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Fall Winter Buyer's Guide Part 1: Light Jackets
Oct 24, 2014

Field Jacket: Image by trashness

Ninety-nine percent of stylish people will tell you that fall is their favorite season. Although I can’t verify that statistic, I would wager it is not far from the truth. You see, although summer claims the longest days, warm sun, tans, BBQs and more, fall has one pretty important thing going for it; the return of layers. Few things beat that first brisk day when you can throw a sweater over your button-down and walk outside to the smell of leaves in the crisp fall air.

Because we love fall at Ace & Everett, this article is part one of a buyer’s guide to prepare you for the brief but beautiful fall season, and the dip of the mercury as winter bears down all too quickly. To begin, let’s talk light jackets.

Considering the narrow area on the calendar which fall inhabits in the Northeast, buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a jacket. The key is finding one that’s versatile. A jacket that is amenable to layering under or over, and one that works over anything from a t-shirt and jeans on the weekend, to a sweater and trousers at the office. The four jackets that follow are your archetypal light jackets. Countless designers have reimagined these coats in a variety of fabrics, and price ranges to fit anyone’s budget.

Field Jacket

The iconic field jacket is the M-65. Worn by everyone from De Niro in Taxi, to Bryan Greenberg in How to Make it in America (RIP), the M-65 field jacket was originally issued to US soldiers serving in Vietnam. When looking for a jacket of this type, you can go the military surplus route, but beware of the billowy sleeves and large bodies. These were meant to fit a flak jacket underneath. One’s best bet is to look to a designer interpretation. At an affordable level, Uniqlo often makes a decent interpretation, although their fabric leaves something to be desired. Aspesi, an Italian designer, makes what is widely considered the reference point for a modern reinterpretation of this classic coat. However, just about every brand has made one at some point or another. Their ubiquity is due to their versatility. Dress as you normally would for the day and throw one on. Field jackets look great over relaxed fits and have a nice way of dressing down a more formal look.

Trucker Jacket

Most often thought of in denim, the search for a trucker jacket should begin with Levi’s. Once the top half of a Canadian Tuxedo, and a major faux pas, today’s trucker jackets are more versatile than they may seem at first glance. A denim jacket looks great roughing up a sweater and trousers, and it has staying power in your wardrobe. When bought slim, it can be layered underneath a larger winter coat on those brutal wind biting afternoons in January. Double denim isn’t off the table. Reference The Boss in his “Born in the USA” days, just make sure you keep the color of your jeans and jacket a few shades apart.

Trucker Jacket: Image by The Sartorialist 

Waxed Cotton Coat

While you have options when looking for a waxed jacket, many people will tell you to just get a Barbour. You’ve likely seen their Bedale model on the street. Traditionally made in an olive cotton, these waxy jackets were originally made for the upper crust to ride across their estates on horseback, but they’ve found a second life due to their water-resistance and old world charm. Be prepared for a bit of a smell and for it to be sticky to the touch when new. The upside is that Barbour’s last forever and develop an amazing patina as they wear in.

Barbour: Image by Chad's Drygoods

Parka

A more American take on the waxed cotton coat, the 60/40 Parka, so named due to the composition of the fabric, has been a fall staple for half a century. A big hood, plenty of pockets, and a slightly water-resistant, but not waxy fabric make this a great choice for fall. Penfield, a Massachusetts company, has been making the Kasson Parka for ages, and it is as good today as it was when it originally debuted. It effortlessly channels New England cool.

Any one of these jackets will quickly transform into a wardrobe workhorse. Toss one on in the morning, over a sweater or shirt when the air has a bit of a bite and enjoy the crisp autumnal air. After all, winter will be here before we know it.

60/40 Parka: Image by HYPEBEAST

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