What are the best jackets for men, exactly? We’re glad you asked. When it comes to building a proper wardrobe, there is perhaps no more essential task than assembling a strong and stylish lineup of outerwear. Choosing the best jackets for you is a little like playing Street Fighter: You’ve got a couple dozen characters—each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities—and the fighter you choose says a little something about how you like to roll. The only difference is that there are no black eyes or losers—everybody wins when you’ve got a killer jacket on.
The Best Jackets Shopping Guide
- The Trucker Jacket: Levi’s Trucker Jacket, $90
- The Chore Coat: Alex Mill Garment Dyed Work Jacket, $195
- The Golf Jacket: Baracuta G9 Modern Classic Jacket, $312
- The Work Jacket: Dickie’s Insulated “Eisenhower” Front-Zip Jacket, $68
- The Parka: Rains Waterproof Fishtail Parka, $155
- The Track Jacket: Adidas Essentials Warm-Up 3-Stripes Track Pop,
- The Windbreaker: Nike Sportswear Windrunner Jacket, $100
- The Rain Jacket: Patagonia Slate Sky Jacket, $199
- The Waxed Jacket: Barbour Classic Bedale Wax Jacket, $385
- The Anorak: Battenwear Packable Anorak,
- The Trench Coat: Burberry “The Kensington” Mid Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat, $2590
- The Leather Jacket: Schott Waxed Natural Pebbled Cowhide Cafe Leather Jacket, $975
- The Fleece Jacket: Patagonia Classic Retro-X Windproof Fleece Jacket, $229
- The Bomber Jacket: Alpha Industries CWU 45/P Flight Jacket, $200
- The Puffer Jacket: The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket, $330
- The Topcoat: Todd Snyder Italian Donegal Wool Balmacaan, $1398
The world of jackets runs wide and deep, full of permutations and offshoots and minor genus, so we decided to break things down as broadly and simply as possible for you. Here are the coats and jackets you really, truly need to know. The verified classics, the timeless icons, the always-in-style fit saviors. Whether you’re in need of a light layer that’ll get you through a brisk morning walk to the cafe or you’re in dire straits, searching high and low for an indestructible coat to slice through bomb cyclones, we’ve pounded the digital pavement to lay it all out for you. They’re the best jackets for men, come winter or spring, rain or shine, weeknight hang or black tie ball. Get familiar.
The Trucker Jacket
Trucker jackets are about as flattering and versatile as outerwear gets. They’re cut trim and short, which not only gives a good range of motion, but also visually lengthens your legs. And like all great garments, they only get better with age. Denim trucker jackets are the standard bearers, but the silhouette works wonders in everything from suede and canvas to nylon and corduroy. Like a pair of classic blue jeans, the trucker jacket goes with, well, everything: throw one over a button up and chinos for a relaxed take on prep, pull it on with a sweatsuit to bring some texture to your weekend kit, or go full Canadian tux like Martin Sheen in Badlands. Hell, you can even pull off a trucker jacket off with an actual tux if you’re daring enough.
See more of the best trucker jackets here
The Chore Coat
Chore coats have just the right amount of pockets, enough room to layer, are usually made with a durable, mid-weight fabric, and aren’t so overly-designed—a true all-season jacket that’s pretty close to a perfect piece of outerwear. The chore coat isn’t as flashy as other jackets, so it’s less of a star and more of a supporting character. It can add depth to a hoodie or ease-up a button-up shirt. You can look to the OGs like Le Mont Michel and Vetra for authentic Bill Cunningham vibes, but every brand from Ralph Lauren to Comme Des Garçons offer a take on the classic, so there’s bound to be one with your name on it.
See more of the best chore coats here
The Golf Jacket
Looking for something lightweight and slightly preppy? Try a golf jacket. You might know them as a Harrington jacket or a Drizzler jacket, but the concept is the same: a lightweight poplin or twill shell with a short body, elastic waist, and a collar that you can button up to cover your neck on chillier occasions. (Think of it as a variation on the work jacket.) You’ll often find them with a tartan lining which calls back to their British roots, but this staple of the green was made popular in the States in the ‘60s and into the ’70s thanks to menswear icons like Elvis, James Dean, and, of course Steve McQueen. It looks at home over a polo or button-down shirt and pressed slacks, though it’s equally dashing with a pair of jeans and boots.