There are some pieces in your closet that you find yourself reaching for over and over to the point that it becomes an involuntary habit. You catch a glimpse of your reflection walking by a window on your way to work and have to ask, “When did I put X on?” It isn’t that you’re upset with the choice, you just don’t remember making it because you’ve made the same one so many times before.
Some people are in that situation because they’re in a style rut and simply opt for the path of least resistance. But for other garments, it’s less about not wanting to make a decision as it is about repeatedly making the same decision because the item is just that good. The shirt jacket falls into the latter category.
It’s hard to call something a “perfect piece of clothing,” but the shirt jacket, or “shacket” if you will, comes pretty damn close. Because of the collar, it can work at a more buttoned-up affair, but the length allows it to also function as a casual layer. There is just the right amount of insulation to keep you warm on those in-between days that fall provides in abundance and the shacket can even hold its own in a light rain. In a more neutral color like black, navy, or tan it will quite literally work with every other piece of clothing you have, which is why guys find themselves grabbing it out of the closet on the regular.
But if you’ve yet to realize the all-encompassing benefits of owning a shirt jacket—or just need to refresh an existing one (if you’re wearing it every day, it’ll need to be replaced more often)—we’ve got you covered with six options that will become your new go-to.
1. RVCA CPO
Khaki pants may be the signature item of boring Casual Fridays, but a khaki jacket is the exact opposite. Reminiscent of safari jackets worn by heroes like Ernest Hemmingway, this khaki jacket from RVCA conveys a sense of adventure.
2. TOPO DESIGNS BREAKER
The zippered pocket on the chest of Topo Designs’ shirt jacket means you can stash your wallet and phone and feel confident they won’t fall out whether you’re hiking on a trail or kicking back at a tailgate.
3. COTOPAXI KUSA
The insulation in the Kusa features fibers from llama fur that is naturally hypoallergenic and keeps you warm even when it gets wet. There are also snaps on the back hem that you can open up if you’re riding a bike and need a bit more room to move.
4. FILSON MACKINAW JAC-SHIRT
Hardcore outdoorsmen have been choosing Filson’s Mackinaw wool for decades because of its ability to provide warmth and stand up to the harshest conditions. Now it is being used on a lighter weight but no less sturdy shirt jacket with a soft flannel lining that keeps you cozy no matter how bad the weather gets.
5. BATTENWEAR TRAIL SHIRT
A shirt jacket doesn’t just have to be wool or nylon, Battenwear’s Trail Shirt proves that corduroy deserves a spot in the mix as well. Throw it on over a flannel or just a T-shirt and you’re good to go. There is a pocket on the inside that comes in real handy.
6. ALEX MILL
Indigo is one of those colors you need more of in your closet, so why not start with this versatile shirt jacket? The exterior is cotton which gives it the soft feel of a great sweatshirt and the rounded hem adds a cowboy vibe that is complemented by the deep indigo color.