They may not be the most common garments in the world, but men's fashion shirt jackets are extremely versatile. Classic, functional and stylish all at once, they keep him comfortable in cool conditions and looking smart and pulled together.
About Shirt Jackets
A shirt jacket is a great addition to a man's wardrobe. It's a functional piece of outerwear that happens to work well in myriad situations. Most shirt jackets are button-down styles and feature front breast pockets with button closures. Beyond these common traits, they tend to differ in their colors and prints, but less so in their construction. Other details set them apart from each other, though. You may come across shirt jackets with:
- Detachable hoods, appropriate for all weather conditions
- Quilted lining, for extra warmth in cold climates
- Side pockets
The Importance of Material
When shopping for your shirt jacket, the most important feature to focus on is its material. Of course, you want a shirt that looks great, but finding one that you love shouldn't be a problem, given the numerous styles available. Material, however, is important because it dictates how often you may or may not wear the shirt jacket.
Cotton Short Jackets
If you plan to wear your jacket throughout fall, a cotton style will serve you well. That's good news, considering that the majority of shirt jackets are primarily made of cotton. That's not to say you can't find other fabrics, though. If you live in a generally cold climate or plan to wear your shirt jacket into winter, consider a flannel or wool style. A lined jacket will also keep you extra cozy in cooler conditions.
Suede Shirt Jackets
Another option for cold weather-wear is suede. Keep in mind that this style will only be comfortable during the dead of winter; you'll hang it up as soon as temperatures rise. If you appreciate the smart cut of a shirt jacket and don't mind the commitment of keeping it regularly dry cleaned, this is a great choice. On the other hand, keep in mind that wearing a genuine winter coat over it is impractical unless the conditions are especially harsh - and even then, your comfort probably dictates that a sweater would be more comfortable. Suede is heavy and can be cumbersome, so choose wisely. Also bear in mind that high-quality suede shirt jackets can cost a pretty penny!
Nylon Fashion Shirt Jackets
You might prefer something that is versatile enough to wear year-round. You can probably get away with cotton during less frigid conditions, but if you want something truly lightweight, opt for a nylon shirt jacket. It may resemble a windbreaker, and it acts as a replacement on those days when you choose to wear something slightly more clean-cut than a baggy jacket. Nylon holds its shape well over time, so you can all but guarantee a garment that will last you for years.
Shopping for Men's Fashion Shirt Jackets
Since men's fashion shirt jackets are worn year round, they are readily available from season to season. Of course, you'll find a greater selection of lightweight styles during the warmer months and heavier styles during the later part of the year. It can be helpful to keep a few things in mind when shopping for your shirt jacket:
- What do you plan to wear beneath your shirt jacket? If you're keeping it casual, try your shirt jacket on over a short-sleeve crew neck or basic button-down shirt. If it's for winter wear, try it on with a shirt appropriate for the season.
- Make sure that it closes comfortably no matter what you wear it with. The shirt jacket should fit much as a light jacket would. Its natural cut dictates that it fits slightly closer to the body than a typical jacket, but the fit should still be slightly loose and relaxed.
- Are you planning to wear your shirt jacket while working outdoors? If so, comfort is more important than ever. Raise your arms to ensure that the shirt does not constrict your movement in any way.
Where to Shop
You'll find a great selection of men's fashion shirt jackets at a variety of retailers, including: