Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
While vests are far from the most popular garment these days, they’re a great way to add additional warmth (and pockets) to an outfit without the bulk of a coat or jacket.
And with layering season just around the corner there is no better time to invest in new, warm vest. That’s exactly why we put together a list of some of the most compelling casual wool vests on the market. While some are certainly more formal than others, they’re all easy to work into a casual wardrobe without major changes.
1) Pike Brothers: 1937 Roamer Vest
Pike Brothers make some of the best, vintage inspired garments on the market, and their aptly named 1937 Roamer Vest is an excellent example. Made from 100% wool, this vest is based off of classics from a bygone era: with three front pockets, olive tree button closure, and a cotton lining. While this vest can easily be dressed up to business casual attire, it looks equally good worn casually with jeans.
Available for €169 from Pike Brothers.
2) Universal Works: Wool Waistcoat
If you’re worried you won’t find yourself wearing whatever vest you pickup, then Universal Works’ Wool Waistcoat is a great option. Not only is the price a lot more palatable than some of the other vests on this list, but the zippered closure and front hand pockets help this vest to wear a lot more similarly to more modern clothing. It’s versatile enough to wear with workwear or tech wear, and should offer enough warmth to let you forgot a warmer piece of outerwear on chilly but not frigid days.
Available for $119 from End Clothing.
3) Filson: Mackinaw Wool Vest
Filson is one of the USA’s most iconic brands, offering garments for both the workwear world and for more outdoorsy individuals. Their Mackinaw Wool Vest is the best of both worlds: offering an attractive vest for either niche with the warmth of 24oz. wool. It features two handwarmer front pockets, two chest pockets (one slotted), and a button closure that looks equally good both open and closed.
Available for $215 from Cultizm.
4) L.L. Bean: Maine Guide Vest
If you are looking for that hunter-ish aesthetic but don’t want to fork out the money for a Filson then L.L. Bean’s Maine Guide Vest might be perfect for you. While certainly a bit more on the modern tech-y side, this 85%/15% wool/nylon vest is a great piece to grab when you just want a bit of extra warmth on your way out the door. Match that with the brass zipper, four front pockets, and longer length for additional warmth, and you’ve got a vest that is likely to be a favorite for years to come.
Available for $149 from L.L. Bean.
5) Thom Browne: Down Filled Shetland Wool Vest
If you are looking for a warm, casual wool vest and don’t mind spending some serious cash then Thom Browne’s Down Filled Shetland Wool Vest is the way to go. Sure, the price is astronomical but it fills a very unique niche for a casual puffer vest that won’t look out of place over your dress clothes on the way to the office. It features a snapped closure, two snapped front pockets, and a varsity-style ribbed neck, ensuring you’ll be warm regardless of what you put it over.
Available for $1,200 from Thom Browne.
Plus One – Engineered Garments: Shoulder Vest
While one of the primary benefits of vest is the added warmth they give you without much additional bulk, they’re also great if you need more storage. And that’s precisely what Engineered Garments’ Shoulder Vest is all about. With a large button pocket and smaller zippered pocket, this single-sided shoulder vest is the perfect what to carry your everyday necessities when your pants have insufficient room. While it’s certainly a unique style, and we don’t expect everyone who sees this list to be instantly enamored, we appreciate each and every unique garment we come across.
Available for $212 from Canoe Club.