Crisp sunny days, apple cider, leaf peeping—there’s a lot to love about fall, but like any transitional season (we think of spring in the same way), it can get a tad awkward when you’re dressing for the day. Fall weather is a grab-bag of conditions: Chilly and damp one hour, then warm and sunny the next. That’s why you need capable fall jackets that are easy to wear, portable, and neither too bulky nor too hot.
So how do you find that goldilocks layer? The rules are flexible, but you should generally look for fall coats that are fairly lightweight, with little to no insulation—no down parkas, heavy wool overcoats, or puffers here (we’ll get to those once winter hits). Instead, go for laid-back men’s fall coats and jackets that are versatile enough to layer over (or under) other pieces. Bombers, chore coats, and anoraks are all good places to start. Bottom line: there are lots of fall coats to choose from. To give you a head start, we’ve rounded up 11 top picks for men’s fall jackets to add to your wardrobe this year.
The Best Men’s Fall Jackets 2021
1. Faherty Good Feather Sherpa Full Zip
Faherty’s utilitarian sherpa jacket showcases the Black Star Nation pattern designed by Doug Good Feather, a veteran and spiritual leader from the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Nation. It’s a “symbol representing new beginnings and steadfast intentions that weather the storm of daily obstacles.” The brand’s ongoing partnership with Good Feather’s Lakota Way Healing Center has allowed the institution to expand its footprint and the range of indigenous spiritual practices it offers. A warm jacket for a good cause—hard to beat that combo.
2. Frame Cotton-Blend Hooded Half-Zip Anorak
For the uninitiated, an anorak is simply a pullover jacket with a hood. Though they were originally made with fur to brave Arctic winters, today they come in almost every conceivable fabric. We’re into Frame’s understated half-zip version that’s made from black cotton-blend taffeta. It has three pockets to store your goods, and bungee-style drawstrings at the hood and waist are great for blocking out the wind.
3. Carhartt Rain Defender Relaxed Fit Lightweight Insulated Jacket
At 1.75 ounces, Carhartt’s featherweight jacket is lighter than a cotton tee—but its supreme portability belies its hardiness against the elements. Boasting polyester insulation and a quilted nylon lining for warmth and comfort, this must-have outerwear will keep you nice and toasty on gusty autumn nights. Plus, the tear-resistant and windproof Cordura shell has been treated with a water-repellent coating that effortlessly shrugs off light rain.
4. Club Monaco Chore Coat
Club Monaco’s rugged-meets-refined topcoat will have downtown city slickers rejoicing over its streamlined fit (though there’s still ample room to layer a lightweight sweater underneath). Made of a soft-brushed wool-poly blend, this stylish pick is a minimalist spin on a traditional workman’s jacket, and it includes several pockets to stash everyday essentials as you go about your day.
5. Roark Axeman Sherpa Jacket
Twice a year, the team at SoCal-based Roark roams across the globe on far-flung adventures to inspire future collections that can withstand extreme conditions. The workwear-influenced Axeman jacket, a perennial favorite for fall, is inspired by an expedition to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. It offers a slew of season-appropriate features like a lofty sherpa-lined collar, a comfortable quilted sleeve lining, hidden rib cuffs to block out wind, and hand-warmer pockets.
6. Sid Mashburn Bomber Jacket Navy Fatigue Twill
Atlanta-based haberdasher Sid Mashburn may have dreamed up the perfect bomber. This jacket is made in Italy with a durable cotton-nylon fatigue twill fabric that’s sourced from Japan. Designed to straddle the line between retro and contemporary, it’s warm enough to wear as a shoulder season staple thanks to a full nylon lining and snug knit ribbing at the collar, hem, and cuffs.
7. Buck Mason Dry Waxed Canvas Highland Jacket
Does anything say “fall” more than flannel? Peek inside Buck Mason’s Highland jacket and you’ll find it lining the interior for an extra thermal boost. Cut from water-wicking waxed canvas (sourced from Scotland’s legendary Halley Stevenson mill) and constructed with triple-needle chain-stitching, it’s built for maximum weatherproofing and sturdiness. Better yet, corduroy accents on the collar, pocket lining, and cuffs add style points and a softer feel in high-touch areas.
8. Georgie G.1 Chore Jacket
If you’re considering an expertly crafted sartorial staple this autumn, hit up newcomer Georgie, a menswear label specializing in bespoke tailoring that’s the antithesis of fast fashion. The brand has a sustainable zero-inventory model, which means it custom makes each piece to order (get yours either online or with an in-person appointment). The G.1 Chore jacket is Georgie’s take on a time-honored silhouette that’s versatile and easy to layer, and it’s made in New York City with luxury fabrics from heritage mills and custom-dyed corozo buttons.
9. Patagonia Retro Pile Fleece Jacket
Patagonia is a leader in researching and developing eco-friendly fabrics that won’t fall short in cold weather, and the cozy Retro Pile Fleece is an iconic example. Instead of using lamb shearling, Patagonia mimics the same feel with fuzzy fleece made of 100-percent recycled polyester. It’s a top performer on its own or layered under a weatherproof shell.
10. Isabel Marant Kervon Jacket
The Biebers are high-profile fans of designer Isabel Marant’s boho streetwear, so you’ll be in good company when bundled up in this Kervon Jacket made from a wool blend. The soft, flannel-inspired overshirt comes in blue or green with a bold buffalo check pattern, and it’s a great cozy layer for chilly fall days.
11. Filson Seattle Wool Cruiser Jacket
Filson’s Wool Cruiser Jacket rounds out our selection of fall coats, and it’s one that you can throw on for any cool-weather adventure. It’s the limited-edition variant of Filson’s iconic cruiser jacket, which was first designed as a high-performance outer layer for foresters in the wet climes of the Pacific Northwest. In this version, tightly woven mid-weight wool naturally traps heat while keeping rain and wind at bay on blustery days.