The fleece gilet is becoming increasingly popular with traditional country sportsmen, equestrian enthusiasts, and young British farmers.
The additional layer of warmth during chilly summer evenings and cool autumnal days offers a stylish yet practical alternative when compared to traditional options such as wax jackets, rain coats, hoodies, and tweed blazers.
One of our most commonly asked questions is “How to match a gilet with a shirt?”
So where do we start? First and foremost, you should consider what the occasion is and at what time you might be most likely to wear your fleece gilet.
Regarding men’s gilets, we have put together a few occasions which we think are the right times to wear fleece gilets:
Town and country
Whether sitting in a beer garden on a chilly summer evening or taking the dog for an early morning stroll, you can keep your torso a little warmer with a Harpham or Huggate fleece gilet without overheating or restricting your extremities.
Matching a shirt with a fleece gilet is largely dependent taste and personality.
Down the line
Going on a shooting excursion would be a great time to zip up in one of our thicker padded Lisset fleece gilets.
The large, easily accessible pockets on this design are perfect for keeping dozens of shotgun cartridges to hand, and the extra padding can even protect your shoulder from the recoil of a shotgun; all while leaving your arms exposed and free for ease of movement.
Finding a matching shirt for this type of fleece can be a minefield, but we find that our 100% brushed cotton country check shirts are the most popular and go together well, especially the ones with an Olive or Lovat colour pallet to tie it all together into a timeless country look.
Additionally, the Lisset gilet boasts a generous 'poacher’s pocket’, helping to keep those dog biscuits out of man's best friend’s reach.
As a gamekeeper or outdoorsman, our Gransmoor fleece gilet functions as a practical additional layer in situations where a full jacket may be too much.
It’s offered in a stylish olive or brown body colour with contrasting soft trim and a small yet iconic embroidered pheasant logo.
Practical colours are often the first choice for outdoor work and with good reason. So, when matching with a shirt, our advice would be to select a yellow or gold base colour with an overlaid country check.
Farmers young and old
Practicality and style in one! Taking the sheep to market or meeting up with the lads down the pub after a hard day’s graft, a Huggate fleece gilet is a fine garment to socialise in.
The secure pockets are ideal for your mobile phone or a healthy wallet (necessary after selling the sheep).
With high neck and waist toggles, you can zip up and toggle in for the walk back home for warmth on those autumnal evenings.
One of our classic cotton shirts with a pop of colour would fit terrifically with the Huggate Gilet for occasions like this. Try our popular Tattersall Blue shirt with a navy gilet, or Wetwang Green shirt and olive gilet.
The equestrian enthusiast
Mucking the horse out on a winter's morning can prove to be a chore, however it must be done, and what better to wear than a fleece gilet?
Once you've walked across the paddock to the stable and said a good morning to your mare, shovelling the proverbial can be sweaty work even on a cold day, you don't want a jacket getting in the way, but it's too cold for just a shirt. Go halfway house and sport a fleece gilet.
As a side note, gilets are also great for horse riding.
Moving onto ladies, we have equestrian enthusiasts, gardeners, and farming and country ladies who all absolutely love our fleece gilets!
Much like gents, ladies gilets are also very versatile, which is almost an essential for working and being outdoors.
They are perfect almost all year round, whether that be spring and autumnal days, or a summers evening, when an extra layer is needed but a coat would be a step too far.
This gives our gilets traditional character and style and also allows the collar to be worn in two ways; either the relaxed turned down look or the snappy upright to form a crisp line showing the collars feature fabric.
These fleece gilets look great when paired with a ladies country shirt, creating an effortlessly stylish look to get that eye-catching look we suggest one of our popular Wistow printed shirts!
These gilets have two toggles, one on the bottom enabling you to adjust it to your shape, as pulling this adjustment tight in colder weather also helps prevent cold air entering up the bottom of the garment going up your back.
The other toggle adjustment is half way down, and this not only looks smart, but also enables you to pull it in on the waist if desired — perfect for creating a feminine shape.
Pockets are another key feature of the gilet, because let’s face it, who wants to carry a handbag all the time?
Equally, the gilet is ideal for avoiding the need to carry your purse, phone, and car keys in a bag when out and about. If you are a busy, practical person the gilets pockets are perfect for carrying all your personal items. No fuss!
Now that we know the features, how are fleece gilets best worn?
Being a simple design, they can go with most items of country clothing, jeans, chinos, Jodhpurs, and even shorts in summer.
The true country look
If you are a country lady and like to wear smart yet practical clothing, a shirt and gilet combination is perfect.
Choose from one of the many colours in the range, whether that’s a very versatile navy or a more daring red, don’t forget to choose a colour that compliments your hair and skin tone!
Team your gilet up with a stylish shirt to complete the look; a contrasting or complimentary colour works best.
Our gilets look fantastic with a classic striped or check Hannah shirt, or for an extra bit of design flair try it with one of our new printed Wistow shirts, horses, hares, ducks, dogs and pheasants are just some of our most popular prints.
Although the sun is shining now, let’s not forget that the gilet can be a key layer when it comes to winter.
You can sandwich a fleece gilet between a shirt and a thick winter jacket to ensure your core body temperature stays regulated to a comfortable level all day long.
The layered look is currently in vogue and the fleece gilet is a great way to achieve it.