The time has come to say yes to vests. In these nascent and erratic days of fall, it can be hard to plan out your outerwear for the not-quite-hot and not-quite-cold temperatures. Overcompensate and you'll get sweaty; under-compensate and you'll get chilly. It's a fickle game. That's why you need a good vest, which will serve you well when you don't need a full jacket and well into winter when it's time to start stacking up those layers.
Whatever look you're going for, there's a vest for you. You can cosplay as a fisherman, someone vacationing in Vail, Colorado, or someone whose hands get dirty because their idea of a workday doesn't center upon a computer. You can keep it classic with Patagonia's Retro X or go full-on Japanese drip lord with a Kapital piece that qualifies as reckless endangerment to your bank account. We've put together a range of styles and prices so you can find the perfect middle-layer.
Patagonia Classic Retro X ($149)
Patagonia puts out its long-enduring Retro X fleece vest in a new crop of colors each year. There's nothing else that needs to change about the simple fleece, especially now that it's made with 50-percent recycled sherpa fleece. If you're looking for something a little warmer, consider upgrading to the reversible down version for $199. Whatever you do, just don't put the vest over your white-collar button-up — lest you end up looking like a finance bro.
Snow Peak Wool Fleece Vest ($163)
If you already have enough fleece in your life, mix things up with this wool vest from Snow Peak. It's got a similar texture to fleece with the bonus of staying warm when wet. And the best news is that it's on sale, down from $325.
Moncler Down Gui Vest ($595)
Down vests can easily get out of hand, but this extra lightweight piece from Moncler keeps the proportions tight. It also comes in a royal purple to match the winter status symbol that is the Moncler logo.
Levi's Made and & Crafted Reversible Blue Faux-Shearling Vest ($200)
We'll excuse you for getting your vest from the jeans store when it looks this striking. The quilted side features a steezy zig-zag pattern, while the reverse is more muted with a smoky faux shearling. That's two vests in ones, which is just good economics.
Brain Dead Sherpa Tactical Vest ($220)
Brain Dead's The North Face collaboration may hog the attention, but the brand's in-house dalliances in gorp are worthy of the same praise. This creamy sherpa has big ole pink pockets with lining to match, as well as a slick striped mesh in the rear that should mitigate any back sweat issues that may arise.
Dickies Quilted Nylon Vest Black ($40)
It's warm, it'll stay dry, and because it's Dickies, you know it'll last. Keep it fuss-free and cheap with a dependable piece of workwear.
Stüssy Insulated Work Vest ($120)
Elevate your stolen valor with Stüssy's work vest insulated with lightweight Thinsulate. You can opt for black to stay truer to the workwear aesthetic or flash it up with teal.
Kapital Rip Stop Nylon Keel Weaving Vest ($2,184)
Ever since I first saw this vest, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I dream of being able to shell out two racks for this immaculate weave of down-filled strips of ripcord. Shopping may be akin to chasing the dragon, but I fully believe I'd reach a point of stasis if I could make this beaut mine.