THE BEST jackets for men let you stay out longer, create more memories, and raise your profile that much more. They are, in short, all about excess, but in the best possible way. Men’s winter jackets, whether they’re parkas, bomber jackets, or puffer jackets, are hardly new; these styles have been around for generations, and while the materials may become more refined (no one’s missing the days when whale fat was used to cure waxed canvas), their reliability and performance remains as dependable as ever.
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When selecting a jacket, it’s important to understand its use. Our picks are going to last for years, so it’s best to decide now how you’ll be wearing them. But once the initial choice is made, it’s all about making its style yours. After all, you’re joining the grand procession of men over the centuries. It’s time to don your jacket and step into their ranks.
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From arctic exploration to The Hawk’s cold cutting down Chicago city streets, parkas are the nuclear option when it comes to the worst of winter weather. If you’re in for a long, cold one, it’s time to break out the big guns.
As the name suggests (and your repeated viewing of Top Gun confirms), bombers were the uniform of the day for generations of military pilots. It’s not a surprise, then, that their heroic images rubbed off on this classic style. It’s time you got your “Danger Zone” on.
Read more: Best Bomber Jackets for Men
M65 Jackets and Field Jackets
One more menswear essential that owes its origins to the military, the field jacket has been in existence throughout the 20th century, crossing over to the civilian world with servicemen as they returned to civilian life. But even if you haven’t served, they’re a functional way to capture some of this storied legacy.
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Borne from the open seas, peacoats were designed to keep the wearer warm and as dry as possible, especially in foul weather. Today, they recapture some of that adventurous spirit while insulating against the winter cold.
Here’s a truth: All leather used for jackets is a byproduct of the meat industry. Leather also lasts a hell of a long time, meaning you’ll need fewer jackets over the years. It’s a classic menswear staple, and unless you have ethical objections, you’re long overdue for a quality piece.
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Whether you’re ascending a peak or just looking to cut the cold on the way to work, there are few jackets more versatile than a puffer. On their own, their down baffles trap heat the way nature intended. Under a thin jacket, they add insulation while adding minimal bulk.
Read more: Best Puffer Jackets for Men
Waxed Canvas Jackets
The world’s original waterproof fabric, waxed canvas was originally made to keep sailors dry. Once made with fat, today the canvas fabric is treated with oils or waxes, which allows repeated applications. Bonus: Because it’s a natural fiber, your unique wear pattern will imprint itself with every subsequent wear.
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About as blue-collar as you can get (and about as American as blue jeans themselves), trucker jackets look good on just about everyone. The trick to wearing them with denim, of course, is to vary the hues.
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Granted, not all of us will make it out to Vail this year, but even if you’re not hitting the slopes, you can still enjoy the unrivaled performance of a ski jacket. Designed to breathe, insulate, and shed water, they’re one of the best choices for terrible weather that you nevertheless must endure.
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Like others on this list, the workwear trend was born out of ubiquity. Your plumbers, electricians, and construction workers chose apparel based on durability, not aesthetics. And yet, that aesthetic has come to represent durability. The circle only has one side, and everyone can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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When the wet stuff starts to fly, it’s nice to have a rain jacket on hand—and thankfully, they’re so small it’s easy to have one nearby. Many pack into themselves, but all will repel precipitation without adding bulk. These are sure to take you through multiple seasons.
Read more: Best Rain Jackets for Men
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