Great puffer jackets come in all shapes and sizes, not just the stay-puft marshmallow man variety.”
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If rain coats are a group of friends, the trench coat is the chic one from Paris. It’s always dashing, no matter if its paired with brogues or sneakers (maybe even more dashing!). It’s certainly the most elegant in the rain, too. A classic tan trench coat never misses, but you can always opt for a hip black version or even a patterned joint for even more flare. Whichever way you take it, the trench is the most compelling case against umbrellas. Most trenches will come in some kind of dense, water-resistant fabric, but there are also lighter versions coated with special chemicals to make them waterproof. Some really great options are designed to take a removable liner so that you can even wear the trench through the coldest months.
If your basis for purchasing a jacket is its proximity to a sweater, a fleece jacket is your jam. Have you ever looked at a sheep and thought, “that sheep looks mad uncomfortable”? Exactly. The fleece jacket is good for mild climes, great for fall and spring, and perfect for bringing out the gorp side of you. Fleece jackets can range in style, of course, but so can the fleece itself. Fluffier fleeces with deep piles have a ton of texture and warmth, but you may want to opt for a shallower fleece to cut down on bulk while keeping warm.
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The bomber jacket was originally made for high-altitude missions during World War II, but has enjoyed relevance on the ground ever since. Thanks, James Bond! Like the trucker jacket, a bomber jacket does wonders for your legs thanks to cropped length. Tack on a pair of well-heeled boots and you can’t help but feel like your on Cloud 9. Unlike most truckers, though, bomber jackets generally have a roomier silhouette. This is great if you want to pile on a thick sweater underneath. Often, bombers are made with tough nylon or a mix of wool and leather (basically a varsity jacket), but they can also come in some warm-weather friendly fabrics like cotton and linen.
For a more rustic and water-resistant feel, grab a waxed jacket. Yes, it falls under the umbrella of rain jackets, but it really deserves its own callout. It’s the kind of kit you’ll see on a swaggy old Briton, walking his Airedale terrier around the countryside. Ie, it looks great with a pair of corduroy pants and hardy boots. The fabric is usually a durable cotton canvas that’s slathered with wax or oil to help slough rain, and comes with various pockets originally geared toward hunting. That heavy-duty fabric is also helpful in the brush and can protect you from sharp branches and thorns. Barbour is the most famous here, but there are handfuls of other brands that wax their own poetic.
These jackets range from the barebones to the over-engineered, but are all designed to take on tough tasks. Usually, they’re cut with a roomy silhouette and a hip-length for range of motion (great for high-waisted, wide-legged pants). Like trucker jackets, work jackets earn their beauty through hard work and wear. Carhartt’s “Detroit” jacket is a perennial fave, beloved for its simplicity and potential for patina.
Prefer a hood with your outerwear? Anoraks and parkas are defined by their hooded attachments, saving you in a pinch when you’ve forgotten a beanie or an umbrella. Most versions are either designed into a military aesthetic or an outdoors vibe, which should fit into most closets. Often, anoraks are great for windy and wet weather conditions, so look out for one made with a water-proof details such as a membrane shell like Gore-tex or E-vent as well as seam-sealed reinforcements.
Top coats just make you feel luxe whether or not they come with a lofty price tag. That’s because the extra length gives an outfit motion and drape, something you won’t get with a shorter jacket. The extra fabric also means there’s a lot of real estate to make it a big statement piece, whether its with texture or a pattern. Like the name suggests, it’s supposed to go over other layers, so they’re also cut generously which only adds to the ensemble. Like we said before, top coats have a lot of different names. Whatever you call it, the sound is just as sweet.
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 on 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 dashing with a pair of jeans and boots like British mods.