Gilets, also known as vests or waistcoats, are a versatile piece of clothing that can add style and function to your wardrobe. Originally worn as a protective layer for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing, gilets have become daily wear for men and women. Whether you are planning a camping trip, surviving, or simply want to add some extra warmth to your outfit, a gilet is an excellent choice. In this blog post, we will explore the history of gilets, the different styles, and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe to survive with style.
History of Gilets
The gilet, also known as a vest, has been around for centuries. The earliest known gilets were worn by soldiers in the 16th century as a form of body armour. These were made of leather or metal plates and were worn over a soldier’s clothing not so much to keep warm, more as physical protection.
In the 19th century, gilets were worn as part of a three-piece suit and were considered a formal piece of clothing and a symbol of wealth and social status. They were made from wool, silk, or cotton and adorned with buttons and embroidery.
In the early 20th century, gilets were worn for more practical reasons, particularly for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. Gilets made of leather or wool were used to keep the body warm while allowing for maximum arm mobility. During this time, gilets were also used as military uniforms, particularly during the World Wars.
In the 1960s and 1970s, gilets were become items of fashion, particularly in the form of denim vests. This trend continued into the 1980s and 1990s, with gilets being worn as part of punk, grunge, and rocker/biker subcultures.
Today, gilets continue to be worn for both fashion and function. They come in a variety of styles and materials, making them a versatile piece of clothing for any wardrobe.
Styles of Gilets
Puffer Gilet: Made from a lightweight material and filled with down or synthetic insulation. It is designed to keep the body warm while allowing for maximum arm mobility. Puffer gilets are often worn as an outer layer during the fall and winter months.
Quilted Gilet: Similar to the puffer gilet but is made from a quilted material. It is also filled with insulation to keep the body warm. Quilted gilets are also often worn as an outer layer during cold spells.
Leather Gilet: Made from leather and is often adorned with buttons, zippers, and epaulettes. It is designed to provide warmth and protection while allowing for maximum arm mobility. Leather gilets are often worn as a fashion item and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Denim Gilet: Made from denim and is often adorned with patches, embroidery, and badges. It is designed to provide a casual and edgy look while allowing for maximum arm mobility. Denim gilets are often worn as a fashion item and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Utility Gilet: This style of gilet is more function than fashion. It often has multiple pockets, zippers, and other features that allow for maximum storage and convenience. Utility gilets are often worn for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing.
How to Wear Gilets
Gilets are a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways:
Casual Look: Pair a denim gilet with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Gilets are perfect for casual wear. They can be worn with jeans, chinos, or shorts for a relaxed and comfortable look.
Smart Casual Wear: Gilets can also be dressed up for smart-casual occasions. They can be worn over a shirt or sweater and paired with trousers or dress shoes for a more formal look.
Layering: Gilets are perfect for layering. They can be worn over a t-shirt, hoodie, or sweater for extra warmth and protection from the elements.
Accessories: Gilets can be accessorised with hats, scarves, and gloves for extra warmth and style. They can also look good with a bug out bag or crossbody bags for a more practical look.
Colour coordination: When choosing a gilet, it’s important to consider the colour and style of your other clothing items. Gilets come in a variety of colours and patterns, so choose one that complements your outfit.
Overall, a gilet is a versatile and stylish piece of clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways. Whether you are dressing up or dressing down, prepping to survive, or just going fishing a gilet can add warmth and style to your outfit.