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The best light jackets according to menswear experts

  • From trench coats to reversible jackets, a lightweight jacket is your best defense against changing seasons
  • When looking for a transitional jacket, you’ll want something substantial but not cumbersome, stylish yet versatile

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The changing seasons present their own unique challenges, especially when it comes to dressing. Days can be hot by mid-morning and chilly by late afternoon, and everything else in-between. Consider a lightweight jacket your best defence.

When looking for a transitional jacket, you will want something substantial but not cumbersome, stylish yet versatile, and up to the challenge of battling errant wind or wet. Here are six options selected by our network of fashion experts, stylish fellas who have considered the nuance of appropriate outerwear to handle whatever wacky weather lies ahead.

The Utilitarian Layer | Todd Snyder French Chore Jacket

“I have always gravitated towards classic pieces with a heritage, pieces that tell a story and come from humble utilitarian beginnings,” says Frank Muytjens, former head of men’s design J Crew, now posh innkeeper. “The name says it all, stripped down to its essence: no frills, just three functional patch pockets, the way it always has been. What makes it modern again are the proportions and the material.” Available on; $348

The Quintessential Denim Jacket | AMI Point-Collar Denim Jacket

“Some people may try to tell you that there are spring jackets that are superior to a simple denim jacket, but those people, I’m afraid, are wrong,” says Steve Dool, author of a forthcoming book about men’s footwear. “I’m partial to this one from AMI, but you can’t go wrong with the basic style from Levi’s either.” Available on; $268

The Simple Trench | J Crew Ventile Trench Coat

The “bargain of the season” is how Justin Fenner, senior associate editor at Gear Patrol, characterizes this trench. “I love how effortlessly the rubberized cotton repels water, and I also love that it comes with a liner you can zip in on chillier days. This is a value buy in the purest sense; anyone who thinks otherwise is invited to fight me.” Available on, $598

The Reversible Fashion Statement | Dries Van Noten Reversible Marble Print Jacket

As Christopher Legaspi, menswear editor at Vanity Fair, packs away his puffers and long wool coats for the season, it’s the easy versatility of a bomber-style jacket that he reaches for next—especially when it has a reversible print, like this Dries Van Noten. “It’s a statement piece on one side,” says Legaspi, “and the other is perfect to pair with a hoodie and take on the subway.” Available on; $1,329

The (Way) Above-Average Vest | BrunelloCucinellli Lightweight Suede Down Vest

“Listen, a vest is amazingly utilitarian—it can be worn on its own when there’s a nip in the air or under a sport coat or proper coat when it’s actually cold out,” says Jim Gaddy, deputy editor at Bloomberg Pursuits. But if you’re going to opt into the Midtown Uniform, consider the luxury upgrade. Quilted, insulated, and with a two-way zip for extra versatility, Brunello’s suede gilet adds subtle colour and texture and not-so-subtle swag to a closet otherwise black, white and navy. Available on; $3,595 (around 2.5 lakh)

The Color Pop | Très Bien Leather Blouson Jacket

Although Jesse Hudnutt, retail buying and merchandising consultant, admits he’s a “sucker for a pop of red”, this leather jacket from Très Bien would work for anyone looking to escape the doldrums of a black-leather coat (and winter). “This red leather would look great layered over a hoodie, or more dressed up on top of a tucked-in shirt,” says Hudnutt. Available on; $975

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