Fall fashion tends to evoke images of flannel, cozy sweaters and vests. But there’s another autumn staple we particularly love: the quilted jacket.
Lightweight quilted jackets offer a nice alternative to the heavy wools and thick parkas that dominate the winter season. When it’s chilly but not freezing, you can simply layer on one of these garments in a solid or print variety ― and once the frigid temperatures arrive, you can incorporate it as a layer under the bigger coats.
As with many classic trends, members of the British royal family have shown a fondness for quilted jackets over the years ― including Queen Elizabeth herself.
Quilting refers to the process of stitching multiple layers of fabric together, and the word stems from the Latin “culcita,” which means cushion or mattress. The earliest evidence of quilted garments reportedly dates back to Ancient Egypt, and medieval men often wore quilted jackets known as gambesons under their chainmail.
Over time, quilting became an even more popular style for men and women in Europe with quilted petticoats, waistcoats, skirts and more. Quilted silk bed jackets were popular in the 1950s and 1960s ― but not for wear outside the home.
Many credit U.S. Air Force Colonel Steve Gulyas with developing the outerwear look we associate with this garment today. After moving to the U.K., he started Husky clothing brand in the 1960s. The waterproof quilted vests ― and eventually jackets ― that he sold quickly became popular attire for hunting, fishing, shooting, riding horses and other sporting activities.
These days, the quilted jacket is a standard fall style, perfect for those crisp autumn days that don’t yet call for bundling up.
Quilted jackets ― particularly Free People’s Dolman Quilted Jacket ― have been popular with celebrities in recent years. And lately stars like Bella Hadid, Suki Waterhouse and Hailey Bieber have been photographed in similar designs.
When it comes to selecting one of these jackets, you can go for an onion quilt design (which, as the name suggests, resembles an onion) or a more standard diamond or rectangular quilted look.
As for styling, quilted jackets lend themselves to casual ensembles like jeans or leggings with T-shirts. But don’t be afraid to give your outfit a more elevated vibe by throwing it over a soft sweater and skirt or trousers.
Some streetwear influencers have also taken to wearing matched sets of quilted jackets and skirts or full quilted outfits ― which of course can play into the monochrome trend of late.
However you style your jacket, just make sure it’s keeping you warm and giving you the confidence to strut in style with your pumpkin spice or apple beverage of choice.
If you’re looking to try out the quilted jacket look this fall, we’ve rounded up some fun options below.