A few weeks ago, I included quilted puffer vests in my list of outdated fashion trends, with the following caveat:
Puffer vests are a classic, somewhat preppy/outdoorsy style, and I’m sure they’re still worn a lot in some areas because they are so practical. But as a fashion item, the style I’m wearing here is looking a little tired at the moment.
I was referring to this picture, circa 2015, and the iconic J.Crew Excursion Vest that took Pinterest by storm. This was one of the most styled winter wardrobe items by bloggers everywhere throughout the late ’10s.
Last year, I updated my quilted puffer vest game with a faux leather version that I still own and love, and I donated all of my preppy Excursion Vests. While I like the look, it seemed like they had run their course.
But then a few weeks ago, I was scrolling the J.Crew website and I came across their New Quilted Excursion Vest.
The gorgeous Dark Nutmeg color stopped my scroll, and I wondered made it new and different. Of course, I had to order one… you know, for research purposes and all.
For one thing, it’s a little longer and boxier than the original, which definitely plays into the current silhouettes. It also has a higher collar and adjustable back tab, but it still has that trademark preppy vibe and elevated gold hardware.
As I mentioned above, I’ve always liked a quilted puffer vest. It’s practical for my casual lifestyle, and it provides a layer of warmth without adding too much bulk, so I started playing around with styling options using items currently in my wardrobe.
Update the Look: Quilted Vest Outfit for 2022
The first thing I did to style the New Quilted Excursion Vest for a more current look was to change out the dark wash skinny jeans for light wash flare leg ankle jeans. This instantly changes the silhouette and makes it look more updated. Then I added a pair of low heeled suede booties that match the elevated yet casual vibe of this vest.
I also chose an oatmeal fisherman knit sweater (similar for less) rather than the chunky pink turtleneck, and I gave it a front tuck and added a belt. You may also notice, I ditched the long necklace and wore simple hoops.
Another option is to wear clogs instead of booties. This is the exact same outfit with a simple shoe swap.
Since a quilted puffer vest has a sporty vibe, I also wanted to create a more casual look that one might wear for a Saturday morning at the ball field (or in my case, the band field!)
I like to call this puffer vest outfit, Sideline Chic.
And that’s the trick to keeping an older trend like this looking fresh!
Of course, buying the newer version helps, but even if you have one from a few years back still hanging in your closet, just try styling it with current denim silhouettes and shoes that play well with those styles. Tweaking the accessories and color palette will complete the look and make this classic wardrobe item work for a new decade.
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