Spring finally marks the time to shed heavy jackets and celebrate the melting of snow, longer days and the return of warmth. While we no longer need protection from the frigidity of winter, the fact is that things won’t really warm up for another few months. Enter the solution — the lightweight spring jacket. We’re officially giving you the green light to pack away your bulky winter coats and trade them in for something more sleek, refined and flexible.
Men’s lightweight jackets vary in style, thickness and function, which makes them more fun to wear than winter coats and parkas. Some lightweight jackets, for example, look more like button-up shirts while others draw clear inspiration from old military attire. Popular styles include the bomber jacket, the field jacket and the raincoat, but modern times have also given us new performance fabrics for ultra-waterproof spring coats.
It sounds like a lot, but we’ve made things easy. Here are the best men’s lightweight jackets to help you step into spring fashion.
1. Rails Porter Jacket
THE UTILITY CARRY-ALL JACKET
The Porter Jacket from Rails is a commuter’s best friend. Military inspired, the four front patch pockets allow for carrying small items without needing a bag, streamlining your walk or ride to work. The button closure extends past the chest and up the neck for added protection on unexpected chilly days. This jacket, in the faded army green color, will be a popular color choice this spring and serves as a great neutral top layer. Wear it with light blue jeans or white chinos and a tan loafer to make it pop.
2. Madewell Raincheck Packable Raincoat
THE JUST-IN-CASE JACKET
When you leave the house in the spring, the weather might look warm and sunny. By the afternoon, you’re walking home under a gray raincloud. Madewell’s packable coat is both fashionable and functional, providing total coverage from rain but then folding down into a fanny pack when not in use. This jacket has zip-close pockets to protect belongings, ventilation and an adjustable drawstring. What’s even better is that each jacket is made from approximately six recycled water bottles. If you’re reaching for one of these, opt for the orange for better visibility — and also because it just looks cool.
3. Levi’s Denim Trucker Jacket
THE WORST JACKET FOR MESSY EATERS
The sun is finally warming up the country, and that means white is back! Ever popular, Levi’s denim jackets are a staple in countless men’s wardrobes because they look good and they’re easy to match with. The white denim jacket is a special treasure that gives a rich, clean edge to a spring or summer outfit. They look great with light blue or white denim and a simple graphic tee as a base layer; easy, effortless, successful. If you’re somebody who spills food or drinks, please be careful in this jacket and carry a Tide Stick in the inner pocket.
4. Billy Reid Cullen Jacket Double Dye Wash
BEST CLASSIC DENIM
We love denim jackets for so many reasons. They’re a casual coat that can be worn over your favorite t-shirts, button-ups and sweaters. Even better, they’re perfect for spring and fall, which means you can get a lot of use out of them. And if you invest in a quality brand, your favorite denim jacket can last for years without ever going out of style. Case in point: this amazing dark denim jacket from Billy Reid, one of our favorite menswear brands. This Cullen jacket from Billy Reid is designed from Japenese denim and dyed twice for a worn-in look that will gain character as it ages. It has a classic, no-frills design that will instantly upgrade any outfit.
5. Theory Roscoe Radic Suede Jacket
THE “WOW” JACKET
Wow. That’s all there is to say. Theory has done the men of the world a great service with the Roscoe Radic Suede Jacket. This piece is the epitome of “less is more” style and offers versatility, comfort and a top layer you know you can rely on to look good. The brown color family is making a huge push into spring, and the tamarind color Theory has chosen for this jacket will surely follow suit. Wear this both dressed up and casually. It looks just as good with trousers, a button-up shirt and a tie as it does with dark denim, a henley and a clean white sneaker. If you try this on and don’t like the way you look, get a different mirror, because you’re going to want to wear this leather jacket forever.
6. Selected Homme Son Slim Fit Bomber Jacket
THE WORKS ON EVERYONE JACKET
Recently, the best bomber jackets have been flying off the racks. The bomber has become a men’s staple for day-to-night wear because it’s slimming, sleek and appropriate for all situations. Whether you’re taking it from the office to drinks with friends or just running errands on a chilly day, a men’s spring jacket like this makes you look put together wherever you sport it. Wear this jacket with a crisp white or light grey shirt to create contrast in your outfit. Selected Homme also made the eco-conscious choice to construct this bomber from recycled fibers to modernize this classic utilitarian piece.
7. Allsaints Lancer Shirt
BEST BUTTON-UP JACKET
A huge trend in menswear right now is something called the “shirt jacket.” If you haven’t heard of this, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a shirt that’s also a jacket. The flexibility of this type of garment means that you can use it the same way you would, say, a zip-up hoodie, without all the extra fabric. The Lancer Shirt from Allsaints is a mixed media shirt made from heavyweight cotton that boasts a contrast, corduroy collar and two oversized chest pockets. For the guy who’s always on-trend, this shirt jacket is a must. Wear it with a basic t-shirt, henley or even a lighter-weight collared shirt underneath. Dare to be bold — wear a shirt and tie underneath for an influencer-approved look.
8. Patagonia Better Sweater® Zip Jacket
THE OL’ RELIABLE JACKET
If you’re already in the Pata-Gucci Gang, you know how great this lightweight jacket is. If not, you’ve probably seen these jackets walking through the Financial District, indoor climbing gyms, and just about everywhere else. Why? Easy — they’re comfortable, fit perfectly and even work well under a blazer in a cold office. If the Better Sweater Zip Jacket didn’t shove Patagonia into the limelight, it was their commitment to global welfare. Not only is this jacket Fair-Trade Certified sewn, but it’s also made using best practices with regard to the environment, sustainability and the economy. Use this lightweight men’s jacket as either a top layer or mid-layer on the way to work, the gym or anywhere else you’re looking to roam with comfort.
9. Good Man Brand Slim Fit Vintage Twill Knit Sport Coat
THE DAILY BLAZER
Here’s a clean outfit for everyday use — a crisp t-shirt, polished sneakers, your favorite jeans and a blazer to top it all off. Good Man Brand knows a few things about blazers, and their Slim Fit vintage Twill Knit Sport Coat fits the bill perfectly. The official name might be a mouthful, but that’s a small price to pay for looking good. This blazer’s winning feature is texture from the twill material and the special dying process. Texture in blazers is critical, especially when matching with plain pants because it breaks up the monotony of wearing flat colors and adds depth to the outfit. It’s available in both a dark grey and a nice earthy beige, which would both be great for the upcoming season.
10. Veilance Field LT Gore-Tex 3L Waterproof Jacket
Technical design enthusiasts have already caught on to the wonder that is Veilance. A new-ish name to the mainstream scene, Veilance, founded under the Arc’teryx brand, has garnered a cult following because of their extreme attention to detail and minimalist perfection of everyday garments. This lightweight jacket’s Gore-Tex fabric isn’t the crunchy feel you’re used to, but rather is much softer while remaining as strong and durable as always. Windproof and waterproof, not just water-resistant, this Canadian made jacket is perfect for both the city dweller and the exotic adventurer. For fashion’s sake, match this jacket back with a lightweight turtleneck sweater, dark denim and a black, lug-sole Chelsea boot.
11. Nike Sportswear Heritage Hooded Jacket
BEST STREET STYLE
For sneakerheads, hype fans and street style guys, here’s a flame from Nike. This colorful athleisure wear is one of the best men’s lightweight jackets for spring 2020. Throwing it back with 90’s fashion inspo, this hooded nylon jacket features the OG Nike logo, a full zip-up, drawstring hood and an elastic cuff and hemline. The mesh lining helps to keep the body ventilated while braving the spring elements. Style this with your favorite pair of jeans and the dopest pair of Air Force One’s or Jordan’s in your sneaker collection. Or, like usual, just buy a new pair of sneaks to catch that drip.
12. Topman Ottoman Bomber Jacket
AFFORDABLE EVERYDAY COAT
If there’s one jacket to pay attention to in this article, it’s the Ottoman Bomber Jacket from Topman. We know Topman for being a leader in Euro-American fashion, and this jacket is no different. A great military-inspired bomber jacket has become a staple in every man’s spring wardrobe because of its versatility and minimal design. This jacket only costs $65, which, for bomber jackets, is incredibly affordable. Available in a navy, light green and pink, Topman has included an option for nearly all personal styles. Make navy your first choice, but don’t be afraid to venture into the light green for everyday wear. For guys who like to wear light colors, try the pink out as well. Topman typically runs small, so either try this jacket on at a local retailer or order a larger size.
13. Barbour Powell Regular Fit Quilted Jacket
THE HERITAGE JACKET
Since 1894, Barbour has been one of the main players in outerwear, let alone men’s lightweight jackets. Although they’re best known for their waxed cotton, they’ve also made a name for themselves with their quilted jackets. A traditionally preppy style, this quilted jacket features a fleece lining that is both insulating and practical for cold spring mornings. The stand collar buttons to further protect the neck in the case of rain. Though this jacket is a generous fit, it allows you to layer underneath for added warmth. To stay true to Barbour’s British roots, wear this jacket with a pair of light grey wool trousers and a chocolate brown brogue shoe, maybe from Church’s.