Ah, the vest, a garment nearly killed by fashion-deprived finance types. You know the meme: the Midtown Uniform, comprising a button-down, a vest overtop and slacks to complete the fit. Like red hats, flat-pile fleece vests will never be the same; they're forever tarnished, spoiled by their abundance (and an unsavory affiliation with the well-to-do).
There are, however, a bunch of other styles you could consider; ones that won't make you shitposter (a term of those that post these memes) prey. These trade the straight shape of (usually) Patagonia vests for volume, whether through quilting, down or exterior texture, like corduroy, wool, suede, sherpa or tin cloth. Plus, these will actually keep you warm, because a handful are insulated while others are made from materials more renowned for their warmth retention.
Simply put, you need one of these and not one of those, if that makes sense. Find what exactly we're talking about below.
Made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, Girlfriend Collective's Thorn Everyone Puffer Vest packs everything you love about these kinds of jackets into something you could potentially wear under one. It works just as well overtop lighter outerwear, like a fleece or a shirt jacket.
Rocky Mountain Featherbed makes retro-tinged outwear with modern functionality. Translated: The brand's vests will you keep you as warm as your technical parka while looking exponentially cooler.
Texture is achieved through corduroy, down and a pair of pockets, which steers this vest clear of memeification.
While some of the vests on this list wouldn't survive torrential sleet, snow or rain, Filson's insulated Tin Cloth Vest totally could. In fact, it's begging to be worn for a hard day's work or through a winter storm. It's insulated (with primaloft so it's warm even when it's wet), has a high, tight collar and defends the wearer against water.
Buck Mason's made its Cascade Down Expedition Vest in a vintage piece's image, but it's very new-age in its technical ability. It's cut from recycled nylon and filled with traceable duck down.
Another option constructed from 100-percent recycled nylon, Gap's Puffer Vest is pretty typical. It's got the usual shape, a nice, clean hue and two slanted pockets.
Rains' Fleece Vest really toes the line between meme fodder and fine outerwear. This release from the brand isn't waterproof like most of its stuff, but it is slim enough to be worn beneath a bigger coat.
This is luxury alpine outerwear — the kind James Bond would wear skiing. Oh, and it's made in the Czech Republic.
Two outerwear brands, Gramicci and Taion, co-designed this Down Vest, which buttons all the way up to the neck, is waterproof and packs down into itself.
According to Todd Snyder, the down vest is "Swiss Army Knife of outerwear. You can layer it over a sweater or under a coat, and having freedom of movement is a great thing especially on days when you’re working outside or commuting by bike." His is made from Japanese nylon and filled with down. It has a red contrasting interior, too.
Sheesh! Shearling, huh? Billy Reid pulled out all of the stops for its vest. The exterior is super soft suede while the interior is 100-percent lamb shearling.
When news broke of Barbour and Engineered Garments' forthcoming collab, plenty set out imagining what it would look like. But then when it came out, we were all surprised — but not shocked at all. This is exactly what you'd expect from the two, heritage mixed technical and urban influences.
Flint and Tinder's vest is made from waxed cotton, meaning it's water-resistant — but also super warm. The upper half of the interior is lined with sherpa for softness around the neck but also heat retention.
Up for grabs in seven different colors, Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down Vest is just what the name promises: a lightweight vest that punches well above its weight class when it comes to keeping you warm.
Fit for hunting but plucked from the fashion world, Norbit's reversible gilet gives you plenty of pocket space and a pop of color. Plus, it was designed by Hiroshi Nozawa, who's worked with Snow Peak, New Balance Japan and Columbia Black Label.
Inspired by workwear brands like Carhartt or Dickies, Madewell's Canvas Workwear Vest not only protects softer garments (like a sweater) but it provides plenty of warmth, too. It's flannel-lined.
Flannel isn't for shirts exclusively. This Plaid Zip Gilet proves such. It has a classic blue-yellow-brown-green pattern, a soft hand feel and impressive warmth for weight.