My green down vest may get worn more than any other article of outerwear in my closet. This is mostly due to its versatility. It can be easily dressed up for “business casual” or dressed down with a sweatshirt for an evening walk. It also provides an additional layer and material to experiment with color/fabric/pattern combinations (especially sweater/dress shirt combinations). I think that the green color of my vest adds a nice pop of color while remaining reserved. Down vests have been a staple in classic dress for decades, perhaps due to the love of outdoor activities or simply for the love of layering.
Although they have been around since the early 1900′s Eddie Bauer patterned the first quilted down vest in 1940. These vests were supplied to United States Army by Bauer. This could partly explain the long standing popularity of down vests. Many of today’s fashion staples are derived from either sport or war. The down vest has roots in both.
The vest featured was made by Quest and was purchased at a Dick’s sporting store in 2005 for around $50. It has held up well as it has received more than its fair share of wears. I have been keeping my eye open for a replacement and received a Lands End version for Christmas last year. However, it has not replaced my older vest and has only be worn a handful of times.
Above are my two vests. There are a lot small differences between the two vests. The color and quilting are both slightly different. I prefer the quilting and color (a touch brighter) of the older vest, however this does not detract from the Lands’ End vest. The biggest downside to this vest is the lack of warmth that it provides. I am unsure of the exact fill of either vest, but I do know the older one is much warmer. There are also issues with the buttons and pockets. The lands’ End version has buttons which don’t seem to hold in heat as well as zippers. Plus, buttons are simply not as convenient as zippers. The pockets are not lined with fleece like my older vest. The lined pockets actually make a big difference when you are outdoors. At least I am learning what to look for in a replacement. The search continues.