25 Days of Winter Outfits: How to Wear a Down Vest

Well, it’s finally here!!! My 25 Days of Winter Fashion collab with Cyndi at Grace + Beauty starts TODAY! We will both be posting new winter outfits daily (skipping over Thanksgiving weekend and Sundays) so be sure you’re signed up to get my email alerts and you won’t miss a thing!

To launch the series, I felt like I needed something stunning, and I’ve been stockpiling outfit photos for a few weeks so I actually have quite a few to choose from. But at the end of the day, I’m a simple girl. Ha! Most of my outfits are pretty ordinary, and this classic casual winter outfit made the cut because it is exactly that — a casual winter outfit that is comfortable enough to wear around the house but cute enough to wear around town running errands, shopping, dropping the kids at their various activities, and whatever else everyday life has to throw at you.

Winter Fashion | Winter Outfit Ideas | How to Wear a Down Vest | Fashion Over 40

A down vest is cute and adds another layer of warmth without feeling as restrictive as a coat. This one from Athleta is very lightweight and comfortable to wear, even indoors. It must be popular because I got mine last year, and they’re carrying it again this year.

You can wear a down vest over a wool crewneck or turtleneck sweater, over a long-sleeve tee, over a plaid button-down — or even layer a combination of the three! For this outfit, I layered mine over a striped long-sleeve t-shirt. To that, I added skinny jeans and my cozy Uggs, and I was comfy all day. I’ve also worn this outfit with fashion sneakers (such as Converse) for a more sporty look.

SALE ALERT! I’m wearing my DL1961 Emmas here, but the DL1961 Florence is currently 25% off at Nordstrom. This is a great opportunity to snap them up! They have an AMAZING fit and feel. I wear mine a ton.

Winter Fashion | Winter Outfit Ideas | How to Wear a Down Vest | Fashion Over 40

I wore the black infinity scarf when I went out, but indoors I just wore a pendant necklace.

You can wear a down vest like this zipped up, and if you’re truly wearing it for warmth, that’s a good idea, but generally they’re more flattering worn open like this. It creates a vertical column down the front of the body, which is elongating and slimming, thank you, Clinton and Stacey! I learned so many tips watching them on What Not To Wear years ago that I still apply today.

Winter Fashion | Winter Outfit Ideas | How to Wear a Down Vest | Fashion Over 40

The sunnies are on loan from Eye Heart Shades. They’re the Mykita Bernard Willhelm Franz F8 White Sunglasses, and I LOVE them. You can use the code JLSHANE15 to get 15% off of any purchase at Eye Heart Shades. They have a ton of styles and brands at a variety of price points.

Winter Fashion | Winter Outfit Ideas | How to Wear a Down Vest | Fashion Over 40

People often ask what coat I wear over this outfit. I wouldn’t wear a coat. This is an outfit I’d wear on a mild winter day, or if it was cold, I would wear a wool turtleneck over the t-shirt and under the vest for another layer of warmth. Add some gloves, and you’re good to go on all but the coldest of winter days.

Winter Fashion | Winter Outfit Ideas | How to Wear a Down Vest | Fashion Over 40

Outfit Details:

Downalicious Vest, $148

similar striped tee, $24.95 + 40% off!!!

Cross Stitch Infinity Scarf, available in 8 colors, $28 + 40% off!!!

similar DL1961 skinny jeans, 25% off at $133.50!!!

D Yurman Oval Link Bracelet, $450

Pendant (old)

R Minkoff Moto Hobo, $325 (get it at Amazon for 20% off with code 20VETERANS)

UGG Classic Cardy, $149.95

Don’t forget to visit Cyndi to see the winter outfit she’s styling today!

Join the Conversation

27 thoughts on “25 Days of Winter Outfits: How to Wear a Down Vest

  1. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    I have been following your blog silently for about a year and love it. I live in the UK so can’t always find what you’re recommending, but I love your ideas and try to translate them. Absolutely love your classic but relaxed style. Really suits my life as a mum of two children under three.
    About translating your styles for me I have a few questions:
    I am 5’8 tall with an hourglass figure (with a small chest but shoulders same width as wide-ish hips, and high-ish waist). A lot of your styles are with skinny jeans, but I have tried and tried and really think they don’t suit my figure (leggings don’t either). Maybe it’s because I’m tall so I end up looking like a funny giant in PJs – that is how it feels to me, and my other half agrees. So I wear boot cut jeans all the time – BUT – I also need to wear flats as I walk around with the pushchair a lot.
    How can I style boot cut jeans with the types of tops you wear? You often wear wide-ish/relaxed fit tops, and they look great on you, but with boot cut jeans I end up looking frumpy, with no waist and just like I’m wearing a bit sack.
    Should I just stick to fitted tops? But that doesn’t seem very trendy anymore. I’m nearly 40 so more conscious these days of looking modern.
    Hope that wasn’t too long. Thanks for any input and keep up the fantastic work.

    1. Hi Emma. No comment is too long. 😉 So yeah, I do think bootcut jeans often require a different type of top, although I’m seeing flares paired with ponchos, so I think we are really in a time of transition as far as the “style rules” go. It can be frustrating and confusing. I have an outfit I plan to share next week with bootcut jeans and a cape / open-front poncho, but I kept the top underneath fitted and that helps not look too voluminous. I’m going to try to style more outfits with bootcut jeans this winter. I think an open cardigan/boyfriend sweater can look nice with bootcut jeans when the top underneath is form fitting and shows your shape. And you can certainly wear a turtleneck, but I wouldn’t wear a super long baggy one. The JCrew one last week I posted might work. https://www.jolynneshane.com/cambridge-cable-chunky-turtleneck.html I would wear that with bootcut jeans for sure. Does that help at all?

        1. Hi Jo-Lynne. Thanks for showing that outfit with the bootcut and poncho. That worked really well. Your advice on keeping the top underneath an open, longer and wider cardigan fitted is great. I hadn’t thought of that, I’m going to experiment. And I really like the turtleneck as well. Must find out if I can get J.Crew in the UK. I am loving your 25 days of autumn styling. Have been trying some of your ideas while the babies sleep 🙂

  2. Very cute! I bought several down vests this fall b/c I don’t like to be confined in a coat very often. Macy’s has a wonderfully comfortable down vest called 32 Degrees. It’s lightweight but keeps me warm and comes in a nice selection of colors at an unbelievable price! Thanks for the tips on all the variety of tops you can pair with a down vest!

  3. I often wear a down vest like this – perfect casual outfit. The downvest is great on errand days, when you are popping in and out of the car, it is not bulky, I can get from the car to the shop comfortably, shopping is comfortable and driving is a piece of cake – no bulk and no worrying about having to carry a heavy coat around.

  4. I love this outfit! I just bought a down vest yesterday… This helps so much…. Love these tips. I’m also a What not to wear Staci and Clinton fan Lol

  5. I really like the simple outfit posts. Since I rarely have to dress in more than jeans and t-shirt- I love the ideas of how to make that a little more stylish. You always look great! I have a ways to go, but am learning what I need to change. I appreciate the tips and “how-to”s such as wearing a vest open to create the vertical lines. I cannot wait to get a pair of DL1961 so sale tips are wonderful:)

      1. Good to know, thanks! What is the difference between Emma and Florence? I get the impression you like Florence fit better? Which style would you suggest starting with. My build is similar to yours. Thanks!

  6. I honestly can’t decide. The Emma are tighter in the calf and an inch shorter. In a way, they’re more versatile than the Florence. They are more like “legging jeans” and they are ankle length. The Florence are full length and more like a typical skinny jean.

  7. Hi Jo-Lynne! I’ve been reading (and enjoying!) your blog for years now. I could probably comment every day but that would be weird! I do like to let you know every once in a while how much I love your writing. I feel like it’s been a while since I did that. So…I love your writing! 🙂 I really, really enjoy your blog. AND last but not least I’d like to thank you. I think I kind of have a similar body type to yours. I have always hated jeans (HATED!) so I wear a lot of dresses and leggings. But jeans are pretty essential. I followed your tips and purchased a few DL1961 (on sale!) from Amazon and some Joes (on sale, too!) from Nordstrom. I tried on and sent back quite a few. But a few were keepers! The difference between them and “regular” jeans is tremendous. A very long comment…Sorry! Basically, I wanted to say thanks. A lot. Your fashion advice is truly so very helpful.

  8. Funny you should mention Stacey and Clinton from What Not To Wear! I truly miss that show. My daughter and I would snuggle up and we would have great conversations about the outfits! I too, still apply many of the wonderful tips those two dished out! That show revolutionized my wardrobe. I started wearing items I never would have thought would work on my body type. Stacey was always great about accepting the body you had not the body you wanted. As Stacey would say, “Shut the front door! “LOL

  9. I love that vest. I’ve been needing to buy one but haven’t made the time to run out and try them on. I want one that isn’t to terribly thick because in Oklahoma we don’t have a really long cold winter.

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