Here in Atlanta, we are in that perfect time of year when it’s in the 50s in the morning, and reaches 80 in the afternoon.  That’s a pretty wide swath in terms of comfortability.  Not only is it chilly in the morning, but offices have a hard time regulating the temperature and often feel like refrigerators in the morning.

I have really gotten into wearing vests over the past couple years.  I grew up on the snap Ts and have worn quilted vests for years, but the vest designs have become much more friendly to non-hikers.  They provide a little warmth and some extra pockets without the bulk of a jacket.  By no means am I saying that a vest should replace a sport coat, but they are a suitable alternative on casual Fridays, low meeting days, or in a more casual environment.

I prefer to stay in the middle 80% of the vest spectrum.  I don’t want anything too technical, but also not too jam band.  I like professional and versatile, if that makes sense.  I want to be able to wear it in the office and on the course/range/bar/walking the dog(s).  Here’s how I like to do it:

From top left:

1. Holderness & Bourne Riegel Vest:  We’re going to cover this one a lot more in depth in a bit, but there’s a reason this is #1.
2. LL Bean Sweater Fleece PrimaLoft Vest:  Fleece, and a bit more rugged, but the red and brown contrast is cool over a gingham or plaid shirt.  I’d avoid this if you normally wear a sport coat or avoid happy hour.
3. Patagonia Nano Puff Vest: The Nano Puff hasn’t been out that long, but has reached iconic status (along with the Better Sweater).  This one is not only a source of warmth, but also protection from the elements.  Perfect for folks that spend a lot of time in their car or on job sites.
4. Orvis Trout Bum Softshell Vest: The perfect ‘middle of the line’ vest.  Good for every outfit that doesn’t require cap toes or wing tips.  Washes well.  Works as an insulation layer on the river.
5. Simms Fall Run Insulated Vest: Ultralight, and not a ‘noisy’ as other insulated vests.  Be ready to tell fishing stories if you are wearing a Simms vest, as it does make you ‘that guy’ at the office.  I’d be fine with that.
6. Southern Marsh Carlyle Sporting Vest:  Included because of the lighter look.  Great over a solid OCBD with jeans and boots.
7. Onward Reserve Rabun Quilted Vest: Impossible to talk about vests and leave out a quilted version.  Onward has been focusing on their brand, and this quilted vest is a great, affordable option that will work just about anywhere.  Perfect for morning meetings and Trivia night.
8. Peter Millar Packable Melange Vest:  Peter Millar is really doing well in the vest world, and their melange is basically a finer fleece.  Much more dressed up.  Unlogo’ed is the power play, but if you must, make sure that the logo is smaller than a quarter.  Otherwise you look like a NASCAR.

Are you into the vest thing?  What’s your vest of choice?



  1. SEM
    05/03/2017 / 8:27 AM

    I have a few Straight Down vests from my local pro shop which have worked great for me. Super soft and don’t infringe on my swing.

    • JRS
      05/04/2017 / 7:56 AM

      I’ve seen some Straight Down stuff, but don’t have any first hand experience.  I’ll keep this in mind…

  2. Nem
    05/03/2017 / 9:00 AM

    2, 3, 4 are in  my closet.  Actually, 3 is in my daughter’s car.  Anyway, the non-quilted finishes look best in the office, in my opinion.  Got to say though, the Southern Marsh Carlyle looks like something my wife would wear to the farmers market on a sunny day with her Hunter boots.

    • JRS
      05/04/2017 / 7:56 AM

      Well said on all points.  

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