A puffer vest is a sporty quilted topper without sleeves that comes in various lengths. Outside the US it is often called a gilet, bodywarmer or sleeveless jacket. Most puffer vests are solid colours, but some are patterned. Some are thin and streamlined, and others are big, bulky and oversized. They are easy to wear with athletic, athleisure, and casual outfits. You can wear them as an extra warm layer under or over outerwear. They can also be remixed with dressier items.
Here are some puffer vest examples.
Puffer vests are a popular way to keep out the chill in my neck of the woods. Hubs Greg has a gorgeous grey one from Theory that he wears every season. I know them as bodywarmers, and wore them often when I went horse riding decades ago.
I don’t have a puffer vest in my wardrobe these days because I need the warmth of sleeves in our cold weather. But I recently realized that a puffer may be effective for me in warmer weather. Maybe I could wear it instead of a denim jacket. So as a potential wildcard, I’m considering getting a short puffer vest in a Summer colour that I can wear with both casual and dressier pieces.
Here are some outfit ideas for Team Puffer Vest.
1. Lightly Columned
Create a column of light neutrals with a sweater, pair of pants or jeans, and light boots. Pop a solid or patterned puffer vest in the same palette over the top. Here, the top is a hoodie, and the hood is worn outside the puffer vest. I can see the look working well with lighter earth tones.
2. Black and White
Combine a black sweater with a black puffer vest. Pair the twinset effect with white jeans, and finish off the look with black boots or loafers. Feel free to sub dark blue for the black. Blue jeans will work equally well, or black jeans if you enjoy a column of black. A long puffer vest is an option if you like to wear leggings but prefer to wear long toppers with body-con bottoms.
3. Pleated and Patterned
I love this look, and it’s my favourite of the lot. It’s fab how the sporty puffer vest dresses down the skirt and creates a fun and modern juxtaposition. Combine a pleated skirt with a boxy patterned top. The top and vest here are quite long, and personally I’d prefer them a little shorter. Layer a puffer vest over the lot in a colour that works with the top and skirt. Finish off the look with fashion sneakers, oxfords, loafers, or flats. Keep the items solid if patterns aren’t for you.
4. Casually Dressy
Layer a puffer vest over a patterned or solid dressy or casual dress in the same palette. Add footwear and a bag that work with the colours of the outfit. I like the tension between the dressy dress and sporty vest, and how the boots ground the outfit. A long vest would look fab too. Add jewellery, watch, and eyewear as desired.