Body warmers are a great way of having your arms free to move around and work while keeping your body warm and stop you feeling the chill.
Body warmers keep you warm as they trap the warm air created by your body within the layers and push it back towards your body. They are also designed to be tight to the body and practical for movement and freedom. Body warmers are also great for creating layers to build up warmth.
In this article we are going to look at what body warmers are, what they do and if they actually keep you warm.
What Is A Body Warmer?
Body warmers – also known as Gilets – are the sleeveless jackets people wear to provide extra warmth and comfort on cold days. Their usage started in France in the 19th Century but was more of a decorative vest that one used to preserve body heat – which is the primary use of body warmers today.
The style – smooth and tight fit – used to create body warmers has not changed since they became in vogue to date.
Common Types Of Body Warmers
Different types of body warmers are suitable for different purposes. Before buying one, identify your use for it and make your purchase accordingly.
- Fleece Body Warmer
As the name implies, the gilet is made from a fleece fabric which makes it lightweight and has a slim fit. Fleece body warmers are great pieces of clothing to be worn either over a shirt or as a mid-layer underneath a jacket or a coat. Sometimes, fleece body warmers are zipped into special interactive jackets to make them serve their purpose as a mid-layer clothing accessory more efficiently.
- Quilted Body Warmer
This type of body warmer is visibly quilted on the exterior and has insulated pockets that are separated by stitches. The trapped air in this gilet helps to keep people warm even on extremely cold days. It is the ideal choice for people that intend to spend a long time outside on a cold day and want to stay heated up without a regular sweater.
- Technical Body Warmer
Technical body warmers are usually made for specific purposes like sports and some other recreational activity like hunting or shooting. The features of this type of body warmer differ according to the purpose it was made for. For example, technical body warmers made for shooting have deep and open pockets so they can hold enough of and provide easy access to bullet cartridges.
What Is The Purpose Of A Body Warmer?
Even though body warmers do not have sleeves, they are useful as far as keeping your torso comfortable and warm is concerned. They are versatile in the sense that they let you wear any type of cloth underneath it.
Whether it is a long-sleeved shirt, a regular t-shirt, or you being topless, you can always throw on a body warmer and you would not be violating any unspoken rule of fashion.
People use gilets a lot when fishing, cycling, and performing other recreational activities if they need to keep themselves warm without restricting their arms. Body warmers usually have pockets so the wearer can either keep their items or put their hands in them to keep them warm and safe.
Campers, hikers, and explorers would massively benefit from adding body warmer to their gear because it is more lightweight than quilted jackets. Body warmers are a good balance between warmth and weight.
Advantages of Wearing A Body Warmer
There are many benefits to wearing gilets are some of them will be listed below;
- Ease of movement
On days when the cold is harsh, it is understandable when people opt for heavy coats. However, if it is not very chilly but you need some form of protection regardless, throwing on a gilet would help and would not restrict your arm movements no matter the directions you swing them in.
Body warmers do not get in the way when carrying out daily activities, making you able to wear them all day – something you cannot do with sweaters or overcoats. Additionally, gilets always cover your back because they are sleeveless and will not slide up when you raise your hands.
- The temperature is balanced
Body warmers are an effective lightweight layer of clothing that preserves body heat. They are breathable so prolonged wearing would not make you feel choked up.
You can wear gilets on top of a sweater on some occasions to provide extra warmth and you would not have to deal with an extra pair of sleeves.
- There are enough pockets
A common feature of body warmers is their pockets. It comes in handy when you need to keep things that can easily get lost like wallets, car keys, or even a smartphone. Some of these items may be too bulky for your jeans pockets – making them have an awkward shape. Some gilets have up to eight pockets.
Disadvantages of Wearing A Body Warmer
- Arms are not protected.
This should not be surprising, after all the most defining feature of a gilet is the fact that it is sleeveless. The warmth the clothing would offer would be focused on the torso. However, this might not be an issue if you are wearing a long-sleeved shirt or you are indoors.
If your fingers are cold, the body warmer cannot be blamed because most cardigans and sweaters are not designed to protect them also. Get a glove for your fingers, that would do the trick.
- It is not the most fashionable item.
Body warmers are lightweight with simple designs and they are created nowadays to get the job done and nothing more. Cardigans, overcoats, hoodies, sweaters, etc. are clothing items that can be styled such that people can wear them in regular weather and appear fashionable. However, most times, that is not the case with gilets.
Do Body Warmers Keep You Warm?
Yes, body warmers can keep you warm, but as mentioned earlier, their effect is felt around the torso. That being said, they are effective at their job so much so that it is possible to wear one without a shirt underneath and not freeze. That is possible partly because gilets are tight-fitting and stay close to the body.
It is important to note that some materials preserve heat better than others. For example, a quilted body warmer is thicker and therefore provides more warmth than a fleece body warmer.