You might not agree on what to call the best shirt jackets for men, but you probably agree on this: when it comes to layering, there’s few pieces more versatile. If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway, shirt jackets (or “shackets”, if you’re the insufferable type) combine the ante-upping abilities of a proper shirt with the weather-busting superpowers of a lightweight jacket—and for the next six months or so, they’re the only layer you really need.
The Best Shirt Jackets Shopping Guide
The simplest versions are just regular long-sleeve button-ups with a sturdier make, often with a couple of chest pockets in the mix for added storage. Some even lean into the jacket end of the deal with internal pockets and hand pockets for extra warmth. Some come in tech-y fabrics to repel the worst of what the elements throw at them; others are crafted out of heavyweight materials for certified Cold Weather and are so cozy they feel like curling up in a Snuggie next to a crackling fireplace. When it’s still warm enough to sip a cocktail al fresco, they’ll effortlessly class up a plain white tee. And when the mere thought of outdoor dining makes you want to crank the heat with fervor, they’ll be your last line of defense—in tandem with a beefy hoodie or a hardy sweater—between you and the puffer gathering dust in the back of your closet.
What all shirt jackets share in common, though, is a distinct goes-with-everything sensibility and a propensity to elevate your simplest looks into the realm of BFOTD territory. So we turned up 23 of the best of ‘em—from wildly luxurious designer riffs to easy-wearing mall brand joints—to help you *clears throat* shack up like a pro.
The Best Campfire-Ready Shirt Jacket
Good news, folks: peak flannel weather is approaching. And if you’re just as excited about its return as we are, the good news doesn’t end there. Not only does Patagonia’s shirt jacket incorporate the quintessential autumnal pattern to tremendous effect, it imbues it with the brand’s signature dose of outdoors-y energy, courtesy of a quilted lining that’ll keep you toasty long after the leaves change color. Wear it over a T-shirt and jeans on a brisk stroll through the foliage, or over a hoodie on those days when a puffer still feels like overkill.
The Best Budget Shirt Jacket
Shirt jackets feel like they ought to cost a pretty penny. After all, you’re getting a shirt and a jacket, right? Abercrombie & Fitch is bucking that notion and doing it with some real flair, too. It’s made of a stretchy cotton twill with a relaxed fit so you can easily layer it with a button-down shirt or even a thick sweater. Plus, handsome details like a beautiful tapestry print and a dreamy corduroy collar elevate the whole shebang to new heights. Thankfully the only thing that isn’t elevated is the price.
The Best Surplus-Inspired Shirt Jacket
Plenty of menswear staples take inspiration from standard-issue gear first designed for the military. But where others veers into tributes so authentic it verges on cosplay, Taylor Stitch’s Maritime Shirt Jacket—a subtly-tweaked riff on vintage woolen US Navy CPO shirts—comes in beefy cotton moleskin fabric that nods to the source material without aping it wholesale. (Trust us, the brushed cotton fabric is way better than the itchy vintage wool). Naturally, it comes in a deep navy like the originals and will last just about as long.
The Best “Built Different” Shirt Jacket
Come fall, a go-to shirt jacket should be the hardest-working item in your wardrobe. So it follows that Carhartt, the first name in legendarily tough workwear, makes an absolutely killer version. Much like the brand’s newly-ubiquitous double-knee pants, its Manny shirt jacket comes with the type of utilitarian details you need on the job site—pockets galore, a cozy blanket lining—but will appreciate in any context, whether you’re shivering through your chinos at the office or plunking away at your laptop from home. When we wax eloquent about menswear that’ll only look radder after decades of hard wear, this is exactly the kind of piece we’re talking about.
The Rain-Shedding Shirt Jacket
Made of a waxed cotton canvas material produced by the famed British Millerain mill (suppliers of water-resistant fabrics to the likes of Barbour and Belstaff), this sturdy, yet lightweight layer can take on a light shower without batting an eye. And just like those iconic brands, Flint and Tinder’s waxy layer will age like fine wine with each and every wear.
The Best City Slickin’ Shirt Jacket
Shirt jackets normally occupy workwear-leaning territory with flannel makeups and heavy wool renditions coupled with suede and corduroy accents. But the shirt jacket is the perfect vessel for the gorp-minded menswear dudes among us. This one from Stone Island features a lightweight washed cotton poplin, dual chest pockets with metal buttons, and a zip front. The modern utilitarian look feels right at home with some swishy nylon cargo pants and Gore-tex-lined trainers ready to take on the inclement weather.
The Best Triple Threat Shirt Jacket
NN07’s Shirt Jacket is the kind of layer that looks tougher than it feels. That’s because it’s made from a luscious soft merino wool that’s knit like a sweater. We may not know how to categorize it (is it a shirt? a sweater? a jacket? a shwacket?). But we do know that it’s the best of all three worlds.