The outdoor apparel favourite is back – with more style cred than ever.

MOST WANTED: the gilet

It’s the gilet, but not as you know it: this versatile basic, beloved of outdoorsmen for decades, has enjoyed an increase in cool factor (if you’ll excuse the pun) with the fashion world’s recent move to positioning hiking- and ski-inspired pieces as the activewear of the moment. Fresh from mountain trails via the collections of Nike, Fendi, and Balenciaga, the new gilet is here – and ready to take you everywhere. 

What you’re looking for 

To get the most wear out of your new favourite outerwear, you’ll want to choose one with the tech details that make a style statement, but the relatively sleek silhouette that makes this such a versatile piece. With just the right amount of bulk, you’ll be able to pair up with chinos and an office-ready button-up shirt just as easily as you’d wear it over sweats or a hoodie on your days off. If you need to go back a step and ask what “tech details” are, not to worry: this just means “useful stuff”. Zip-up pockets have to be our favourite: good for not losing your keys and essentials on a long and rigorous hike, even better for not losing your keys and essentials on a busy day in the city. 


Way to wear #1: Tone it all the way up

Tonal dressing has been with us for a few seasons now, and it’s easy to see why – it’s confident, it’s low-key, and in winter it’s cosy. Pair up your gilet with a hoodie or sweatshirt that almost matches, but not quite, and get bonus points for a hat and pants that coordinate, too. 

Way to wear #2: Rethink “rugged” 

The gilet was designed for utility – arduous days and nights in the chilly outdoors – so mixing it up with sophisticated styling always feels like a pleasant surprise. Pair yours with a poloneck and a chain or a turtleneck with a zip detail for a look that feels cool and considered. What you wear in the way of pants and shoes is up to you – the look works equally well with sweatpants and suiting, but we’ve got to put a word in for fresh sneakers. 

Way to wear #3: Turn up the contrast

If we haven’t made the point already, we’ll say it again: gilets look great as part of a tonal look. But if you’re feeling bold, adding a bit of pattern goes a long way to show that you’re a little more interesting and expressive than the next guy. From acid-wash denim to tie-dyed, long-sleeved tees and sweatshirts, this season’s most fun must-have pieces have you set to turn a style staple into an anything-but-ordinary staple. Keep the rest of the look simple and hit the streets.


Yours in Style