Is your wardrobe ready for spring? In this post, we’re looking at seven of the best spring jackets for men.
Before we get into the list, we have to ask: what makes a great spring jacket?
First, it should be lightweight. Early spring can be cool, especially at night, but this transitional season is mostly pretty mild – never too hot or too cold.
So a great spring jacket is lightweight and can be worn as a single outerwear layer. It shouldn’t be so insulated that you overheat while wearing it during spring days.
Second, the best spring jackets can handle a little rain. In much of the world, spring is generally a rainy season, and spring rainstorms can come and go unpredictably.
So it’s nice to know your jacket won’t be ruined by some light sprinkles. Think nylon, not suede.
Finally, I recommend buying jackets that are relatively timeless. Obviously, men's fashion is extremely subject to trends, and it's totally fine to experiment with these.
But if you're going to spend your hard-earned money on a piece of outerwear, I think it makes sense to buy something that will hold up and look great for a many years.
With all that in mind, let's look at seven of the best men's jackets for spring (in no particular order).
In a lot of ways, the Harrington is the quintessential spring jacket. It’s just perfect for this time of year.
Lightweight, but more substantial than a windbreaker, and easy to dress up or down, the Harrington checks a lot of boxes.
A classic Harrington will have reverse flap button pockets, patterned lining, umbrella yoke, a standing collar and double front zipper.
It's a shorter jacket that hits right below the belt, near your hips, and it looks great with a wide variety of outfits.
There's something classic and undeniably cool about the Harrington jacket, and it's one of the best choices for plenty of men out there.
These days, many brands are selling their modern take on the Harrington, which is basically a bomber jacket.
In fact, the line between these two styles has blurred to the point where people sometimes use “Harrington” and “bomber” interchangeably.
Both styles are great for spring – it just depends what details you’re looking for. The original bomber jacket was made for the U.S. military by Alpha Industries.
Most modern bombers lack some of those classic Harrington details, such as the standing collar, plaid lining and reverse flap pockets.
It's sort of like a streamlined, contemporary version of a Harrington, which makes it a great choice for younger guys.
With a shorter length and ribbed hem, bombers are especially great for casual outfits (jeans, chinos, t-shirts, polos and casual button ups).
#3: Field Jacket
If the bomber is street and the Harrington is classic, then the field jacket is rugged.
Slightly heavier than a cotton bomber, the field jacket provides plenty of warmth for spring, especially if you layer up with a sweater or vest underneath.
Of course, field jackets can be worn on their own over t-shirts, henley shirts, polos, sweaters and casual button ups.
The most versatile colors are navy, olive and tan. Any of these colors will go with pretty much anything else in your wardrobe.
Field jackets are a bit longer than bombers and Harringtons, and they’re made from heavier material.
They also have more details, like chest pockets, sleeve buttons and flap side pockets.
I really love field jackets and find myself reaching for them a lot during those crisp early spring days and nights.
They pair especially nicely with rugged shoes like camp mocs and boots.
If you grew up in the 90s like I did, the term “windbreaker” probably reminds you of those brightly colored nylon pullovers from Nike and Umbro.
While those might be cool again every 10 years or so, I prefer going with something a little more subdued.
For example, I get a ton of wear out of this nylon windbreaker from J. Crew.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty old, and I can’t find it anywhere online, but you can find something similar from other brands like H&M.
This one from Uniqlo also looks great and is available in smaller sizes.
A light green windbreaker is perfect for spring. It goes nicely with light blue, brown, khaki and navy.
This type of jacket is super lightweight compared to the field jacket, but it does cut down on wind a little bit.
Unlike other jackets, you can totally wear this with shorts. It’s almost like a hoodie in that way (some even have a hood built in).
If you don’t have a lightweight windbreaker, I recommend picking one up. You'll probably reach for it more often than you expect.
#5: Raincoat (or Mac Jacket)
- $ – Uniqlo or J. Crew Factory
- $$ – Everlane (casual), J. Crew (casual) or Club Monaco (dressier)
- $$$ – Bonobos or Peter Manning NYC (if you're a shorter guy)
I wouldn’t call the raincoat essential. I didn’t have one for most of my life, and I got along just fine.
But when I finally picked one up, I found myself wearing it all the time, especially when packing for a trip.
A good raincoat is lightweight and water repellent. The best colors are tan and navy.
I think navy is the safest choice for most men, especially if you’re worried about looking too classic.
What’s great about the raincoat is its versatility. Much like a topcoat, it’s surprisingly easy to dress down.
Sure, it can be worn with a full suit and tie, but it also feels right at home with joggers and a sweatshirt.
Some raincoats have a zip out lining that provides a decent amount of warmth when needed. When you remove the lining, the raincoat becomes a sort of waterproof windbreaker.
If it’s light enough, it can even be worn during rainy summer days and nights.
#6: Denim Jacket
A denim jacket almost wears like a very heavy button up shirt or work shirt. It's sturdy, durable and gets better with wear.
Denim jackets are great for spring because they're not too heavy – somewhere between a windbreaker and field jacket.
They're easy to wear over any base layer, from OCBDs to polos to long sleeve henley shirts.
If you only buy one denim jacket, medium or dark blue is a good choice. These darker blue hues go with pretty much any colors you'll find in your closet.
Denim jackets have gotten more popular over the past few years, but they're still sort of rare, compared to something like a field jacket.
So if you're the type of guy who likes to stand out a bit, pick up a denim jacket this spring.
#7: Lightweight Vest
Some guys aren’t into vests, and I totally get that. To be honest, I never wore vests until I picked up the J. Crew Factory Walker Vest a few years ago.
I fell real hard for this vest. I ended up grabbing two more colors, and these are some of the most worn articles of clothing I’ve ever owned.
I wrote a whole post about wearing these lightweight vests, but I’ll give you a few reasons why I think they’re great for spring:
First, you’re not going to overheat in a vest. They don’t have sleeves. You can wear one over a button up shirt or henley, and it provides just a tiny bit of extra warmth and visual interest.
Second, they’re perfect for layering. This type of vest looks great under a field jacket, for example.
Third, you don’t have to worry about the sleeves being too long. High fives to short guys everywhere!
If you want to test drive the vest without spending a ton of money, pick up a Walker Vest on sale (which is pretty much every weekend).
You don’t need all of these spring jackets, but any of them will get plenty of wear as you transition out of winter and into summer.
What’s your favorite jacket for spring? Let me know in the comments section below!