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Cooler weather presents a challenge for many of us. Gone are the days when we can comfortably leave the house sleeveless, but it’s not quite cold enough to break out our winter gear yet. Sure, there are sport coats and suit jackets but, especially given today’s anything-goes office dress codes, what’s a more relaxed alternative?
The answer to this question is the shirt jacket, also known as shackets or overshirts—a top that’s more substantial than a shirt but lighter than a proper jacket. Whatever you want to call them, just know that they’re exactly what your wardrobe needs this fall. Wear them buttoned or unbuttoned to tie together a smart casual outfit, or layer them on as outerwear for the shoulder seasons. Below, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best shirt jackets to add to your wardrobe.
Thom Browne Shirt-Jacket with Grosgrain Armband
In classic Thom Browne fashion, this shirt-jacket has wears its preppy roots lightly. With grosgrain armbands in Browne’s signature red, white and blue, it’s cut like a traditional workplace button-down shirt, but fabricated from a durable nylon shell with snap-button closures to keep the elements at bay.
Everlane The Heavyweight Over-Shirt
Consider this the gateway drug to overshirts. It’s a straightforward design without bells or whistles, rendered in a dense 8-ounce cotton twill in eight color options. It’s basic but, what’s not to like? As part of Everlane’s Uniform range, this piece comes with a 365-day warranty, so if it rips or warps or loses its color, the brand will send you a new one, no questions asked. At under $100 a pop, that’s a pretty good investment.
Flint and Tinder Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket
Go for this option when you need insulation but want to keep your bulkiness to a minimum. It’s easily packable for winter road trips, chilly commutes, going to see a football game on Thanksgiving morning and so forth. The material, made of wax cotton canvas, is lighter than most winter parkas, making for a durable jacket that can keep up with your every move.
Brunello Cucinelli Nylon Shirt Jacket
When we look at this beautiful nylon shirt-jacket, we see an Italian magnate driving his boat across Lake Como in the off-season, long hair blowing in the wind—chilly air be damned, he’s going for a ride. This luxe take on the shirt-jacket is slim enough to be worn over a shirt and tie when you need a refined yet hardy piece of outerwear.
Outerknown Blanket Shirt Jacket
There’s a reason this one is called the “Blanket”: it’s crafted from heavyweight, yet incredibly soft cotton that feels positively cozy. The plaid weave is reminiscent of flannel button-downs, but this shirt is surprisingly much more breathable than the latter, making it perfect for layering. There’s also a great sustainability aspect to this shirt: it’s made from 100 percent organic cotton, and the corozo buttons are gathered, dried and carved by South American locals from the fallen seeds of the Tagua palm.
Carhartt WIP Charter Organic Cotton Twill Shacket
Over the last few years, men’s fashion has witnessed a love affair between streetwear and workwear brand Carhartt. If you’re looking to dip a toe into the Carhartt world, this is a good place to start—a straightforward cotton shacket that layers beautifully over a basic T-shirt, or can even be worn as a shirt on its own.
Schott Wool CPO Shirt Jacket
’Tis the season to invest in wool—which is a little heavy for summer and best kept tucked away once winter precipitation comes. Founded by two brothers in 1913, Schott created the original Perfecto motorcycle jacket and has been a top American purveyor of leather jackets for over a century. But with this snug topper, it proves that it’s equally adept at creating fine wool pieces.
Canali Wool-Cashmere Shirt Jacket
A shirt jacket usually veers toward the casual end of the menswear spectrum, but in the hands of the Canali, the style can very well take the place of your blazer. Made of wool and cashmere, two of the most insulating fabrics around, this topper is perfect for brisk days when you have to head into the office.
Todd Snyder Italian CPO Shirt Jacket
What’s better than olives soured from the Italian region of Calabria? This shirt jacket from Todd Snyder, made of Italian wool in a shade of olive green, of course. Both are rich, are of the highest quality and are meant to be enjoyed for years to come.
Balenciaga Wool-Gabardine Shirt Jacket
When it comes to volume, Balenciaga is the virtual master. Take, for instance, this shirt jacket; it’s slightly oversized, but features clean lines that’ll have you looking sharp.
Portuguese Flannel Moscatel Cotton-Blend Bouclé Shirt Jacket
When it comes to flannel, Portuguese Flannel delivers. But, as this shacket clearly shows, the brand is equally adept at creating bouclé styles. It offers warmth and the kind of texture that’ll really make a look pop.
Billy Reid Theo Shirt Jacket
Classic styles with Southern charm is the hallmark of designer Billy Reid. He revels in the details. Case in point: this shirt jacket with its sleek silhouette in fall-ready plaid that’s finished off with a leather lock look, antique brass snaps and a ribbon strips on the back of the neck.
Brooks Brothers Double Face Wool Shirt Jacket
Even when it’s inspired by classic American workwear, Brooks Brothers can’t help but bring an element of elegance. Evidence: this wool shirt jacket that features a check pattern and double-faced construction, a style that is equal parts rugged and rakish.
Nili Lotan Charlie Flap-pocket Cotton Overshirt
You don’t have to head to the savannah to rock the safari look. The style made famous by explorers is also a fashion favorite, seen on runways season after season. And this one from Nili Lotan, with its pronounced pockets and shoulder epaulets, tops our list this year.
Buck Mason Felted Field Shirt
Buck Mason came out the gate with the perfect T-shirt—a style so light, breathable and flattering that it’s worth buying multiples. But when the temperatures drop, you’re going to need a top layer, and this one from the brand, made of felted Merino wool, is a worthy companion to your tee.