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Tested: The Best Men’s Shirt Jackets & Overshirts for Hybrid Comfort

CEO Tinh Phung
The world of men's fashion understands the challenges of dressing for the in-between seasons. To meet our demand for versatile, middle-weight clothing that can be worn on a whim, the leading menswear brands have come...

The world of men's fashion understands the challenges of dressing for the in-between seasons. To meet our demand for versatile, middle-weight clothing that can be worn on a whim, the leading menswear brands have come up with a solution - the shirt jacket. This versatile style piece acts as a simple yet obvious answer to the limitations of traditional outerwear. In this hands-on guide, we take a closer look at some of the best shirt jackets, focusing on capability, comfort, and compatibility with other items in our wardrobe.

How We Tested

Before diving into the details, let's discuss how we tested these shirt jackets. We made sure to curate a list that offers a wide variety of options without overshadowing our favorite plaid shirts. We tested each shirt jacket with the same white tee as a base, measuring both style and function. While shirt jackets aren't typically designed for winter wear, we assessed their ability to serve as solid layers by taking them out into the cold California weather. We also paid close attention to comfort, testing each pick for its skin feel, drape, and overall comfort level. The build quality, including stitching and seams, was thoroughly inspected, and we layered each shirt jacket with multiple layers to gauge their layering potential.

Measurements: For reference, I am 6'2" and wear 34×30 pants. Each shirt jacket shown in the guide is a size XL. Keep in mind that fit preferences can be subjective, and I will point out my personal opinions on fit when necessary.

What to Look for

When selecting a shirt jacket, consider the following factors:

Material: Determine whether you want an extra warm shirt jacket or if you prioritize style. If warmth is your goal, choose a jacket with a warm lining and thick outer shell. Common materials for the outer shell include cotton, polyester, and wool, while linings are often made of polyester, fleece, or nylon.

Fit: If warmth is your priority, opt for a thicker or larger shirt jacket. However, if you plan on layering it frequently, ensure that it can comfortably fit under other jackets and over your regular shirts. Most shirt jackets have a relaxed fit to facilitate easy layering and often offer extra room in the sleeves and chest.

Style: Classic CPO-style jackets are always a safe choice, but modern options with unique twists are also available. Remember, shirt jackets are meant to be worn as layers and should not replace garments designed for extremely cold weather.

Lining: A lined jacket provides both warmth and a softer feel against the skin. Consider choosing a lined shirt jacket if you live in a colder climate. Common lining materials include polyester and cotton, with brushed options offering additional softness.

Fill: For added warmth, select a jacket filled with materials such as polyester or PrimaLoft. This is especially important if you plan on wearing the shirt jacket in cold weather.

Carhartt Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Canvas Fleece-Lined Shirt Jac

Best Shirt Jackets Tested Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Starter Shacket: Carhartt is known for its affordable and reliable apparel, and this shirt jacket is no exception. Made with 8.5 oz of cotton canvas and a touch of spandex for added stretch, it provides warmth with its fleece lining and handwarmer pockets.

While we've labeled this as the "Best Starter Shacket," Carhartt's build quality and style are truly second to none, especially considering its price range. This is a rugged and hardwearing shirt jacket, starting with a tough canvas shell for abrasion resistance. The incredibly soft and warm fleece lining makes it an ideal winter layer. The relaxed fit allows for easy layering, making it perfect for adding thicker layers underneath. It features two chest pockets, an inner media pocket, and two handwarmer pockets, all lined with fleece for extra coziness. The Rugged Flex technology gives it a comfortable, flexible feel. However, I did notice that the snaps make a jingling sound when walking, and the shirt jacket ran a bit long and large in the chest. If you prefer a truer fit, consider sizing down.

Verdict: This pick is great for working men and offers excellent warmth with its fleece lining. Given Carhartt's reputation, you can trust that it will last for a long time.

L.L.Bean 1912 Heritage Lined Shirt Jac, Corduroy

LL Bean 1912 Heritage Lined Shirt Jac Corduroy Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Corduroy Shacket: L.L.Bean's heritage gear is known for its timeless style and quality craftsmanship. This corduroy shirt jacket embodies those traits with its washed corduroy construction and soft fleece lining.

Part of L.L.Bean's BeanBuilt collection, this Western-inspired shirt jacket combines washed corduroy with warm polyester fleece lining. It is one of the coziest options in this guide. The taffeta-lined sleeves prevent layer bunching, although they are not as warm as the fleece lining. The triple-needle stitched details ensure durability, and the shirt jacket offers ample storage with two chest pockets (including a small compartment for pens), two handwarmer pockets, and an inner media pocket. The relaxed fit makes it easy to layer, but it can run long, making thicker layering challenging. It would have been nice to have additional snaps on the sleeves for a tighter fit and internal pockets for more storage. However, if you're looking for a cozy and rugged overshirt, this pick is definitely for you.

Verdict: This corduroy overshirt is perfect for those seeking a cozy yet stylish layer. The washed corduroy and the soft fleece lining make it a great option for colder weather.

Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt

Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Stretchy Shacket: Faherty is known for its high-quality apparel infused with surf culture. This Legend Sweater Shirt is no exception, with its stretchy and silk-like material blend that feels incredible and fits like your favorite sweater.

The Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt is aptly named, as it truly feels like a sweater shirt. It is made with a proprietary blend of polyester and viscose, resulting in a luxurious feel. The material is super soft and stretchy, making it comfortable as both a mid-layer or standalone piece. It features a button front, two buttoned chest pockets, and a shirttail hem. Although it is thinner compared to other picks, it still provides enough warmth for temperatures around 65°F. The sleeves are a bit long, but they can easily be rolled up to achieve a more laid-back look. Keep in mind that this shirt jacket is not suitable for extremely cold weather, but it makes an excellent mid-layer.

Verdict: The Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt combines the comfort and drape of a sweater with the versatility of an overshirt. It is perfect for those who want a laid-back look and a stretchy layer.

Outerknown The Origin Shacket

Outerknown The Origin Shacket Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Sustainable Shacket: Outerknown prioritizes sustainability and transparency in its apparel. The Origin Shacket uses lightweight recycled polyester and features a relaxed fit, making it a perfect choice for milder winter weather.

Outerknown's Origin Shacket is designed for those living near the coast with relatively mild winters. The lightweight recycled polyester shell combined with the insulating polyester lining provides warmth without excessive weight. The fit is relaxed, allowing for easy layering. It is perfect for wearing both under and over other cold-weather garments. The YKK snaps and attention to detail show Outerknown's commitment to quality. The sleeve cuffs may feel slightly baggy, and the back is a bit loose, but these features contribute to the relaxed fit and layering potential. Overall, this shacket offers a laid-back feel and complements both casual and coastal styles.

Verdict: Designed with sustainability in mind, Outerknown's Origin Shacket is a flattering and easy-to-layer choice for anyone living in milder winter climates.

Taylor Stitch The Miller Shirt Jacket

Taylor Stitch The Miller Shirt Jacket Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Quilted Shacket: Taylor Stitch strikes the perfect balance between utility and timeless style. The Miller Shirt Jacket combines recycled nylon, PrimaLoft insulation, and a DWR coating to keep you warm and protected from the elements.

Inspired by the classic CPO (Chief Petty Officer) shirt, Taylor Stitch's Miller Shirt Jacket offers both style and warmth. The recycled nylon shell, nylon lining, and polyester insulation deliver lightweight warmth, while the durable water-repellent finish provides protection against the elements. The diamond quilt adds an extra layer of insulation. With two buttoned chest pockets, two handwarmer pockets, two large internal pockets, and a buttoned media pocket, this shacket offers ample storage options. The fit is tailored and true to size, making it easy to layer underneath. Keep in mind that Taylor Stitch's apparel is often available for a limited time, so securing your preferred color or style may require quick action. Additionally, this shirt jacket may run a bit small on larger individuals, so consider sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

Verdict: Taylor Stitch's Miller Shirt Jacket combines lightweight warmth with timeless style. The PrimaLoft insulation and durable construction make it a reliable companion in inclement weather.

Buck Mason Wool CPO Jacket

Buck Mason Wool CPO Jacket Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Wool Shacket: Buck Mason pays homage to the classic American CPO jacket with its yarn-dyed wool construction, PrimaLoft insulation, and relaxed fit. This warm jacket features corozo buttons and two chest pockets.

For those seeking a traditional-looking shirt jacket with the weight and warmth of bulkier options, Buck Mason's Wool CPO Jacket is an excellent choice. Inspired by the U.S. Navy CPO shirt from the '30s, this shirt jacket combines yarn-dyed woolen twill with PrimaLoft insulation for insulation. The relaxed fit allows for easy layering and provides ample room in the sleeves and chest. Two chest pockets and corozo buttons complete the classic look. While it would have been nice to have more storage options and hand pockets, the streamlined silhouette offers a more refined style. The jacket pairs well with thick sweatshirts and complements various looks.

Verdict: Buck Mason's Wool CPO Jacket offers warmth, style, and timeless appeal. The PrimaLoft insulation makes it a reliable cold-weather companion.

Flint and Tinder Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket

Flint and Tinder Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket Photo: HICONSUMPTION

Best Waxed Shacket: Flint and Tinder's Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket combines the reliable waxed canvas material from their iconic trucker jacket with PrimaLoft insulation for warmth on cold winter days.

Flint and Tinder may be well-known for their iconic waxed trucker jacket, but this shirt jacket deserves attention as well. Made with British Millerain waxed canvas and insulated with PrimaLoft, this rugged shirt jacket can withstand demanding work while keeping you warm. The Japanese polyester lining adds a touch of luxury. With two buttoned chest pockets, two handwarmer pockets, a media pocket, and a zipped chest pocket on the inside, this shirt jacket offers ample storage options. The fit is tailored and true to size, providing room for layering without looking baggy. The only drawback is the lack of closure on the media pocket, which could be an issue if you store valuable items inside.

Verdict: Flint and Tinder's Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket is a reliable companion for outdoor work. Its durable construction and PrimaLoft insulation make it a standout choice for colder weather.

Shirt Jacket Comparison Chart

Shirt Jackets vs. Overshirts

Shirt jackets and overshirts are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences. Shirt jackets are typically thicker and warmer than overshirts. However, brands may use the terms interchangeably, so pay attention to the material composition and size to choose the best option for your needs. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

Shirt Jackets vs. Flannels

While shirt jackets may resemble flannels, they are a more substantial garment. Shirt jackets feature thicker materials, warm linings, and often come with extra pockets. Flannel, on the other hand, refers to a material and is colloquially associated with lightweight plaid button-up shirts.

How to Style a Shirt Jacket

Shirt jackets are versatile and can be worn over shirts or underneath heavier jackets. They pair well with jeans and can be elevated with stylish footwear, such as Chelsea boots. Keep in mind that shirt jackets are more suitable for fall and early winter, so consider incorporating season-appropriate clothing into your outfit. However, there are no rules preventing you from rocking a lighter shirt jacket with shorts and sandals for a breezy summer look.

Honorable Mentions

While not included in our hands-on guide, we wanted to mention a few additional shirt jackets that deserve recognition:

  • Todd Snyder’s Italian Velvet Overshirt: A luxurious option perfect for a formal or dinner jacket alternative. Made in Portugal with premium velvet from Italy and finished with workwear detailing.
  • Percival's Blanket Overshirt: Made in London using an Italian wool blend, this stylish wool pick is ideal for winter.
  • Wax London’s Whiting Overshirt: A sustainably made option with recycled cotton from a French mill and environmentally friendly Corozo nut buttons.
  • Gap's Denim Utility Overshirt: A stripped-back and stylish choice that develops a nice patina over time.

In conclusion, the right shirt jacket can provide hybrid comfort and style, making it a valuable addition to any man's wardrobe. Whether you opt for a rugged canvas option, a cozy corduroy shacket, or a versatile and stretchy sweater shirt, there are plenty of excellent choices available. Consider your specific needs and personal style to find the perfect shirt jacket for you.