Smart, stylish and entirely practical, gilets are the perfect defence against the vagaries of the British climate – no jacket required
Whatever the weather, a gilet is essential kit. Smart over a shirt in the summer and an invaluable mid-layer for chilly days in the field, gilets are both practical and timelessly stylish. And there are plenty to choose from. Schöffel are thoroughly popular, but have you considered a quilted, tweed or even padded option? Here are The Field’s top 12 best shooting gilets.
Need some style inspiration for the season? Take a sartorial lesson from David Beckham, who looks effortlessly stylish in the line. Find out which gilet Mr Beckham opts for, read dress like David Beckham in the field.
BEST SHOOTING GILETS
There was a time when the heady hues of scarlet, cherry, ruby and claret coloured the countryside, when red strides strode around the Game Fair, Burghley, point-to-points and race meetings. But as vermillion lost out to lime green and sky blue, the Schöffel gilet slipped into the vacuum. Ruddy faces gave up matching slacks and zipped up their fleeces.
In a swift online poll, voters opted for the Schöffel by a furlong (its design, quality, colours and style make it thoroughly popular both on and off the field). But the field boasts a number of great alternatives, too. From quilting (most of us of a certain vintage will have owned a Puffa jacket during our formative years) to fleece and tweed, the gilet acts as an essential sporting underlayer, a useful counterbalance to the British weather and is, therefore, a crucial piece of kit.
Here is The Field’s pick of the best shooting gilets to wear this season.
Alan Paine, Aylsham Fleece Waistcoat
With a robust front zipper, handy zipped pockets and smart contrast piping, the Alan Paine Aylsham Fleece Waistcoast comes in a variety of colours at a very reasonable price.
Tel 01623 415760
Purdey, Fleece Shooting Vest
Made from highly durable, non-pilling Italian fleece, the Purdey Fleece Shooting Vest is soft, warm and comfortable.
Tel 020 7499 1801
Darzi, Tweed Darzi
Made from 100% mid-weight Shetland tweed, the Original Darzi is soft to touch but extremely durable. Interior made from British fleece for an extra layer of warmth.
Tel 07808 204900
Lavenham, Mickfield Quilted Gilet
Slim-fit quilted gilet which is usefully water resistant and comes with a fun, bright interior.
Tel 01787 379535
Schöffel, Oakham Fleece Gilet
Fast drying, durable and timelessly stylish, the Schöffel Oakham is a hugely popular option for sporting sorts both on and off the field.
Tel 01572 772480
Illann Cashmere, Reversible Gilet
Get two gilets for the price of one with this fully reversible cashmere gilet. Comes with pockets on both sides, a funnel neck and contrasting suede trim.
Tel 0121 227 2950
Musto, Melford Fleece Gilet
This anti-pilling fleece gilet has a drawcord hem to lock in body heat. A fantastic mid-layer for those extra chilly days in the field.
Tel 01268 495824
Barbour, Finn Quilted Gilet
This quilted gilet features two handy pockets and cord to the inner collar with a stylish extra-large tartan lining.
Tel 0800 9173000
Jack Pyke, Countryman Fleece Gilet
This thermal fleece gilet is the bargain of the bunch, and comes in a variety of colours with a smart trim.
Tel 01234 740327 (for stockists)
John Field, Tweed Body Warmer
This padded gilet has a fitted feel, with a durable tweed outer layer and warm and breathable lining. Comes in static grey or navy blue tartan.
Tel 01886 822079 (for stockists)
Harkila, Sandhem Fleece Vest
This fleece vest is warm and wind resistant, with a fun check lining and extremely useful inside zip pocket.
Tel 01844 237944
Blaser, Argali Quilted Vest
This noiseless and light gilet comes with a two-way zipper and handy pockets, and is fleece-lined for extra warmth.
Tel 01483 917412