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Can someone explain Gilets to me?

(36 Posts)
NoseyNooNoo Sat 06-Aug-11 18:06:40

First how do you pronounce Gilet and Gilets.

Secondly - I do like the look of them but I can't think when I would wear one. If it is cold enough for something quilted or puffy surely you'd want sleeves. I'm doubly confused about gilets with hoods - surely it really would be too cold for your arms if your head needed to be covered.

Is it that only your torse needs to be warm or is it just a fashion thing that doesn't take into account personal comfort?

purpleknittingmum Sat 06-Aug-11 18:16:22

I think you pronounce it gill-ay

When I was a kid they were called body warmers, but I think they come in lots of styles now, anything with no sleeves! I am not keen on them myself for similar reasons to you really. Never seen them with hoods!

schroeder Sat 06-Aug-11 18:29:36

I've always wondered this myself.

What is the point? confused

polyhymnia Sat 06-Aug-11 18:34:26

Me too, for reasons given by OP. Why???

KaySirah Sat 06-Aug-11 18:35:45

God you sound like a reet old fecker. I've no time for gilets but listen to yourself.

brighthair Sat 06-Aug-11 18:42:00

I wear for riding. Keeps body warm but arms free to move about. Sometimes chuck one on over long sleeved top and yoga pants if nipping out

schroeder Sat 06-Aug-11 18:44:10

KaySirah you sound lovely hmm

purpleknittingmum Sat 06-Aug-11 18:46:01

Ah I see now brighthair (numpty emoticon for me!) Makes sense!

dexter73 Sat 06-Aug-11 18:48:14

She is schroeder! Talks a lot of sense does Kay.
I wear them when I am walking the dog usually. They keep you warm enough and I think they look nice too.

brighthair Sat 06-Aug-11 18:48:32

Plus I hate coats grin
It's my chavvy hung over look with ugg boots blush

violetwellies Sat 06-Aug-11 18:50:54

Once they were called jerkins, tjen they were marketed as bodywarmers, now for some reason we have to call them by a poncy french name. They are useful whenn its cold and you're active, horsey /farming types wear them a lot. I wore one when I was pregnant as not all of me needed to be wearing a duvet. If you don't get it then they aren't for you.

TheLadyHare Sat 06-Aug-11 18:53:11

I love gilets/waistcoats, wear them mainly when walking my dogs. I hate feeling restricted when I'm walking and find as long as my torso is warm and dry I'm fine.

Usually just wear short sleeves underneath, unless it's snowing. I have a waxed Barbour, a padded Aigle and a quilted Toggi. Not a fashion thing for me, just a comfort thing.



BranchingOut Sat 06-Aug-11 18:56:19

I think they are useful for situations when it might get chilly but you don't want to be lugging around a big coat. Also for situations when you want to have your arms unencumbered.


Nipping out to the shop, garden or postbox.
Keeping in the car when you are on a journey.
Early morning trip to the airport - keeps you warm but then can fold away easily in your luggage.
Changeable weather.

I don't get the reason for gilets with hoods or 'lightweight' gilets.

purpleknittingmum Sat 06-Aug-11 18:58:02

I am not very active when outside so I expect that is why I have never had one. I see others wearing them and think....oh maybe for me, but I know if I got one I would quickly go off it

I've got a fleece one, don't really wear it on it's own, but it is great under my gore-tex waterproof coat, makes it really warm without making the sleeves too tight.

LaWeasel Sat 06-Aug-11 19:28:51

I always assume people wearing gilets are horsey types. Possibly because my ridiculously horsey primary school (ask not what the school logo was) added them to the uniform! Preferably worn over a Joules hoodie.

They are comfy if you're going to be reasonably active outside and need something a bit more than a jumper and less than a coat (...spring/autumn wear I suppose!)

pointydog Sat 06-Aug-11 19:38:12

If you wear gilets you either:

1. Have some practical need, such as doing horsey active things
2. Have tendency to poshness
3. Have no sense of style

madammecholet Sat 06-Aug-11 19:46:53

OK, i've worn a Gilet for about 15 years. Its a very cool black RAB one, goose down (ummmmm) I wear mostly with jeans and long boots in winter, shorts in summer. I think I look cool, urban, young (ish), but not walkery/off for a hike....more could snow board down selfridges escaltor at any moment kind of way,

pointy I am not practical (NO SIREE), not sure if i'm posh (how can you tell? I do have hummus in the fridge?....) and I have LOADS of style....infact BAGS of it....(bag fetish too)..

pointydog Sat 06-Aug-11 19:49:06

It's only people on mn who seem to suffer great confusion when tring to work out if they are posh or not grin

LaWeasel Sat 06-Aug-11 19:50:28

I think if you look at a puffy gilet and say 'oh that looks nice' despite not having any need for it, then you probably are a bit posh. No shame in that though!

SevenAgainstThebes Sat 06-Aug-11 19:59:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Purplebuns Sat 06-Aug-11 20:05:31

They are not posh! I have one and it is very warm and practical. I find I just need a light knit and my gilet and I am really very warm, I had mine in the snow over December and it was glorious!

WanderingSheep Sat 06-Aug-11 20:14:37

I've been wondering this myself since, erm, yesterday

My mum bought my DD2 (5 months old) an outfit and it came complete with a Gilet

I was wondering when DD would wear it as, when it's cold, surely her arms need covering too?

KurriKurri Sat 06-Aug-11 20:20:23

Is a gilet the same as a body warmer? - if so I have a fleecy one, I wear it for gardening it is just the right level of warmth when you are being active on a cold day. I don't consider it a fashion item, and I'm not posh. The very puffy ones are uncomfortable you can't put your arms down properly.

Soups Sat 06-Aug-11 20:20:24

I have a down filled one for walking, it's great for sunny winter days. They keep your core body temp up without getting you too hot. I wear a technical base layer under it. My 10 year old loves them, he doesn't really like coats, he's happy with a think jumper underneath.

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