Jackets for men are arguably the one piece of menswear that has the ability to add depth and definition to any look imaginable. History tells us that men’s jackets, though many; and boy do we mean many, have not only evolved over the years but have also contributed to the development of men’s fashion worldwide. Exhibiting classic, simplistic-looking jackets to ornate, lavishly designed coats for men. From the rise and fall of jacket lengths to the fit and finesse that is evident in the different types of men’s jackets and coats.
In this post, we will go through a hundred different types of jackets for men. Briefly revisiting the past, traveling back to the present and learning a thing or two about the changing times, reflected in the different men’s jackets and coats. Let’s begin shall we?
One of the most well-known jackets in the world are Aviator Jackets for men. Originally created for pilots, Aviator Jackets aka Flight Jackets and Bomber Jackets gradually have made their way into pop culture. Having undergone a vast number of changes in style, silhouette and design, Aviators are commonly visualized as those statement outerwear pieces that feature ribbed knit cuffs and waistband. A shirt style collar, often with fleece or shearling and functional pockets inside and outside. Including a pocket on the arm in some versions. Traditionally made of leather in earthy brown, tan and in modern variations black among other colours. MA1, G1, A2 and B3 are a few Aviator Jacket versions known all over the world.
Known for their signature black leather, featuring an asymmetrical front, collar, zippers and snap buttons often with a waist belt and buckle closure. Initially associated with a hip and edgy biker community, this style of men’s jacket rapidly became a world-wide sensation carrying a downtown vibe and inclusive enough to suit a variety of people globally. Biker jackets are also sub-categorized into Cafe Racers and Double Riders. Cafe Racers, unlike the later; are a more simplistic style of jacket with a round collar to match its simplicity. While both types of jackets are popular on their own, biker jackets are truly in a league of their own. Currently available in many different colours, styles and a bit of a variation in design, while keeping intact, the main silhouette and feel of this once rebellious must-have jacket for men.
Quite simply put, a Blouson Jacket is known for its waist that is drawn tight enough to ‘blouse’ outwards. Often considered a link to the American Flight Jacket and the Police Blouson, this type of hybrid jacket for men carries similar feel and qualities of the bomber though with significant changes in silhouette, design and detail. Often carrying flat pockets on the front and button down closure, this type of jacket features a shirt style collar and in modern variations are also available with zipper closure and a hood.
A piece of outerwear that was designed to be functional as well as fashionable. Car Jackets or also known as Car Coats are as the name suggests. Worn by people driving vehicles as well as those who are passengers in the front or back. Traditionally available in a lengthier version to ensure maximum coverage and warmth while on the commute, modern variations are available in shorter lengths, much like the current; mid-thigh option. Regardless of the rise in length, Car Jackets are just as popular today as they were ages ago. Continuing to be just as stylish as they are functional.
While there may not be one distinct design or style of jacket for this point, mainly due to it being one of the most popular materials in history and still growing strong today. We couldn’t resist not giving it a place of its own on our list of types of jackets for men. Known for its signature chord or whale composed textile, Corduroy Jackets are available in different styles that include men’s blazers, shirt jackets, as well as single and double-breasted coats. Available in various colours that include earth tones such as tan, brown, maroon and grey to subdued tints such as pale pink, blue, green, white and black. On a side-note, Corduroy Jackets also inspired Corduroy Trousers for men. Some available as suits as well as Overcoats, Vests and many more menswear essentials.
Introduced in the US in the late 19th Century, Denim Jackets also known as Jean Jackets are specifically made of denim. Much like their Corduroy counterparts, Denim Jackets have evolved substantially over the years and are now available in many colours as well as washes and treatments that are used to make different types of jackets for men. Again, taking a few common attributes from Corduroy, Denim Jackets are available as shirt jackets, blazers, overcoats, overalls, vests and jumpsuits. From sky blue to their original royal and midnight blue, white, grey, black and brown among numerous others. While Stone-Wash was one of the first types of washes used on Denim Jackets, others to follow are Bleach-Wash, Acid-Wash, Rinse-Wash and Enzyme-Wash to name a few.
Also known as the Ike Jacket, the Eisenhower Jackets for men are considerably short in length, falling just at the waist as Eisenhower himself wanted it. Yet these jackets are equally comfortable. Traditionally made in the later stages of WWll and intended to be worn as an insulating layer below the Field Jackets, worn by US Troops around 1944. Interestingly, while this particular jacket was meant for war, most men among the ranks also chose to save the Ike Jacket for non-combat situations as well. Hence, the Eisenhower Jackets eventually found themselves on the backs of civilians. Still quite popular today, these jackets feature a Pleated Back, Adjustable Waistband, Fly-Front Buttons, Bellows Chest Pockets, Slashed Side-Pockets and Shoulder Straps. Eisenhower Jackets were traditionally in an Olive Drab colour though other colour variations cropped up once it trickled into modern menswear.
The military inspired overcoat style Field Jackets have a roomy, lightweight nature. Enough to fit a layer or two underneath. Featuring at least four pockets on the front and most often a couple of pockets inside, Field Jackets are quite often made in fabrics that are water resistant. Much like other notable jackets and coats that were initially used by the military, Flight Jackets also found their way in the masses. Today, civilians are seen wearing Field Jackets that are now available in a variety of colours, materials and carrying different design elements aside the traditional design for which it was once known. Though Field Jackets are known for their insulation properties, being used to keep men warm, they are also currently used for outdoor situations be it work or recreation.
Based on an equestrian history, Hacking Jackets; much like most outerwear pieces for men, have qualities and functions meant for the great outdoors. Hacking Jackets are worn for informal, pleasurable horse riding. Not for hunting or jumping. Made of woolen fabric called Tweed, these jackets are designed to serve a stylish and functional set of purposes. These include protection from the elements, ease in movement and effortless access to one’s pockets. Hacking Jackets were initially seen across aristocratic societies that later trickled into the masses.
Traditional Hacking Jackets have short lapels that meet mid-way across the chest area, a short Ghillie Collar with throat tab (a strap with buttons on each end, that fastens across the neck when the collars of the jacket are upturned. This is used for protection from the wind. Three or four front buttons, lightly tailored at the waist, slanted; spacious hip pockets with flaps, also known as Hacking Pockets, a ticket pocket, pronounced shoulders, long center vent and one breast pocket (with or without flaps).
Originally known as Baracuta Jackets or G9 Jackets, Harrington Jackets are lightweight, waist length pieces of outerwear often made of suede, polyester, cotton or wool. Traditionally, Fraser Tartan or Checkered Lining are common features found in this classic style essential. Popularized by the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and James Dean, the name Harrington was formed thanks to the character Rodney Harrington in the soap opera Peyton Place. The world-wide fame associated with the character and film had a major impact on the popularity of the name Harrington Jacket. Today, Harringtons are seen on many public figures, past and present and are available in many interesting colours, subtle details and functionality while maintaining the original essence of this crowd favourite.
Some of the most popular types of jackets for men fall into the retro jacket category. While there may not be one specific design or style of jacket that represents this point, retro jackets have made their way into mainstream fashion. From neon coloured bomber jackets to slightly exaggerated shoulders, baggy stone-washed denim jackets or biker jackets with buttons and badges and a host of many other types of jackets. These include authentic retro jackets dating back at least twenty years but not more than fifty years. Or a more creative variation that includes retro inspired jackets that are basically creative interpretations of authentic retro jackets. Either way, the unique style, vibrancy and detail can be enjoyed with retro jackets for men.
Also known as a Windcheater, Windbreaker Jackets are traditionally lightweight in fabric and construction. Commonly made of synthetic materials. Designed for the purpose of resistance from light rain and chilly winds. Easily identified by their unique elastic waistbands, in some cases armbands and a zipper that enables adjustments according to the weather at the moment. Interestingly, certain regular jackets and coats also have a removable inner lining that can serve as a windbreaker. Custom Windbreaker Jackets can also be given a similar lining that serves as a form of insulator much like a sweater but not as warm as an overcoat.
One of the fashion symbols of the eighties, popularized by many rap artists and musicians. Coach Jackets were initially designed and used by baseball coaches. Although for a strictly and professionally functional purpose, Coach Jackets are spotted by their effortless shirt style collars, elastic cuffs, hem and drawstring and snap button closure found on lightweight nylon material that is traditionally used. One of the reasons for its popularity is the styling of the Coach Jackets by music artists who wore them with baseball caps and many gold chains. On the other side of the spectrum, FBI agents also favour Coach Jackets for its effortlessness and functionality.
Mac Jackets are a short form for Macintosh Jackets. Waterproof raincoats that were first sold in the 1800s. Named after its Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, Mac Jackets are made of rubberized material in a generic coat style. Aside from its long sleeved, shin length, buttoned style, Mac Jackets are now available in different variations. However, authentic Mac Jackets are always made of rubberized or rubber laminated material. In the late 90s, the Mac Jackets received a revival after the factory that produced them almost shutdown. After this iconic wardrobe staple was saved from extinction, after being given a few changes to suit the 21st century, Mac Jackets have been seen in collaborative projects with the likes of Gucci, Liberty and Louis Vuitton. This was all that they needed to reach their current status of timelessness and style.
Known for its signature medium-length, untailored at the waist which gives it a hanging from the shoulders look are some of the ways to identify Donkey Jackets. A typical workwear jacket that is made of unlined, dark coloured woolen fabric, with front and back shoulders protected from the rain and elements using PVC panels. With its origins tied to the UK, Donkey Jackets have no vents at the back which goes well with the no lapels style. With four to five buttons down the front, these jackets close tightly upwards to the neck. Not forgetting the broad and rigid turn-up collar. These features help in protecting the wearer from strong, chilly winds and rain. This is why it is a great option for the great outdoors especially for work purposes.
Referring to the run of stitching that can either be in a decorative design or a simple straight line. Combining two or more layers of materials that exhibits a three-dimensional look that can highlight diamond shapes or stripes among others. This padding can also be filled with down such as the feathers of duck or geese that offer great insulation in winter months. The term quilt or quilting originated in England possibly taking after quilted blankets, bed covers or quilts having down-filled insulation. This also gave rise to Down Jackets or Puffer Jackets aside from Quilted Jackets that may not have one specific style or design but a unique element of detailing that can be design related, purely functional or a combination of both. Similar to the Coach Jackets, Quilted Jackets or Down Jackets were further popularized by rap artists and musicians.
A striking mandarin collar highlights the uniqueness of Nehru Jackets. This hip-length tailored jacket for men that has its front similar to a Sherwani or Achkan dates back to the timeline of 1947-1964. By the 1970s, Nehru Jackets were spotted in many parts of Europe and America. The simplistic design and style that gelled well with the Mod Lifestyle of the times, were further popularized by the likes of The Beatles among other music artists of that time. While the initial Nehru Jackets were commonly found in black, earth tones or neutrals, today, are available in many more vibrant colours as well as prints for the truly fashion forward.
Covering the arms and torso, oftentimes just to the waist, Ski Jackets can also reach past the butt. These can be one piece items working alone or matching Ski Pants that serve as a Ski Suit overall. From its introduction in the 1950s right through to the 80s, Ski Jackets mimicked the Safari Jackets in design, that include the shirt style collar and waist belt. Ski Jackets that have a hood, also called Anoraks, Parkas, Down Jackets or Winter Shell. Ski Jackets and Ski Suits are often made of wind resistant and waterproof and resistant fabrics that include a lining made of nylon, silk or cotton. This is mostly non-removable and functions as an insulator to keep the person warm in the middle of winter sports such as Nordic (Cross-country) or Alpine (Down-hill) Skiing.
Jackets that are designed to resemble shirts that can also be worn as outerwear is what makes Shirt Jackets so unique. An outerwear garment for the torso that may or may not extend past the hips. Shirt jackets feature sleeves and have button closure down the front. A Shirt Jacket is often lightweight as well as form fitting but not tight. This type of jacket is not as warm as the usual overcoat or other types of outerwear. Some Shirt Jackets are strictly for stylish looks while others also offer great functionality that is making it protective to a certain degree. Shirt Jackets today are available in leather, corduroy, denim and other types of light to medium weight materials. Certain variations also include one or two chest pockets on either side while others feature four, flat front pockets.
If you envision Sailor Jackets as those statement pieces that are traditionally white in colour, with a navy blue bib style collar and stripes on the edge, you’re quite right. However, Sailor Jackets as with a few other types of jackets have undergone a few notable changes over the years while making a transition from strictly navel based attire to outerwear pieces worn by everyone. While the above description is closer to naval garb, other variations include a complete Sailor suit that includes matching trousers, a short or three-quarter variation of traditional Sailor Jackets as well as a sleeveless vest type outerwear piece worn over an inner-shirt. Today, Sailor Jackets are also referred to as a totally different looking outerwear piece that mimics the design, style and construction of Track Jackets. These contemporary pieces offer great appearances, functionality as well as variations that have made them a crowd favourite. Sailor Jackets are made of materials that are water-proof which is obvious for any type of nautical purposes.
Originating from the Indian Sub-continent, Achkan Jackets are traditionally knee length, having one breast pocket on the left side and buttoned all the way to the top. Though quite similar to the Sherwani, the only difference between these two jackets is the light-weight fabric from which they’re made. Interestingly, Achkan Jackets led to the introduction of the Nehru Jackets. Styles, length and types of fabric may differ among Achkan Jackets and this would be mainly based on region. Due to its regal and suave appearance, Achkan Jackets are worn by grooms in many traditional weddings. Though this style of jacket is not limited to grooms or groomsmen, it is however worn typically in formal or traditional settings.
Deeply rooted to the Italian word ‘Giubbetta’, Doublet Jackets first showed up in Spain and later spread to many parts of Western Europe. In literal terms, Doublet means duplicate in this context, referring to duplicate layers of fabric used in the construction of this type of jacket for men. Dating back to the middle ages and up to the late 17th Century, when Doublet Jackets were at the height of their popularity. A snug garment, shaped and fitted to a man’s torso, is the basic silhouette of Doublet Jackets. It’s evolution, much like other kinds of jackets, highlight it’s length to range from waist to hip. Even though Doublet Jackets are traditionally made of linen, some varieties are made of heavy silk as well. Interestingly, Doublets were worn under other layers, such as capes, gowns, over tunics or mantles. This however changed after the 15th century.
One of the most popular casual jackets for men would be Varsity Jackets. First introduced in 1865 by the Harvard University Baseball team, these jackets are linked to Letterman Sweaters. For pullover type sweaters, the letter was often large and centered, to depict the name of the university. Varsity Jackets are still worn by highschool and college students, to symbolize participation or performance or both, in sports or extracurricular activities on a varsity level. True, that this hasn’t changed much over the years, aside from personalization and variations between different types of Varsity Jackets. However, what does add interest to this point, is that Varsity Jackets can be worn by anyone today. With the possibility of customizing your jacket to suit your preferences, there’s no telling how much more stylish these jackets can get. The thought though, is promising isn’t it?
Also known as Bush Jackets, Safari Jackets are exactly as the name suggests, a garment that is meant specifically for the purpose of a Safari. Although this piece was initially paired with matching trousers or shorts, in which case it would be a Safari Suit, today’s variations include just the jacket which also works well for those who prefer to wear with different accompanying pieces. Typically a lightweight jacket made of cotton or poplin, Safari Jackets are traditionally khaki in colour with a waist belt, featuring epaulettes, bellow pockets and in some versions cartridge loops. While Safari Jackets can now be worn outside of an actual Safari, they are now available in many colours and fabrics, carrying various design elements that make them wearable in many different and creative ways.
Made of different fabrics, Trucker Jackets have a wide pointed collar, one or two breast pockets and a length that falls right at the waist. Traditionally having button closure down the front and sleeves, some variations feature zipper fronts. Many people tend to confuse Trucker Jackets with Denim or Jean Jackets. While Trucker Jackets can be made of denim, they still maintain a unique design that cannot be confused with regular denim jackets. Trucker Jackets are also available in corduroy, cotton and other lightweight to heavy fabrics in various colours.
Typically a lightweight casual jacket, made of polyester synthetic wool among others gives us Fleece Jackets. Featuring a zipper closure down the middle, Fleece Jackets carry a simplistic style along with thermal insulation that makes it a go-to for the great outdoors. What’s more, is that these jackets can be worn through winter as well as windy, chilly temperatures. Interestingly, the breathability of Fleece Jackets make it a perfect option for a wide range of weather conditions. Available in a variety of colours, Fleece Jackets are found as trim or lining for certain styles and used throughout for others.
Traditionally a universal uniform for Chefs, Chef Jackets are a white, double-breasted piece typically worn with black and white houndstooth patterned pants. A common professional uniform in many countries of the world. Interestingly, Chef Jackets are not random but symbolize something significant in the food industry. For instance, Chef Jackets being white have to do with history, when chefs shared a public standing with doctors. Similarly, the buttons on Chef Jackets also carry meaning such as the black buttons on certain Chef Jackets to portray the qualification of the Chef wearing it. Student Chefs however, have white buttons on their Chef Jackets.
As popular as Military Jackets are at the moment, they do have quite a history. In a nutshell, these jackets, designed specifically for the U.S Military in 1965 were also meant to replace the Field Jackets that were used prior. Interestingly, Field Jackets were also introduced, like Military Jackets to replace a previous version going back to WWII. Military Jackets are known for their distinct design that features a built-in hood that enables the wearer to cover his head and when not in use, roll it up and fit it into a tiny pouch behind the neck. This is perhaps the only striking difference between this and any other version of hooded jackets we know of. Furthermore, Military Jackets have velcro fasteners on the sleeve cuffs and collar. Made of different water repellent fabrics, Military Jackets also have flap breast pockets on either side, along with matching side pockets. Traditionally made in khaki colored fabrics, Military Jackets are currently more of a style statement that may or may not be as functional as the original versions, introduced strictly for the Military.
While the true origins of Jerkin Jackets are unknown, reliable sources claim that the word is linked to the Dutch word ‘jurk’ which means dress. What is certain, is that Jerkin Jackets are short, closely fitted jackets for men. Usually worn over a doublet as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. Interestingly, Jerkins are also referred to similar sleeveless jackets worn by the British Army. To add further interest to this point, Jerkins are also made of leather among other materials and as far back as the 16th century were slashed and punched for a better fit as well as to add some kind of design element to this otherwise plain type of jacket.
Perhaps one of the most popular, sought after and iconic types of jackets are easily Shearling Jackets. Typically made of processed sheepskin or lambskin or even pelt, which would be the wool or fur that is still left attached to the skin or hide. Shearling can be found in jackets as well as coats which make the perfect winter-wear style. Available as lining or used throughout the jacket or coat, Shearling Jackets may carry different design elements such as a hood or a detachable collar. Adding further the different colors as well as lengths they are available in, these jackets are the ‘it’ items to harness a sentiment or two of luxury, richness as well as uniqueness, synonymous to one’s lifestyle.