When it’s not quite cold enough to bring out the down-quilted Canada Goose parka, but not quite warm enough to go without any outerwear at all. From waterproofs to trench coats, learn about the best types of coats and jackets for your wardrobe this autumn with our handy men’s guide, as well as how to style them for the season.
Waterproofs and rain coats
Depending on your location, you may be well versed in dodging sudden torrential downpours at the most inconvenient of times – which is why it’s all the more important to invest in a waterproof coat. These days, waterproofs aren’t just functional items to keep you dry, they’ve also gained a ton of street cred thanks to brands like Gucci and Off-White giving them their own high-fashion spin. Waterproof jackets are made in such a way that they contain multiple layers, allowing the skin to breathe but not allowing any exterior moisture in.
For the best protection against the elements, opt for a slightly longer than hip-length style that covers your entire upper half (bonus points if it’s got drawstring details to pull in the hem tighter). Versatile colours like navy, khaki or black will go with the majority of your wardrobe from work to play, but for an achingly cool look try out a semi-transparent style that shows off your outfit underneath. A specialist coat from a brand like Rains is designed to last for a lifetime, so consider carefully the colour which best suits your pre-existing set of clothes before purchasing. While padded raincoats are a good choice for the deep dark depths of winter, their lightweight counterparts are easier to stash away in your bag for unexpected summer downpours.
Souvenir and bomber jackets
Due to the sheer abundance of styles on offer, bomber jackets have established themselves as a go-to staple in the discerning man’s wardrobe. Formerly known (and sometimes still occasionally known) as the flight jacket, bomber jackets originated from military uniform worn by pilots to help keep them warm while they were in the air. While these styles were usually lined in fleecy sheepskin, the silhouette – with its high collar, snug hems and roomy body – stuck and passed down the generations into today’s appliqué-laden, street-influenced iterations.
Souvenir jackets (or sukajan) have a much similar history. Following the end of WWII, American soldiers began having Japanese-inspired designs like cherry blossoms and dragons embroidered onto their jackets to commemorate their time in the country. Occasionally, these jackets were also made from a patchwork of military parachutes, which translated into the colourful satin textiles we see used today. In the ‘60s, the style began to gain traction in Japan, America and Europe as an alternative streetwear look, and has remained popular ever since. Both souvenir and bomber jackets are the ideal upgrade for weekend-casual looks – plus, with leather and woollen iterations now on offer, they’re also a solidly insulating layer against mild autumn breezes.
Leather and shearling jackets
Long associated with various subcultures, from motorcycle clubs to cowboys, the leather jacket immediately evokes a feeling of rebellion (not to mention cool-without-trying style). An off-shoot of the aforementioned flight jacket, these leather counterparts shot to fame during the latter half of the 20th century, popularised by Hollywood stars sporting them in top blockbuster movies like Grease and Indiana Jones. Black styles remain one of the most popular choices come the colder months, but a tan brown jacket can look equally as autumnal – if not even more so.
Even cosier versions of the leather jacket include shearling-lined versions. Perhaps most popular are Acne Studios’ ever-iconic releases, which transcend the seasons thanks to their timeless look (if there was ever an investment piece, this is it). This ultra-plush, insulating fabric has been used since the Stone Age where cavemen used it to keep warm, so you can be assured that it’s a trustworthy textile when it comes to preserving body heat. When browsing for a jacket, remember that to be a shearling jacket the outer must be made from sheepskin; fleece-lined outerwear doesn’t count, and probably won’t trap as much heat. An investment purchase will keep you warm and well-insulated through seasons upon seasons to come.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR JACKET
Stuck on how to style your new investment? Here's our top tips.