Similar to puffer jackets, the sleeveless version gets its fair share of sartorial scorn, even despite its cold-weather benefits (read: warmth). It's often dismissed for its marshmallow bulk, bold hues, and unflattering shape. But in the face of subzero temps, the vest is, if anything, the smartest layering tool out there.
Shrug it on over smart blazers at work and layer it under winter coats during particularly chilly days (that's every day if you reside on the East Coast). It basically delivers extra insulation without the potential risk of overheating. Essentially, we're newfound fans of the puffer vest. And as proponents of the padded piece, we took it upon ourselves to piece together puffer-vest-centric outfits that work at the office, at casual weekend brunches, and at the gym. We picked Uniqlo's gray stretch down vest ($70; uniqlo.com) and styled it three ways.
At the office (pictured above):
Gap button-down, $50; gap.com. Uniqlo vest, $70; uniqlo.com. Zara blazer, $100; zara.com. French Connection pants, $110; frenchconnection.com. Fabio Rusconi, $165; fabiorusconishop.com.
At weekend brunch or any casual get-together:
vince.com. Uniqlo vest, $70; uniqlo.com. Tibi skirt, $698; tibi.com. Stuart Weitzman boots, $785; stuartweitzman.com.
At the gym:
net-a-porter.com. Athleta jacket, $118; athleta.com. Uniqlo vest, $70; uniqlo.com. H&M leggings, $40; hm.com. Asics sneakers, $120; asicsamerica.com.