The solid-hued down vest was elevated to fashion-god status this season, with every menswear editor touting them as the must-have style enhancer. Men were told to wear them with sweaters, under coats, and even over — and yes, under — suit jackets. Bright colors were highly recommended, and labels like Moncler at about $400 and up were considered the smart investment. This trend was so hot and so universal that it would make perfect sense that brands would take note and jockey to place their own versions next fall. In fact, I just got a hot tip from a fashion insider who is not only predicting, but guaranteeing that this second coming will be in the form of 1980s vintage-inspired down vests.
Down vests from the 1980’s were more sports-specific, with some of the best designs coming from the ski manufacturers such as Obermeyer, The North Face, and Puma before it evolved into a fashion brand. The vests were highly designed, with color blocking, stripping, and even Western details being the standards. They were also lighter weight and more functional than some of the “poufy” options so omnipresent today. They were absolutely the norm on every mountainside and were donned by even the least trend-aware men.
If you’re ready for this 1980s flashback, or even if you’re of the generation that thinks the The Cure is some hot new nonprofit, I suggest you buy the real thing. Why wait until September and pay designer prices for a vintage knockoff when you can own one now and be way ahead of the curve. After much research, I found two great vintage e-tailers: The Rusty Zipper and Vintage Trends (the latter ahs more from the 1970s, but they look the same) that actually stock a fairly well-rounded collection of these hard-to-find style staples. Both have several from the aforementioned brands, but they also stock a plethora of label-missing options that are equally as cool. The best versions are multicolored or slightly adorned with visible snaps and top-stitching. I would gravitate towards the more sports-oriented styles, though if you’re really a hipster at heart, then go for some of the Western looks. My source told me that both will be fashion relevant. And the best part? Even the branded pieces are under $40.