How to style a gilet

Jenessa Williams

Warming the torso but allowing free movement of the arms, sleeveless coats are not only practical but stylish too, layering well right through winter into spring
 

Taking tips from some of our favourite street style looks, find your perfect style below.

 

The wool waistcoat

The easiest way to trial the trend, a camel sleeveless coat is guaranteed to never run out of style. Wear just as you would a regular wool or trench coat—layered over a shirt and jumper, with a ripped-knee jean and patterned heels. 

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a bottle green Valentino clutch, never fear—Everything 5 Pounds supplies the look for a tiny fraction of the price. 

 

The denim vest

Usually associated with biker gangs and rebel teenagers, the denim vest isn’t just reserved for men. In fact, it can look decidedly feminine when paired with a floaty, mid-length skirt and sleeveless top. Choose a skirt with vertical stripes to elongate your frame and keep the look modern—plain midi-skirts can occasionally look frumpy when teamed with heavy top layers.

Keep up the ladylike edge with whimsical summer accessories such as round fifties-style glasses, a floral scarf and a good-sized handbag. Finish off with a fabric pair of espadrilles—more comfortable than a court shoe, they fit well with the outfits beachy aesthetic. 

 

The coloured coatigan 

Be bold in a vibrant, colour blocked outfit. The coatigan is a great lightweight layer for transitional dressing, in a aubergine hue that pairs just as well with strong orange trousers as it would black or white. 

Soften the rest of the look with a softly-tucked cream knit and taupe-toned accessories—suede boots, leather bag and simple jewellery and glasses. 

 

The trench dress

On those rare days where a true coat isn’t required, the look can still be achieved with a trench-style dress. A different take on smart dress, be sure to opt for a style that buttons firmly to avoid any awkward moments! 

Layer over a lace blouse for texture. Come home time, dress it up with pops of on-trend animal print with a leopard clutch and rose-gold heels to take you straight to an evening meal or drinks. 

 

The padded gilet

The older sister of your traditional duck-feather lined gilet, the padded coat has been a huge favourite of the street-style set, guaranteeing duvet-levels of comfort. 

A statement piece all of it’s own, choose your padded gilet in a bright colour, and keep the rest of the outfit pattern free—a basic jumper and jeans combination will do you just fine, with a complimentary hat from the other side of the colour wheel.

The “ugly trainer” trend is showing no signs of slowing, but if you’re not willing to invest designer prices in such a look, head to the high street—there are plenty of options in colours that can integrate more easily into your existing wardrobe.