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.
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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.