When fall rolls in, you need to start dressing for colder weather. However, you don't yet need the heavy, bulky jackets you'll layer on in January! Vests are perfect for the fall. They add a layer of warmth around your core, while leaving your arms exposed so you can move more freely as you hunt, hike, fish, or work in the garden. So what qualities should you look for in a great fall vest?
1. Windproof Lining
Regardless of the outer material used to form the vest, make sure it has a windproof lining. This feature will keep you so much warmer when outside in the chilly fall breeze. A relatively thin vest with windproof lining will often keep you warmer than a thicker, fully breathable one. Don't worry about overheating in a windproof vest. If you wear more breathable clothing underneath, your body will regulate your temperature through your arms.
Note that there is a difference between windproof and wind resistant. The term "wind resistant" is vague — the item might block breezes, but not stronger winds. Windproof vests block all wind and are a smarter choice for fall, when breathability is less of a concern.
2. Fleece Fabric
Although you can find stylish vests made from a wide range of materials, fleece vests are especially fashionable right now. And they're a smart choice because fleece offers a number of benefits:
- Fleece feels soft against your skin.
- Fleece is warm, even when used in thin layers.
- Fleece is generally made from recycled materials.
- Fleece dries quickly.
Fleece comes in a wide range of colors, but shades of tan, gray, or brown tend to be the most versatile for fall.
3. Multiple Pockets
If you don't want to have to carry an extra bag with you, look for a vest with multiple pockets. You can use the pockets to stash a pair of gloves, your sunglasses, or even a spare pair of socks — all of which may be needed if the weather changes, as it often does in autumn.
Pockets are a great feature if you plan on hunting or hiking in your vest, since you can use them to stash a pocket knife, calls, a poncho, first aid supplies, and more. You won't lose these items if they're in your vest pockets.
4. Soft Collar Trim
Many people experience skin irritation if the collar of their shirt or vest rubs against their neck. Irritation is especially likely in the fall when your skin is dry. Especially if you plan on being active in your vest, make sure the collar is made from a soft material so you don't experience irritation. Corduroy is a good choice for fall vest collars; it's soft but durable, with a rugged look.
5. Straightforward Sizing
One day you might wear the vest over a long-sleeved shirt, and another day, you might wear it over a sweater. So you want to buy a vest that fits a little loosely.
If you're buying online, make sure the retailer offers detailed sizing information about the vest so you can judge whether or not it will fit properly. The seller should list the length of the vest, the width of the chest area, and the size of the arm openings so you can compare these to your own measurements. You don't want to end up with a vest that fits around your chest, but is too short, for instance.
If you come across a fall vest with these five features, make the purchase! You'll get so much use out of a comfortable, weather-proof vest. Check out Over Under Clothing for a great selection of fall vests and other outdoorwear, made in the USA with top-quality materials and attention to detail.