Long-considered the go-to garb of the Sloane Ranger set, the padded jacket or quilted gilet has had a somewhat narrowly defined existence in the fashion world. Traditionally — or rather, stereotypically — the preserve of the privileged English country gentleman, in its initial incarnation, the quilted jacket was purpose-built in the 1960s to wear while hunting. Made famous by Barbour, the quilted jacket has become somewhat of an omnipresence, however for AW’17 2017, labels such as Craig Green, Dries Van Noten and Balenciaga have taken the trend in a new and relatively more contemporary direction; bringing it to a whole new audience. Quilting and padding pervaded the A/W’17 catwalks, with reimagined interpretations in the oversized and voluminous shapes we have seen over the last couple of seasons.
The most important entry-point into this trend is to consider how you’re approaching it; both in terms of style and functionality. As the weather begins to take a significant plunge, a padded puffer can be a familiar cosy comfort, but a slim-fit quilted gilet is the ideal layering piece for the coming winter months. Take your cue from the ever-stylish Johannes Hubel (pictured top) or Zac Efron and use a gilet as a base for your outfit.
It's definitely worth investing in a good-quality, well-insulated garment. Pairing a gilet with a blazer can make for an eye-catching contrast between athleisure and formalwear and it is an innovative way to embrace smart-casual dressing. For a more relaxed approach, throw a classic padded bomber jacket over your gilet for maximum winter comforts.
Master the balance between smart-casual by breaking up formal suiting by placing slim-fitted padded jackets inside the blazer and pairing with minimalist white trainers. The result is clean and fresh with a playful irreverence towards fashion’s hard and fast rules.
If the quilted gilet is not something you’re into exploring, then a padded overshirt may be your perfect fit. Utilitarian dressing has been hugely prevalent over for the last number of seasons and the overshirt is one of its most versatile emblems. Prada led the charge this season with their padded version. These can be worn in a number of ways and on slightly milder days, it’s a perfect alternative to a bulky jacket. Again, don’t be afraid to layer: pair the overshirt with a white tee and a light-blend wool jumper and some slim-fit dark grey denims for a smart-but-stylish off-duty look.
The main thing to remember about A/’17’s take on this trend is that it is reappropriating quite a classic item so your interpretation should reflect this. While a lot of high-end designer offerings may not be the most pragmatic choices for everyday life, it is the way in which they deconstruct tradition that you should take your cues from. However, it’s best to avoid pairing with tweed, unless you want to look like you’re on an equestrian excursion.