I wasn’t a believer in vests until a few months ago. I was firmly in the, “If you’re not cold enough to cover your arms, then you’re not cold” camp. Vests were for old dudes and football coaches with no style. That dismissiveness, combined with my tendency to run pretty hot, meant that chilly shoulder season days left me swapping a jacket on and off as I fluctuated between too warm and too cold.
That changed when I got the Arc'teryx Atom SL vest ($149). It turns out that keeping your core toasty will affect how you feel across your body. (Something I should have known before.) Wrapping my torso in the Atom’s combination of light Coreloft polyester insulation, on the front and back, and stretchy polyester panels, on the sides, puts me right in that sweet spot of comfortable, sweatless warmth. So even though my arms are bare, they’re not chilly.
Sure, it’s an admittedly pricey piece of apparel, but you’re also paying for Arc’teryx’s killer styling. I’ve yet to come across an everyday social setting where it felt out of place. And I’ll never again underestimate the power of a good vest.