ROYL Fashion Files
ROYL Fashion Files
Effortless and elevated, the ROYL Sleeveless Gilet is arguably the most versatile item you’ll have in your rotation. Made entirely of an exquisite cashmere and wool fabric, spun in Italy by cashmere connoisseur Loro Piana, the symbiotic blend allows for softness with structure. The sleeveless component of this essential piece allows for seasonless wear, pairing perfectly with other sleeveless top base layers for warmer months, or with heavier layers in the fall and winter; its versatility negates the issues of unlayering when transcending different environments. Details like the dramatic side slits and overlapping front deep-patch pockets add allure and ease, while a detachable sash offers even more ways to style what is sure to be your next standout staple.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GILET
Traditionally donned as an outer layer for extra warmth without the confines of a sleeve, the gilet has been redefined through the course of its sartorial makings. Similar to and often considered an alternative to the vest, the gilet is identified as having a longer length and straighter sides than that of its garment relative. What was once a decadent garb popular among the aristocracy in the 16th century, the gilet resurfaced in the 19th century as a utilitarian convenience for outdoorsmen who valued seasonal versatility in their garments. A decade later, 1970’s fashion featured decorated toppers that were sleeveless but more ornamental than serving any function. Todays gilet, however, serves to bridge the wardrobe from over-chilled buildings in the warmer months and for chic travelers navigating wildly different climate destinations. And of course, by bridging those gaps in high and modern style.
The gilet's easy sophistication and nonchalant styling keep it a bit more rarified than other wardrobe essentials. For the 1998 Academy Awards, stylist Arianne Phillips dressed Madonna in an Olivier Theyskens black satin gilet over a Jean Paul Gaultier gown. The unique styling catapulted the young designer’s career and put the gilet on the red carpet. In the years since, style authorities such as designer Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, Kendall Jenner, Popski London and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have each put their own spin on the sleeveless wonder. Cashmere, wool, and faux-fur gilets have been especially popular in the 21st century.
Other renowned fashion legends like Carolina Herrera, Prada, and Brunello Cucinelli have made a strong argument for the gilet as well, having turned up striking adaptations of the unmistakably cool style.