Non fleece loro piana gilets also often seem too euro/flash

Do you know of any slim and subtle, refined options? Ideally in a fine fleece?


I have a very thinly padded down gilet from Uniqulo, with snap buttons, that can alternate between a deep v and a crew neck, which is very nice to wear under a coat och suit jacket early fall or cold, cold winter.
I also quite like the look of P Johnsons alpine vest, for a heavy one (I’m partial to the red).
I wouldn’t mind one from LP (or Saman Amel) but I don’t feel a gilet is worth the prices they charge. Stòffa also makes very nice ones. I haven’t tried them, but they look very nice, a discreete one to wear indoor too, over a knit without it looking like outerwear.


Hi Simon. I’ve been wearing more loafers lately, but I’m thinking about upgrading my suede boots for the colder months here in NY (Autumn and Winter mostly). I’m torn between the Edward Green Cranleigh, Galway, Banbury, and Shanklin. Uses would be on walks out in parks and in nature, and also to informal gatherings, with denim and other casual trousers. I don’t think I’d be wearing them much to the office. Interested in what you’d recommend if you could only have one of those three boots. Thanks as always, and happy holidays to you and your family!


Hello Simon, would you say that Camber hoodie is a step below the Japanese ones you’ve written about in the past from a quality point of view (outside of the fact there’s synthetics in the mix)?


Simon, is the henley the cardigan stitch henley on the ‘Ranchman” label?


This definitely inspires me to add a vest to my wardrobe!

I did try that deerskin Real McCoy’s vest a few weeks ago and it is a thing of beauty. It feels so well made, and the deerskin leather like butter. I sorely wanted it to work for me, but I found the bulk it created, and how this looked, couldn’t justify the cost. In particular, i have narrow shoulders and wider hips, and the vest seemed to amplify this. And it made the back of my neck look fat. Like you say Simon, it probably looks best with other oversized clothing. I will also try the Rocky Mountain vests to see if they work better.

Can I ask how you are finding those Rubato Doeks, especially what you think of the look of the black rubber. Am guessing you prefer the all-white standard models?

Many thanks.


I have 2 padded wool gilets (outerwear) from a Polish brand, which are lovely and relatively inexpensive, but have found over time that, as other readers have said, I inevitably either get hot or cold in them in seemingly any and all seasons.

The only situation I theoretically think they could work (besides doing some sort of outside labour, which is not my case) is over a light top (e.g. a shirt), in place of a knit, and with a big coat over it all (e.g. PS Donegal), in case outside is very cold but I know my destination will be very warm.
But if I know I’m going somewhere that warm, it’s either a restourant, where finding safe home for a long coat is already an herculean task as nobody has coat hangers anymore, or a shopping mall where I’ll have to carry my outerwear everywhere already; in both cases, I probably don’ want to have to do that for an additional piece of outerwear (while a knit I can at least remove and tie over the back).

So in the end, they never really get any use.


Hi Simon
Apologies I’m a bit late with this question. What size are you wearing in the Real McCoy’s vest?
I’m usually a large in RM clothing and their measurements online are very accurate, however a second opinion is always useful. Btw have you seen the sudes version by RM?


I do apologise Simon. I started the comment, got distracted so I didn’t realise I’d sent it!
Thanks for the feedback back on the size. Did that feel ok to wear a thick sweater/hoodie underneath ?Re the second part of my comment, the question is: have you seen the rough suede version from the Real McCoy’s and if so do you have any opinions on it, versatility, sizing etc?
Again apologies for the error in the original comment.


Hi Simon, Apologies, I started the comment, got distracted and didn’t realise I’d sent it!
My second question was about the Real McCoy’s, Roughout (leather -( I thought suede!). Have you any experience of this vest?


until the bros commandeered the vest thta’s the only term i used–‘vest” can someone clue me in on where ‘gilet’ began. thx all, jeff

colin macdonald

Just how do we pronounce the word ? Gilet ?


Hello Simon,
Are those Rubato trousers the khaki or dark khaki chino pants?

Do you think it would be worth owning both colours, or are they a bit too similar ?


Hey Simon,

I’ve heard the RMF runs really small so I was wondering what size did you take for the RMF vest?

Did you size up?


A question on the RMF – if you pop the collar, does it stay closed and keeps everything warm? there are no further buttons on the collar, right?


Hi Simon,

A question about your quarter-zip sweatshirt from The Real McCoy. Do you only wear it zipped open with collar popped? I find those type of sweats a little bit hard to wear, but on others they look nice.


Simon, how are you fairing with the Rubato chino unaltered, winning you over?

I’m in market to pick up some chinos for spring/ summer, although, the hem of the Rubato is slightly putting me off.


Thanks for getting back Simon. As I’m on lookout for a more dressy chino, these may fit the bill (as not having great success at present).

And yes, will be able to have them altered to match what I’m more comfortable with.


Hey Simon,

Have you had a chance to try Connolly’s new gilet?

Never been a big fan of this style, but this piece is making me think of giving it a chance.


I like them under a coat in winter since there is then at times no need for a jumper. Admittedly that means wearing a wool gilet rather than something bulky. The extra freedom of movement for the arms is most pleasant at a time of year when one can often feel like a stuffed teddy bear.