There’s a certain satisfaction in saying goodbye to heavy outerwear once winter is over. But since the weather in spring is rarely all bluebird days, smart layering is key—which is where the light jacket comes in. Some are featherlight, making them easy to stash or throw over a shoulder when the sun is shining. Others come lined, and some have wax finishes to keep out moisture when storm clouds loom. Whether your town still has snow on the ground, or the blossoms are blooming, pick up one (or a few) of these lightweight jackets to help you layer in style.
The Inspector Jacket is about as stylish as windbreakers get. It carries the subtle western detailing found throughout Howler Bros’ clothing, and the insignia over the left chest features lasso lettering and a cow skull with surfy rancher vibes. (The company is based in Texas, and the founders surf, so it tracks.) The jacket feels as light as a long-sleeve shirt, but it keeps you well-protected from the wind. I throw it on when I’m headed to check the surf, or when I’m taking the dog for a quick walk. Put a sweatshirt underneath and you’ll be properly bundled.
Huckberry touts Flint and Tinder’s Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket as one of their best sellers, and for good reason. The wax coating provides a barrier against wet weather, and the wool lining adds an insulating layer for chillier days. The look is ruggedly handsome—I feel like Robert Redford every time I put mine on—but it’s equally at home around a fire on a camping trip as it is in the office (if we ever go back). It’s hard to imagine this jacket ever wearing out, and in fact, over time, the wax coating will help it to wear in. For a jacket that feels like it’ll last a lifetime, the price point is startling low. These come without the lining, too, if you don’t need it. Order one true to size and look and feel amazing.
The Waxed Flight Jacket from Flint and Tinder is the perfect layer to throw on over a t-shirt. Like their trucker jacket, it comes waxed to ward off drizzle, light rain, and wind, but it’s much lighter, which makes it the perfect grab-and-go jacket. The style is a play on the time-tested Air Force jackets of yore, but it’s a little more clean cut. Smartly placed pockets give you just the right amount of cargo space to stash your stuff. If you’re looking for a daily driver, this is it. If you need a little more warmth (and want to skip the wax feel), order their quilted version.
Everyone should own a bomber, if not two. Pendleton’s name precedes it, but their Pinehurst Bomber, made of tough canvas and fitted with brass rivets, feels like a piece of refined workwear. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the classic fit, with a few exceptions: the material is water-repellent (and you could even wax it if you wanted), the cuffs are buttoned instead of ribbed (so you can roll them up), and the raglan sleeves add durability—and just look great. I like to wear my bombers a little more fitted than other cuts; if you’re the same way, I’d recommend sizing down with this one.
Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket is super lightweight, and it’s water and wind resistant to boot. It packs up into itself, which makes it super easy to stash in a backpack for day hikes—but it’s also right at home in a city setting. I love buying from Patagonia for a few different reasons: the look is timeless, the company donates one percent of its annual sales to nonprofit partners in support of environmental solutions, and—this might be the best part—they’ll repair any damaged goods free of charge. When a dog bit through the sleeve of my puff jacket, they patched it up and sent it back good as new. Buy one and see if you can’t run it into the ground.
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