Monday, January 16, 2017

An ode to the Puffer Vest


Anyone who has ever seen a semblance of me in colder-than-summer weather has probably seen me in a puffer vest.

Hands-down, a cozy puffer vest is my first choice in winter running wardrobe must-haves.



Sure, I can dress them up with a funky scarf and they work for casual wear...


...but I especially LOVE to wear them with my running shoes.


They offer the warmth of a jacket without the "underarm" bulk of the sleeves. Also, they are a lot less expensive than a full jacket, so it's pretty affordable to add a few (in various colors) to your closet. Here's a tip: you can find them (usually) pretty frugally-priced at teeny bopper clothing stores (for example: Jean-Nicole, Aero, Vanity, etc.)

Puffer vests are also versatile. Not only can you vary the layering options (depending on the temps outside), but you can also play with numerous color combinations. In other words,you're not stuck wearing the same "winter running jacket" every time you head outside (did you notice I'm actually wearing the same vest in all three of the pics above?).


For example, if the temps are moderate (I use that term quite loosely), you can wear a light 1/4 zip jacket or long-sleeved top (ideally, flannel-lined) underneath. If the temps are flirting with below freezing, I add a fleece jacket (or even an additional layer underneath).

As most people know, I'm based in Iowa. I also run outside year-round, so my comfort level with winter temps (and weather conditions) will be quite different from those who live in warmer regions.

Although the puffer vest is my first choice of winter wardrobe necessities, there are several other favorites that deserve Honorable Mention status:

For starters- a 1/4 zip jacket. If the temps are approaching the high 40's or warmer, often times a 1/4 zip (or 1/2 zip) jacket is a great alternative. I usually still have a flannel-lined base layer (or two) underneath. This also depends on how long I plan to be outside.....a short run usually warrants warmer layers since I won't have as much time to thoroughly warm-up. Conversely, a longer run allows my body temp to stay elevated for an extended time, thus not needing quite as much warmth from clothing.


What else? It's no secret I love my fleece jackets! Often times, a fleece jacket is the perfect option (with a long-sleeved, flannel-lined under layer) if the wind is not a factor.

Of course, the head needs protection. I love fleece headbands for their coziness and wind-blocking properties. And let's not forget those shades! My skin is very dry (aka-wrinkle-prone) and my eyes are extremely sensitive...the cold air and wind turn my tear ducts into faucets. The sunglasses protect my eyes from not only the wind, but also from the bright sun reflecting off the snow. Less squinting = fewer wrinkles!


It should go without saying that gloves and socks (preferably wool) are also basic necessities. Often times, the gloves come off after the first couple miles (unless the conditions are especially cold and/or windy).

So, those are my main essentials. Additional info can be found here :For the Cold Weather Runner and here : Winter Running:101 (my version).

How about you? What is your #1 must-have necessity for winter running? Or do you stay inside? What's your preference...hat or headband?

I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for their awesome Tuesdays on the Run link-up party, and also with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner, and also with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen and Michelle  for the Wild Wednesday Workout. Head over and check it out!





42 comments:

  1. I was in Camp Vest for a long time--now I just layer. I'm currently in love with a pair of Athleta thermal tights that I found at Marshalls. I would have paid full price for these--they are that good!

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    1. ha ha Camp Vest LOL I'm a proud member, too ;-)

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  2. Dare I say it? I love anything puffer or Thermoball for other outdoor activities but I get too hot when I run in them. Can't stand the sweat rainforest effect in there. You are very cute in all your fun colors though!

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    1. I don't get too hot in mine, but I kind of vary the days I wear them (for running) depending on the temps, wind, etc. I'd wear a vest over a jacket any day!

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  3. Ode to the puffer vest - I love it! Puffy vests are AWESOME. Yes the arm-swinging freedom is totally better than a puffy coat. Love all your outfits and colors :)

    Yaktrax are my winter "must have" because it's so stinkin' icy around here! My winter coat is a close second because my puffer vest retires during the super duper cold season :( Makes me feel like the girl version of that fluffy Michelin Man!

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    1. I have never tried Yak Trax...if I was running exclusively on trails or thick snow-packed roads, I'd invest in a pair, though. Michelin Man, LOL ;-)

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  4. Ha, I wore my puffer vest to work today. It's actually not that puffy, more of a quilt look but that same puffer material!

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    1. I wear mine to work all the time...both as a "winter covering" (in the more mild weather, like in the fall) and as a "fashion" piece. I just think they are so versatile and warm!

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  5. You look great in all your photos, and it looks like a completely different top depending on your base layer.

    I'd be too hot for a puffer jacket but I have been looking at wind proof vests as quite often sleeved jackets are too warm but I still want protection from the wind.

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    1. I love my vests ;-) Although there are days I get warmer than I think I'll get, the fact that it's a vest (and not a jacket) helps with the airflow.

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  6. I actually dont have any vests for running but I think that would be a great addition to my winter running wardrobe!

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  7. I say YES to the VEST!

    I love my vests. Fleece vests, puffy vests, doesn't matter what kind of vest to be honest. My husband makes fun of my fleece vests, though. Lol!

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    1. Ha! You just inspired a new hashtag (#YEStotheVEST) ...like I really need another hashtag...

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  8. I love the vests for winter running because they really keep me warm but not too warm. Mine are not puffy though hmm maybe I need a puffy one

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  9. This post is so timely as I was just telling my friend the other day that I wanted to try to run in a puffer vest! Sometimes I get too warm with a sweatshirt or jacket so the puffer vest would be a good alternative!

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    1. Absolutely! The vest is a happy medium to a jacket of a thin jacket.

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  10. I typically stay inside during the winter months, but always wear gloves if I decide to venture out. Loving the puffer vests on you though!

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    1. I do wear gloves most of the time, too....but they are usually pulled off shortly after I begin my run so I don't consider then a big necessity.If I"m just walking outside, though? They are #1!

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  11. I REALLY want a vest for running. Maybe now's the time to check that out.:)

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    1. They're probably on sale everywhere because all the spring stuff is coming out LOL

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  12. I love running with my vest when its cold outside. I hate having so many layers on my arms that it feels like I can't move them, but layering with a vest definitely helps avoid that while still keeping my chest and neck warm.

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    1. I often times wear arm warmers (if I think I'll need an extra layer on my arms), but I can't stand that underarm bulk

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  13. I'm a big fan of vest in the winter time too. It all depends on the weather and which one I wear! I think my favourite winter go to though is my hat with a pony tail opening - love it!

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    1. I love those pony tail hats! I have made a couple of the crocheted ones that were all the rage around Christmas time

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  14. I'm a HUGE fan of the puffy vest. I love them when running errands, or when running outside, it's great for those in-between temps.

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    1. I agree...my vests get a lot of action in almost every season except for summer

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  15. I love your puffer vests. I've never run in one, but my winter necessity is an ear warmer!

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    1. Oh, yes, I have to have my ears covered, too!

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  16. ah, we call them body warmers here! They are a must-have fashion accessory for "normal" people and runners wear them too. Funnily enough I do not own a "puffer vest". I do however, in the cold usually wear some sort of long sleeve thermal / regular undergarment, a tee shirt and then I put on a buff for around my neck and I recently bought a new Asics jacket to keep me a bit warmer (it's wind resistant). I have usually a cap on, or a buff on my head but sometimes I wear this crazy hat I got at Fitbloggin years ago that has speakers built in so I can listen to my tunes :D I also have days where I wear undertights with my normal running tights. I don't do winter weather so well and it actually doesn't get too cold here so... although, I say that and it's been bloody freezing lately!!!

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    1. Ha ha...I think a lot of "normal" people take offense when they see us "runners" wearing their stuff

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  17. I am a huge fan of the puffer vest too- or just running vests in general! They're perfect for the cold weather and so versatile!

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    1. Yes...versatility is the most important factor ;-)

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  18. I am all about a good vest. I have 3 :D One is shearling, one is mesh/vented/windproof and reflective and specific to running, and one is puffy. They all have their place!

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    1. I should have included pics of all of mine....black, white, hot pink, turquoise, multi-colored (kind of a 70's retro pattern), and red. Did I leave anything out? Hmmmm...still ISO neon green...

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  19. I wear a headband unless it's REALLY cold - in the 20s? I've only worn my puffer vest a few times this year. I have an un-puffy but quilted vest I wear not running. Adds the perfect amount of warmth.

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    1. I think vests are just necessary, for running or everyday life ;-)

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  20. I have a light weight endurance vest from Smashfest Queen that I love! It keeps me warm and cozy. I love the pink vest you are wearing in this post!

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    1. Thanks ;-) I'm glad I discovered the magic of vests...I know everyone has their preferred way of layering/dressing for the weather, but the vest has been a great "companion" for me as I endure these crazy Iowa winters.

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  21. I've been wanting a running vest for a while now! This is a sign I have to go get one!

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  22. You do look good in your puffer vests! I've never thought of getting one for running, but now I may need to reconsider!

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