A gilet is a sleeveless jacket resembling a waistcoat or blouse. Currently, a gilet is a sleeveless jacket or vest. They may be waist- to knee-length, and are typically straight-sided rather than fitted. However, historically, they were fitted and embroidered. In a further derivation, in 19th-century dressmaking a gilet was a dress bodice shaped like a man's waistcoat.
Today, gilets are often worn as an outer layer, for extra warmth outdoors. Fashion gilets may be made of cloth or fake fur, or knitted. Sports gilets are often windproof and/or made of fleece. High-end hiking jackets often have an integral gilet inside them, that can be zipped on and off. Racing cyclists use thin light gilets with a windproof front and mesh back. Shooting gilets are rugged and made of leather. Short, overwear gilets are called "bodywarmers" in the UK.
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