Fall is in full swing, and I’m finally getting the hang of this whole dressing-for-cold-weather thing. To be honest, as excited as I am to go home to sun and warmth of South Florida during the winter, I’m really starting to love all of my sweaters and boots. A lot. As I navigate my way through lessons in layering, I’m finding pieces that are functional and fashionable so that I can stay warm while I’m outside and easily transition into the inside temperatures. My current obsession in the winter/ fall fashion department is an item that I think every Fashionista/o who’s enduring the cold should own: a puffy vest.

For those of us who need to stay warm, this piece is a practical addition to our winter staples. When the weather is chilly but not freezing, it’s the perfect layer to keep us warm enough without being overheated. With jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, like this Fashionista wears, a vest lends a sporty feel to your look that’s still put together; it’s an easy finishing touch. Another upside? Wearing one feels like you’ve wrapped your torso in the fluffiest and most comfortable blanket you can imagine. Comfort and style in one – you can’t go wrong.

Whether you opt for a vest filled with real down or an alternative material is up to you and the climate where you live. But even if you aren’t going to experience any temperatures below 70 this fall and winter, you can still try this trend. Find a thinner vest to keep the style without the added warmth. Try one with a hood for something a little different than the classic mock-neck (and to keep yourself even warmer). Play up the sportiness of the vest with jeans and boots, or put it on over something a little more feminine for a contrast. Pick a bright color to perk up the rest of your winter wardrobe, or a neutral that will go with everything. You can wear it alone on a chilly-but-not-too-cold day, or under another jacket or coat for when the temperatures start to drop. No matter where you live, adding a puffy vest to your wardrobe will be a great investment.

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