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The Best Shirt Jackets Warm You Up Without Making You Overheat

An essential garment for layering on top of a t-shirt or under a heftier jacket.

collage of three shirt jackets

For crisp mornings and cool nights, for falling snow, and for changing seasons — a shirt jacket. It’s a staple that can stand alone as a light top layer, or function as a stylish mid-layer beneath a heavier coat when winter arrives. Typically cut from either corduroy, flannel, fleece, twill or wool, this style — also known as an overshirt — blends the shape of a basic shirt and the sensibility of something far more substantial.

What Is a Shirt Jacket?

A shirt jacket resembles your usual shirt but feels more substantial, offering more warmth when the weather calls for it. Truly! It's that simple. But how each shirt jacket delivers the extra warmth differs: Some opt for quilting and down, while others are simply heavier and made from wool. There are oversized options and tailored-fitting ones, plus ones that lean a little bit harder into outerwear aesthetics.

Also, to clear up the common shirt jacket, shacket, overshirt debate: They're all the same. A shirt jacket is literally what the name implies, while a shacket is just those two words put together. An overshirt achieves the same end goal, but with perhaps a slightly slimmer frame.

How to Pick the Right One

You shouldn't expect your shirt jacket to sub seamlessly in place for a heavier parka. Never. But you rightfully should expect to be able to wear it and it only in the tail end of winter or the beginnings of fall. If you opt for a lighter one — meaning one that's basically a shirt but called a shirt jacket — you could get away with layering it in the warmer months (when the evenings, at a crisp 60, feel cool).

Steer clear of super insulated ones because at that point you're better off upgrading to something more substantial. The shirt silhouette doesn't prove as flattering when puffed to its limits. Just get a puffer jacket. I recommend picking something flashier than your normal shirt, by way of texture, color or pattern. Save the stale blues and crisp whites for your Oxfords and button-downs.

The Best Shirt Jackets for Men

Below lie over a dozen options we'd recommend for unseasonably stiff summer evenings and frigid winter walks alike. Best of all, most of these picks prove capable of being worn in both scenarios — that's versatility and value.

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      Best Overall Shirt Jacket
      Outerknown Blanket Shirt
      Best Upgrade Shirt Jacket
      Wax London Whiting Shirt
      Best Affordable Shirt Jacket
      Everlane Heavyweight Overshirt
      Best Down Shirt Jacket
      Crescent Down Works Down Shirt
      Best Waxed Shirt Jacket
      Flint and Tinder Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket
      Best Wool Shirt Jacket
      Buck Mason Wool Plaid CPO Jacket
      Wellen Seawool Bubble Shirt Jacket
      Todd Snyder Shirt Jacket
      L.L. Bean
      Percival Blanket Overshirt
      Best Made Co Wool Flannel Overshirt
      Billy Reid Grid Outlined Knit Jacket
      POP Trading Company Check Cord Zip Overshirt
      J.Crew Eco Nordic Shirt Jacket
      More Casual Jackets
      best wax jackets
      Taylor Stitch

      Explore the following guides to find more of our top jacket recommendations.

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