Kate Hilpern Gilets are a particularly handy bit of clothing kit for kids, especially younger ones who often refuse point-blank to wear a coat even when it’s freezing inside. Gilets provide a good compromise that don’t leave them with that bulked-up feeling. Plus, they’re easier to carry around when not in use.
But it’s not just children at the younger end who love a body warmer. And increasingly, gilets are not just for outdoor use. So our round-up covers everything from faux fur indoor-use ones right through to the most practical, down-filled waterproof options for outdoorsy families, taking into consideration babies right through to teenagers.
1. Crew Clothing Lynsey Gilet: £36, crewclothing.co.uk
This is a great way for girls to layer up in the winter. The vertical quilting makes it lovely and warm and the hood keeps off unwanted rain, while the spotted cotton lining and contrasting zips give a hint of colour. It’s machine washable and available from 4 to 11 years.
2. M&S Hooded Thermal Chambray Gilet: from £22, marksandspencer.com
Keep pre-schoolers right up to teenagers dry with this clever water-repellent technology. It will keep them warm too, thanks to the thermal fabric. It’s not too heavy, has an easy-to-use front zip and two handy pockets, and it’s a really lovely shade of blue. Avaialble from five to 14 years.
3. Boden Chilly Days Gilet: from £30, boden.co.uk
Available for kids aged one to 12 years, this spotty gilet is fabulous quality, making it a good hand-me-down. It’s available in blue or coral and is shower resistant and warm. If all the playing outside gets it filthy, fear not as it comes out perfectly from a machine wash.
Next Navy Borg Gilet: From £14, next.co.uk
This body warmer looks lovely over a hoodie or thick jumper. The modern fleece collar makes it stand out from the crowd, whilst still remaining traditional and it’s really durable and practical. Available from three months to six years, be warned it’s ever so slightly on the snug side.
Jigsaw faux Fur Gilet: From £44, jigsaw-online.com
This is a statement gilet that’s absolutely gorgeous and bound to become her favourite item this season. Plus, it goes with practically anything. With invisible hook-and-eye fastenings along the front and side seam pockets, this is all about the cuddly faux fur. Available from four to 13 years.
George Gilet: £8, direct.asda.com
If you just want a no-nonsense, plain gilet that does the job at the cheapest price possible, you can’t go wrong with this navy offering from Asda. It’s got a cosy lining and zip-through fastening, as well as two decent sized pockets. Available from 4 to 10 years.
Little Bird by Jools Stripe Gilet: From £14, mothercare.com
Designed by Jools Oliver (wife of Jamie), this is a show-stopper of a body warmer. The retro look (it could almost be straight out of the 1970s) is ultra-cool and it’s ideal for any time of year. There are two pockets, frong zip fastening and an elasticated waist. Available from nine months to 8 years.
Joules Larksfield: From £27.95, joules.com
Joules has a great selection of children’s gilets this season, but our favourite is this quality, super-soft fleece one that comes in royal blue stripe. It has a cosy jersey lining and a good sized hood. Available from three to 12 years, you can put it in the washing machine and tumble dryer.
Mamas & Papas Boys Red Gilet: £35, fatface.com
Fat Face Ellie Gilet: £35, fatface.com
This is cosy, well-made and stylish. In fact, they do an adult’s version too. The padding is toasty without behing heavy and the lining is lovely and cuddly, making youngsters warm and toast when out and about. Shame it’s only available in three kids’ sizes, which range from four to nine years-old.
The North Face Girls Nuptse Gilet: £80, northface.co.uk
This is pricey, but ideal for active families as the luxurious down gives puffy insulation without that heavyweight feeling and the brushed collar lining means none of it rubs. It can be packed up tight to stow away too and is available in blue or pink and available in most kids’ sizes.
Converse Boys Applique Gilet: From £33, debenhams.com
Here’s a great addition to the wardrobe of older boys, from ages eight to 15. Available in various colours, this soft cotton blend fabric vest is great for indoor or outdoor use and has the classic Converse logo applique on the chest.
George Peppa Pig Gilet: From £12, direct.asda.com
Peppa Pig's a firm favourite with many toddlers, so this one is likely to be a hit.Featuring a cosy fleece lining and decorated with character graphics, you’ll have no trouble persuading her to put this on before going outside. Available from nine months to 5 years.
Baker by Ted Baker Boys Quilted Gilet: From £27, debenhams.com
This light blue gilet is designed in a chevron quilted pattern with a soft fleece lined hood and zip fastening. Available from 12 months up to six years, it looks gorgeous and is really practical, as well as durable, meaning younger siblings can make full use of it in the fullness of time.
Lands’ End Girls Insulated Gilet: £24.95, landsend.co.uk
This easy-to-wear body warmer is a great one for older girls. Available from ages eight to 13 and in teal, purple or coral, with contrast colour lining, It’s practical, bulk-free and lightweight, as well as being water repellent and warm.
For a combination of great value and sheer practicality, with good style thrown in, we love the M&S Hooded Thermal Chambray Gilet. The Boden Chilly Days Gilet is also great fun and durable too.
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