6 Stylish Spring Jackets All Men Should Own For 2023
With spring under way and the prospect of warmer days ahead, it’s time to pivot on your outerwear and transition into these key styles.
Spring, the time of year that features all four seasons, and often in a single day. It’s a real tease. Bright sun in the morning, epic hail storm come the afternoon, all of which makes it quite difficult to know what to wear.
The key, more often than not, is smart layering – using shirts, tees and lightweight knits under the essential lightweight jacket.
Here we’ve selected the non-negotiable jacket styles to invest in. Perfect to wear right now, but they’ll also have your back during the other side of the summer as we transition into the cooler days of fall.
An icon of Americana, the denim jacket has stood the test of time for good reason – that cropped silhouette and rugged demeanour gives it an undeniable masculinity, reinforced by many a historical film star.
The MkII trucker (which gets its name from the term Japanese buyers used for it and not, incidentally, truckers) is probably the most recognised and versatile silhouette, super easy to wear with a simple tee.
Levi’s made the original and still to this day produce classic 507 styles that have hardly changed over the years. Every luxury fashion brand from Saint Laurent to Palm Angels produce their own twist on the trucker so you’ve got an embarrassment of retail riches at your fingertips.
We’re also big fans of the more contemporary styles with a liberal influence of minimalism – they’re often made from high-quality organic cotton yarns with an indigo wash and wear more like overshirts than jackets.
There’s not a wild amount of design diversity when it comes to the MkII silhouette so the main elements of your buying decision will come down to brand loyalty and price. That said, some labels do offer stronger branding elements such as logo patches, which can certainly make a statement.
You’ll also find plenty of different washes to choose from. Acid wash, stone wash, raw, black, blue, cream or paint-splattered styles are widespread, and are all pretty versatile when it comes to styling them up.
Generally speaking, the more wild the wash, stick to a streetwear-influenced look, whereas the rich indigo-dyed styles will be more amenable to a sartorial switch-up.
How to wear it
The secret to styling a denim jacket? Don’t overthink it. A simple white tee or striped Breton tee is a classic approach that has never failed, and if it was good enough for James Dean and Marlon Brando, then it’ll be good enough for you too.
Go up a size if you want to layer it over a hoodie or prefer a boxier look. The addition of shorts and high-tops make for an edgy urban aesthetic, but on the other hand, we see great examples of more sartorial types using a denim jacket to create a genre clash with smart pleated trousers and loafers.
A key silhouette of preppy wardrobes ever since JFK popularised it in the late 50s, the technical windbreaker is a lightweight blouson with a classic spread collar. However, contemporary streetwear styles tend to lean into the techwear trend and eschew the collar in favour of a hood.
These jackets bridge the gap between nostalgic shape and fashion-forward textile innovation, with brands such as Stone Island really excelling in this category.
Utility combined with unique textural elements make the technical windbreaker an essential spring coat for mercurial weather.
Whether you like the preppy shape or prefer a contemporary hooded style or funnel neck, the main consideration is the fabric, for which there are many options.
Technical cottons treated with a water-resistant coating is an excellent choice for those who prefer a traditional casualwear wardrobe or a preppy aesthetic, since the cotton can be easily combined with chinos, button-downs and lightweight knitwear.
If you’re of an edgier streetwear persuasion, then you’ll want to plump for man-made fibres such as polyester or nylon, which have more of a shiny finish. Additional pocket details and strap elements will give you that urban edge, too
How to wear it
Spread collar styles and funnel necks are perfect with a preppy wardrobe, layered over a rugby shirt, relaxed chinos or jeans, and finished with a pair of sneakers.
Hooded styles are typically better suited to a luxury streetwear look, layered over a logo sweatshirt, with track pants and statement kicks.
Cotton trench coat
The inimitable, timeless trench coat is not just an iconic outerwear silhouette but it will also save your ass countless times in the spring when the heavens decide to open on a whim.
Double-breasted belted designs in a technical cotton drill as originated by Burberry and Aquascutum have stood the test of time and deftly navigate both business and casual wardrobes.
The trench coat is a timeless silhouette – brands have tried to mess with it and have fallen on their faces doing so. All you need to consider then, is the colour and the length, as almost all styles will be constructed from a water-resistant cotton fabric.
The classic beige style that Burberry does so well is perfect if you intend to wear it with your weekend fits as well as smart business looks, whereas the navy option is better suited to wearing with suiting or tailored separates. There are other colours on the market, but why stray when the OGs look so sophisticated?
In terms of length, there is typically a traditional long version which finishes at the knee, and a shorter cropped version (about pea coat length). Both Burberry and Mackintosh produce excellent versions of the latter for a smart contemporary look.
How to wear it
Suits and separates are bread and butter for the belted trench, which you can wear open on warmer spring days, with the belt tied at the back.
A modern preppy aesthetic works really well too, with the trench layered over an OCBD, crew neck jumper and tapered chinos.
Otherwise, it makes a stunning outer layer to a minimalist monochrome look, with wide-leg parts and an oversized shirt creating an interesting distortion to the silhouette.
Lightweight bomber jacket
The bomber jacket, is a genuine year-round piece of outerwear, ranging from insulated technical styles designed to combat winter to lightweight linen versions that will elevate your summer wardrobe.
In spring though, you’re looking for a hybrid version – lightweight, in perhaps a technical water-resistant cloth, or something more akin to an unpadded felt varsity style.
Either way, you don’t want anything particularly bulky that you’re going to melt in on warmer spring days. The classic ribbed collar, cuffs and hem is a nod to the original flight jackets of the 40s and 50s, but many a smart bomber can be found with a spread collar, too.
Virtually every fashion brand worthy of the name produces seasonal bombers, so you won’t be short of options. Yet styles can vary massively, from leather and felt varsity jackets to super-lightweight technical nylon options.
The bomber lends itself well to retro branding, so if you like logo-heavy fashion, you’re in luck, with luxury streetwear brands such as Off-White and Amiri doing a great trade in them.
On the back of Gucci’s maximalism trend, you’ll also find plenty of bold graphic treatments and prints, offering n easy way to inject a casual look with statement-making intent.
How to wear it
Depending on your style persuasion, bombers with the classic ribbed collar are great technical pieces to incorporate into a streetwear- or sports-influenced look, while spread collar options will suit a modern preppy wardrobe.
Generally speaking, it’s a strong, casual silhouette that lends itself well to jeans, sneakers, tees and crew neck sweats, but we love the more preppy versions styled out with khaki chinos, rugby shirts and chukka boots.
Luxury field jacket
The four-pocket M65 field jacket – that military classic – has never been far from the front line of menswear, offering the perfect blend of masculine style and dependable utility.
These days, the rugged cotton twill versions have been joined by more luxurious versions in suede, cashmere and linen, all while maintaining an understated colour palette that rarely veers away from khaki or olive drab.
Many brands are making lightweight versions that function more like an overshirt, which are also great options for spring style.
Rugged field jackes are usually cut from a midweight cotton canvas, and are an excellent choice for fall and winter, but the spring weather calls for something a bit more versatile.
Lightweight cotton and linen styles fit the bill nicely, providing a good degree of protection from the elements without being bulky or heavy.
The likes of Herno and Stone Island have also created technical field jackets constructed from either polyester or nylon, providing a more urban finish and increased functionality.
But for the classic cotton variations, brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Woolrich make affordable timeless styles.
How to wear it
If you like a workwear look with plenty of utility, then the field jacket will be easy to assimilate into your wardrobe.
Classic cotton versions can be teamed with a tee or crew neck sweater and jeans or chinos (or even tailored shorts), while the technical versions made from polyester can be worn in a sportier guise with sweatpants and sneakers.
Another timeless classic, the chore jacket has come a long way since its first iterations in the late 1800s in France, when it was designed for the French proletariat and blue-collar workers (in France it’s known as ‘bleu de travail‘).
An icon of men’s workwear, it was traditionally made from hardwearing cotton drill, and dyed in a ‘hydrone’ blue tone. This version quickly became popular among railroaders in the US thanks to its hardwearing yet lightweight properties.
These days, it still features the traditional boxy cut and pocket details, but the rugged twill has been swapped for much better quality fabrics, including everything from cotton and linen to leather and suede.
While the chore jackets of old were made from pretty cheap cotton drill, look for much higher quality materials in today’s iterations. Organic cotton and linen styles with two patch pockets and a single chest pocket are perfect for spring layering.
Although that vibrant blue is the traditional tone, you’ll struggle to find modern chore jackets in such a bold colour – instead look for designs in navy, olive green, beige and other neutral tones, making wearing with a casual wardrobe that much easier.
Quiet luxury brands such as Brunello Cucinelli and various Italian specialists often release suede or leather chore jackets that are sublime if you don’t mind dropping four figures.
How to wear it
Much like the field jacket, think of the chore jacket as a spring overshirt and layer it over a long-sleeve tee (a Breton is a great choice) and a pair of selvedge denim jeans or chinos.
Keep your footwear casual, too. Something like a Derby or brogue on the dressier side of the spectrum, or a pair of chukka boots for a more laid-back option.