I’ve taken to wearing a vest while I work at home â€“ an affectation brought on by the need to keep the thermostat down and my core temperature up on those winter days when I find myself in my home office and not on the road or in Raleigh. I’ve never worn one before â€“ with the exception of a down vest at some point in the late 1970s when down vests were all the rage â€“ and have never owned a three piece suit and the sartorial version with a watch pocket and a satin back.
My vest is from Filson â€“ the Seattle outfitter I’ve blogged of in the past â€“ and it is essentially a cut up green wool army blanket that is thick, itchy, and warmer than expected. It has six pockets to house reading glasses, pens, pencils, Swiss Army Knife, phone, and cold hands; has five buttons, and is the antithesis of any modern “performance” garment with a name like TechWick or GoreTex. Filson makes it out of 26 ounce “Mackinaw” wool and I suspect it will outlast me by 50 years if the moths don’t get at it first. This is something to take to the Yukon. Jack London clothing. Something from the turn of the century and I don’t mean 1999.
One has to love a garment marketed as being “quiet in the field.” There is something vaguely Mister Wilson-ish about vests, not quite as fuddy-duddy as say a sweater vest, but right up there. Proclaiming the utility of pockets to one’s critics sounds completely incriminatory, and the verb “to putter” comes to mind whenever I put it on. I’d classify it as a Goldilocks form of outerwear â€“ a “just-right” thing for brief outdoor excursions, a great layer when the going gets frigid, but light enough to wear inside without boiling over.