Field jackets are one of the few pieces of men’s clothing that you can buy (and wear) any time of the year. Whether you need something for chilly spring evenings, summer travel or winter layering, we suggest considering a new field jacket. Not sure where to start? Unsure where these jackets even came from? Read on. In this article we’ll outline the following:
- The history of field jackets
- How to pick a field jacket
- The best men’s field jackets to buy now
The History of Field Jackets
Field jackets have seen a huge resurgence lately thanks to 70s/80s nostalgia and menswear’s never-ending love affair with military-inspired clothing. As fashion connoisseurs have pointed out, the military is menswear’s most prolific designer, with staples like boots, chinos, modern suits and even T-shirts (that’s right) all being adaptations of military uniforms over the decades.
Field jackets were first introduced by the US military in World War II as a lighter, more wind and water-resistant alternative to the wool coats worn in World War I. The jacket was a huge success, as it was standard-issue until 2009. Now, it’s a rugged fashion staple you can see on everyone from Jay-Z to Tom Ford.
How to Pick a Field Jacket
When choosing a field jacket, your main consideration should be its purpose. Will you be using it as protection in the wilderness? A go-to office coat? Or maybe somewhere in-between? Because they’ve been around a while now, field jackets are offered with a wide variety of styles, purposes and price points. Be sure to check the thickness and weatherproof abilities (i.e. fabric, concealed hood, etc.) as well as pocket set up for maximum utility.
To narrow down the search for a great men’s field jacket, we’ve categorized the coats and found the best option for your needs. Check them out below.
1. Goodthreads Military Jacket
Unlike leather jackets or peacoats, you can pick up a field jacket for well under $100. Case-in-point: this jacket from Goodthreads. It clocks in at just $50 but still showcases an authentic military look and a solid cotton build. It’s also very versatile style-wise. This, combined with the low price tag makes it a great travel companion because you can wear it with almost anything, and you don’t need to worry too much about damaging or losing it.
2. Ween Charm Men’s Military Army Field Jacket
The Ween Charm Mens Military Army Field Jacket offers plenty of style for its budget-friendly price. The design includes a sporty built-in hood, long sleeves with button cuffs and a double button and zipper closure at the front. All of these add to this jacket’s ability to deal with mild to cool temperatures. This piece is also available in a range of colors, including black, khaki and navy blue, and it’s ideal for everyday casual use, whether you’re headed to school, out on a date or pretty much anything that requires less formal dress than a suit.
3. Levi’s Field Parka Jacket
If you’re taking your field jacket on some outdoor adventures, we recommend this field parka from Levi’s. Levi’s upgrades the classic cotton construction with a water-repellent polyester build, adds a few inches to the hem for protection and features cozy sherpa lining for warmth. It’s a serious piece of outerwear you can trust against the elements, so the sub-$100 price tag is pretty fantastic. And although it’s ideal for hiking or commuting in really nasty weather, it’s still modern enough to rock with your best outfit.
4. Genuine Military Surplus M-65 Field Jacket
BEST GENUINE MILITARY JACKET
With woodland camo, three-color desert and acu camo designs available, the Genuine Military Surplus US Military Issue M-65 Field Jacket delivers a mix of style and real military function. From the eye-catching appearance and concealed hood to the velcro sleeves and snap-closed storm flap, with this jacket on, you can feel confident that you look great and can take on almost anything the elements can throw at you, too. Furthermore, the nyco shell is made from an equal cotton and nylon twill mix, giving the jacket a high-quality, heavy-duty feel.
5. Carhartt Men’s Field Coat
The Carhartt Men’s Field Coat is a great go-to jacket to keep in your wardrobe. It’s made from 100% cotton and features a removable, button-out lining, which provides versatility for both the cold winter and cool summer. You’ll also find a button and zipper front closure for added protection from the elements as well as four front button-up pockets for keeping your essentials close at hand at all times. In addition, this sturdy coat can be machine washed, making it easy to clean after any particularly dirt-filled experiences.
6. Orvis Men’s Heritage Field Coat
BEST FOR HUNTERS
By including a waxed cotton canvas and upper slash hand-warmer pockets, the Orvis Men’s Heritage Field Coat is capable of keeping you comfortable during most outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re hunting, fishing or just hanging out with friends, you’ll find that this sturdy jacket repels rain and briars with ease. It’s available in either olive or tobacco and sports two further front-facing pockets for keeping your personal effects close at hand. For added comfort, the jacket features gusseted underarm panels with grommets for ventilation. These elements also help maintain a comfortable temperature inside the coat.
7. Armani Exchange Field Jacket
The Armani Exchange Field Jacket offers multiple wardrobe additions in a single buy. When complete, this heavy duty field jacket is great for casual use and includes a funnel neck, zip and button plackets as well as functional pockets to deliver all the style and function you need from a field jacket. What’s even better about this versatile wardrobe item is that it contains a detachable body warmer, which when removed, lightens the jacket, creating an item better suited to warmer weather. Furthermore, the body warmer itself can be worn alone without the jacket as an eye-catching extra layer. That’s why you should consider this versatile jacket as more than just the average field jacket.
8. Vince Slim Fit Field Jacket
If you’re looking for a stylish jacket and want to stand out from the crowd, the Vince Slim Fit Field Jacket could be the right choice for you. It sports an appearance very much inspired by old-style field jackets but has a sharp, streamlined look which feels more fresh and modern. This outstanding design makes the jacket ideal for casual and smart-casual occasions, and as it’s available in frog gray or leche white, you can choose exactly how much you wish to stand out. Furthermore, the front zip closure and stowaway drawstring hood make this jacket capable of dealing with all kinds of weather.
9. Burberry Ascott Quilted Field Jacket
By including Burberry’s signature lining and a beautiful, diamond quilted pattern on the exterior, this Burberry Ascott Quilted Field Jacket offers an appealing balance of style and comfort. The front of the jacket sports a zipper and button closure along with four individual snap pockets which complete the look and provide a handy place to keep essential items. For additional comfort, the snap cuffs and collar allow you to securely close up exposed areas when it’s cold outside for a more toasty feel inside.
10. Veilance Field Waterproof Jacket
Most field jackets are a throwback. Not this one. Veilance gives the field jacket a 21st-century overhaul with clean lines and modern tech. The jacket boasts three-layer Gore-Tex wind and weatherproofing, a 100% nylon build, taped seams and a stowaway hood. This makes it capable of withstanding even the nastiest weather. However, the jacket’s streamlined design makes it easy to rock on a rainy day in the city as well as a stormy hike in the mountains.
11. Mr P. Cotton and Nylon-Blend Field Jacket
On the flip-side of hardcore weatherproof is lightweight, city-ready field jackets such as this one from Mr P. (Mr. Porter’s in-house brand). It’s made of a cotton-nylon blend that’s designed to fend off spring breezes and autumn chills, making it an excellent piece for your transition wardrobe. Mr P. has utilized a ‘dull gold’ color that we really like because it’s modern and versatile with almost any outfit palette but still pays tribute to the jacket’s military heritage.
12. Alpha Industries Men’s M-65 Defender Field Coat
Alpha Industries is the real deal. They’re one of the US military’s actual contracts, supplying outerwear such as this very jacket, the M-65. So if you’re looking for a genuine field coat, this is a great purchase. And for a real piece of military gear, the jacket is surprisingly stylish and wearable in civilian life. The jacket is highly customizable for any weather conditions with a concealed hood in the collar, drawstrings at hood, waist and hem and even a removable lining for just the right amount of warmth.
13. Stone Island logo patch military jacket
If you’re looking to flex a bit with your field jacket, consider this one from Stone Island. The Italian luxury brand has become a fixture in the streetwear-slash-high fashion world, providing upgraded essentials such as this field jacket. The coat has the iconic silhouette of a military field coat but features a high-quality cotton-polyamide blend fabric, a great fit for any guy and the Stone Island patch at the sternum.
14. Heron Preston Camouflage Print Jacket
BEST STREET STYLE PICK
Another great high-end pick is this camouflage jacket from Heron Preston. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, it was launched in 2016 by its namesake, Heron Preston, who gained notoriety through collaborations with Nike and Kanye West. We’re big fans of Preston’s field jacket because it’s at the cutting edge of street style trends with a bold orange logo, camo pattern and a baggy military-inspired silhouette.