Friends and family who live outside of the South may guffaw at the concept of outerwear for those of us who dwell below the Mason-Dixon Line, but it really can get cold down here. The temperature has been known to swing some 40-degrees or more within the span of a day, which leads to gruesome conditions for warding off cold and flu season, but also provides for quite the outerwear conundrum. The solution most often comes in the form of a down vest—and you're unlikely to find a Southern woman who doesn't have a closet chockfull of them. Lucky for us, there's an Amazon option that outkicks its coverage in both style and performance, with prices starting under $30.
The 32 Degrees Women's Ultra-Light Down Alternative Packable Puffer Vest should be on your Christmas list, if you don't already own all eight of its color options. Whether you're dealing with a winter snowstorm or a winter rainstorm, the water-repellent, 100% nylon weave exterior will keep you dry and toasty thanks to its poly insulation made from recycled plastic bottles. Snap on the detachable hood to save your hair too—you can thank us later.
Perhaps the greatest feature of the vest (which looks similar to a certain splurge-worthy version that clocks in at four times the price of the 32 Degrees Puffer Vest) is its packability. It fits into the included pouch like a breeze. Whether you keep an extra in your glove box, throw it in your carry-on for your winter travels, or layer it under your coat for the chilliest days, the 32 Degrees Ultra-Light Puffer Vest has you covered. And if your day is going to see temps in the low 60s—certainly too warm for a coat, but a little too cool for skipping the outerwear altogether, then let this vest be your Goldilocks... or your April 25 (Miss Congeniality fans, I know you get the reference).
32 Degrees Women's Ultra-Light Down Alternative
BUY IT: starting at $29.99; amazon.com
This highly rated vest comes in eight different color options and is offered in sizes extra small through 3X.