The temperatures are cooling and autumn’s arrival is near, which means it’s time to reassess your cold weather wardrobe. Whether your locale experiences actual seasons or you enjoy year-round sweater weather, shopping for the best fall outerwear can be overwhelming as the market offers no shortage of options ranging from technical to high fashion.
That’s why we’ve sorted out some worthy contenders for you.
How to Shop for Fall Outerwear
As you’re looking for a good fall jacket for transitioning between summer and winter, there are plenty of things to consider. Here are a few of them:
Climate: Easily the most important factor when choosing autumn outerwear, weather conditions such as temperature, wind, humidity, rain, and atmospheric pressure will determine what type of jacket or coat will be most effective in protecting you from the elements.
Activity and durability: In addition to the weather, keep in mind how and where you’re wearing your jacket. Will you be commuting during a rainy or balmy season? Do you need outerwear for rugged, sweat-inducing activities such as hiking or backpacking?
Material: Materials such as denim, twill, fleece, cotton, and polyester are all ideal for fall when rains are light and you’re not yet facing the extreme cold. You’ll also want to consider fabrics that are moisture-wicking, windproof, and water-resistant.
Fit: Alongside the fabric, you’ll want to think about whether the fit will allow you to move enough, whether you’re on a motorcycle, a train, or a trail.
Lining: Heavier jackets will be lined, but if you’re looking for a layering piece, then an unlined garment is your best bet.
What Are the Best Fall Jackets?
The best fall jackets should be versatile enough to keep you warm and dry — depending on your location — while being easy to layer over a sweater or hoodie. Below, check out some of our favorite men’s and women’s fall outerwear, from classic silhouettes to adventure-ready pieces.
1. Levi’s Men’s Mechanics Trucker Jacket
If you’re looking for a utilitarian twist on the classic Levi’s trucker jacket, try this one inspired by mechanics uniforms. It’s made of sustainable denim that uses less water to manufacture and features a regular fit that hits right at your hip. We like how the worn finish and convenient pockets give this jacket a cool and practical look, too.
2. Patagonia Men’s Better Sweater Fleece Jacket
Patagonia continues to be a go-to among outdoors enthusiasts for a reason, and its classic fleece jacket is proof. It’s made of recycled polyester fleece that keeps you warm, and the flat-seam design allows you to move easily and comfortably while hiking. It also makes a great layering piece, and three zippered pockets (one at the chest and two hand pockets) let you stash away essentials.
3. Nobis Jamison Men’s Shirt Jacket
For a great transitional piece that feels like a hoodie but offers high performance, go for this windproof and waterproof shirt jacket by Canadian outerwear brand Nobis. It features a luxe polyester/cotton blend with a proprietary breathable membrane and certified Canadian Origin White Duck Down that works with your own body heat to keep you warm in temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
This durable jacket features a hanging liner as well as two front hand warmer pockets and an interior zip pocket. We also like that the company uses sustainable and traceable materials, and that the jacket is machine-washable and covered by a lifetime warranty.
4. Outerknown Men’s Organic Cotton-Twill Jacket
From pro surfer co-founded label Outerknown comes this lightweight organic cotton-twill jacket that’s ideal for balmier fall days at the beach and beyond. This durable collared piece has a drawstring hem for a flexible fit, snap button closures, and two pockets; it’s also machine washable.
5. Carhartt Men’s Full-Swing Insulated Coat
For those who expect to face snow and wind, Carharrt’s full-swing insulated coat from its Yukon Extremes line offers excellent protection. The shell is made of 6.5-ounce, 500-dernier nylon Cordera material that stands up to rugged environments, from the freezing cold to light rains.
The interior features 150-gram 3M Thinsulate insulation for extra warmth, and the collar includes soft corduroy trim and snaps that allow you to add an attachable hood (sold separately). This versatile jacket has reflective taping as well as two lower front pockets, one upper chest pocket, and inner hook and look and zipper pockets. A similar style is also available in women’s sizes.
6. Aether Badlands Motorcycle Jacket
Los Angeles-based brand Aether is known for its sleek, functional gear that transitions seamlessly between city life and the outdoors, such as this tailored motorcycle jacket. It’s form-fitting but designed for maximum safety, thanks to the abrasion-resistant leather and protective shock-absorbing (and removable) padding at the elbows, shoulders, and back.
This leather jacket’s ventilated design allows for airflow from front to back, so it’s comfortable to wear when you’re riding on warm days.
7. Patagonia Women’s Radalie Lightweight Bomber Jacket
For transitional weather, Patagonia’s quilted bomber jacket is lightweight enough for traveling while still protecting you adequately from the cold and light rain. This insulated, water-resistant piece is made of recycled, eco-friendly materials and has two zippered front pockets. The company also makes similar quilted jackets in men’s sizes.
8. Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange Women’s Ribbed Blouson
Japanese retailer Uniqlo tends to be our go-to for well-designed, affordable staples, which is why we’re fans of its ongoing collection with French designer Ines de la Fressange. We like the classic American sportswear-inspired look of this ribbed blouson (also available in a cream color), which features a lightweight polyester shell, filling, and lining.
This transitional jacket also features two front zippered pockets and a zip-up closure, while the striped ribbing at the hem and sleeves offer a snug and comfy fit.
9. Barbour Lynn Women’s Jacket
This moisture-wicking jacket boasts a polyurethane membrane and lining to keep you warm from fall to winter, making it ideal for commuters who need something that’s comfortable even while sweating. It features a parka length and has a faux fur hood for added coziness, plus two lower front welt pockets for holding your must-haves.
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