A new coat: certainly the most exciting sartorial purchase a man can make. We’re not exactly sure why, but as far as new clothes go, nothing else compares. Well, a luxury watch or a pair of British-made shoes comes close, but there’s something extra special about picking up a brand new outer layer to get you through the colder months in style.
Yet there is an enormous wealth of variation. This means that it can be difficult to choose a design that will keep you warm, look great and keep its cool factor for decades to come. But there are a select few flavorful toppings that can tick each of those boxes and more. Think of them as a kind of jacket capsule collection. The essentials. The main styles that no modern man should miss.
These are the seven cool jackets that every stylish man should have at their disposal, according to Ape.
the bomber jacket
Those with even the slightest interest in menswear will be well aware that menswear has long taken its mark from the military. Unsurprisingly, the bomber jacket is no exception to this rule.
The style was first used by the European Air Force in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was the result of advances in aviation technology which meant that aircraft could fly much higher and therefore cockpit conditions became much colder. The shorter length and lack of a collar were supposed to allow a parachute harness to fit more comfortably, while the orange liner is designed to draw attention from the ground in the event of an incident.
Today, the bomber jacket is more often worn for its stylish appearance than for its functionality. The silhouette was championed by various youth subcultures in the 70s and 80s, but today you should pair one with slim-fit denim, a turtleneck sweater and minimalist sneakers for best results.
The Harrington Jacket
The Harrington jacket is a pop culture icon steeped in a rich British heritage – something that makes it an absolute must on every man’s rotation. Popularized by stars of the 1950s such as Elvis Presley and James Dean, this simple workwear design quickly became the hottest new thing in menswear.
It all started in Manchester with a company called Baracuta, which first designed the Harrington jacket in the 1930s. It was lightweight, water-repellent and had a fashionable shorter length and a stand-up collar. Before long, the brand started exporting its garments to the United States, and when Elvis wore one in the 1954 movie King Creole, the style really took off. That first jacket was the Baracuta G9 – and it’s a style that’s still in production today.
Later, the Harrington became popular with subcultures including the mods and the skinheads, regularly accompanied by a Ben Sherman or Fred Perry shirt.
In terms of styling, a black Harrington lends itself well to a white t-shirt, black jeans and a pair of Chelsea boots to give a nod to his rebellious, rock ‘n’ roll roots.
the motorcycle jacket
It’s a common misconception that you need to have combed back hair and a cigarette constantly dangling from the corner of your mouth in order to put on a leather jacket effectively. But as long as it’s worn with unabashed confidence, almost anyone can grab it.
The motorcycle jacket became a menswear icon after Marlon Brando donned a classic Schott Perfecto in the groundbreaking 1953 film The Wild One. After its debut on the big screen, it became a symbol of rebellion and masculinity, becoming a symbol of rebellion and masculinity over the decades. which followed were picked up by rock and punk royalty.
Still, taking off a leather motorcycle jacket today doesn’t have to mean dressing like the fifth member of The Ramones. Avoid looking like you’re going to a Grease costume party by balancing it with cream knits, raw denim and a pair of brown desert boots. Or even white sneakers.
The down jacket
When the mercury starts to drop, staying warm is key. But that doesn’t mean you have to reach for an arctic parka. Having a quality down jacket in your wardrobe will keep you insulated and looking good without having to dress up for the Arctic.
The effectiveness of this jacket in the fight against the cold lies in its unique design. By using feathered “down” insulation between two layers of fabric, the result is a garment that traps heat, keeping the wearer warm inside even on the frostiest of days.
When it comes to choosing the right option, avoid anything that looks like it came from Kevin and Perry Go Large’s props department. Instead, opt for a lightweight, streamlined cut that’s trim but without sacrificing any fill power (that’s the density of the insulation, for the uninitiated). In terms of styling, wear it over a turtleneck knit, chinos and chukka boots. Or use it as an underlayer on the frostiest days along with a wool overcoat.
The Chore Jacket
Staying warm and looking good at the same time doesn’t have to be a chore. Well, not if you have one of these workwear classics in your wardrobe, at least. The chore jacket is robust, durable, timeless and versatile. In other words: everything you want from a good piece of outerwear.
The chore jacket was designed in the early 20th century for manual workers as a means of keeping warm and dry. In those early days, the preferred materials were either heavy duck canvas or denim. Cuts were also generally loose, allowing for ease of movement and changes.
Today, the chore jacket still exists in something close to its original form, although the style varies depending on the brand or designer you shop with. The main differences are slimmer cuts, high-quality materials and other modern details.
The technical jacket
The chances of you being stranded on the north side of K2 during your lunch break are highly unlikely. But if it did happen, it would be nice to know that your outerwear is fit for the job. That’s where the technical jacket comes in.
These high-tech waterproof clothing is designed with the elements in mind, but don’t let that put you off. Where once functionality was at the expense of styling, it is now a completely different story, thanks in part to the rise of athleisure.
Today, there are a number of labels that produce high-quality technical jackets that wouldn’t look out of place on a Fashion Week runway. Brands like Arc’teryx Veilance, Nike ACG and Stone Island produce some of the slickest outerwear on the market, and it’s more than capable of giving the likes of Patagonia and The North Face a run for their money in the performance stakes .
The rocky middle ground that separates summer and winter is notoriously difficult to navigate. Step out in a thick coat and you can guarantee it will be 20 degrees by lunchtime. Leave the house in a T-shirt and the temperature will undoubtedly plummet before you even get to the office. The answer? A simple mid-layer that falls somewhere in the middle.
An overshirt is the perfect garment for the job. It’s light, it’s simple, and it’s ideal for layering or layering, depending on what the hour-to-hour weather decides to do. It’s a seriously versatile piece of gear and an absolute must in every man’s fall arsenal.
On warmer days, wear it over a t-shirt with cropped wool trousers and a pair of Derby boots. Or cover it up with a more substantial coat or waterproof it if things turn sour. This is a piece of clothing you can wear all year round – so if it’s value for money, look no further.