18 Light Jackets for Fall

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Fragrant Moments

    Awesome post Andrew. A great selection of wallet friendly options.

  • TJ

    Love that target one. I will definitely have to pick it up.

  • Nick C

    great post!

  • Jeff

    all of them cheap imported riff’s on originals . (m65 field coats, barbour, pointer chore coats, duffle coats) Also is GAP a sponsor by chance?

    Would prefer recco’s for quality products that will last more than a season and made from non-synthetic fibers.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nope, Gap is not a sponsor. They’re one of my go-to’s for up to date looks though, it seems like they go there before Old Navy.

      • diversification

        Also, LEC doesn’t seem to always have the trim fit that most of us seem to be looking for. GAP, in general, seems to be more on-point in that regard.

        Responding to Jeff’s post, I cannot stand all the attention that Barbour and Alpha M65 jackets get. In general, both have very poor fits (even the slim versions). Barbour is high quality workwear, but unless you’re actually outside for very extended periods of time and you’re constantly wearing 3 sweaters under your jacket, the adoration seems unjustified. Whenever I go on reddit and point out the weird details or the baggy fit I get tons of downvotes and people telling me that they’re meant to fit baggy.

        If you want to buy a $400 jacket that makes you look like a kid wearing an adult’s jacket and has weird pockets that stick out a foot off your jacket, be my guest. I’ll buy something that fits me more snugly and wear one sweater under it, not 3. I don’t work on a farm and carry a ton of crap around in my pockets or have to brave the cold, wind and rain for hours on end – I don’t need a Barbour.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Sorry I didn’t address your other idea. Yeah, these are definitely not the originals, in design or quality. This is just meant to offer some affordable options. The problem with fall jackets in a lot of places is it’s not too long before it’s too cold to wear them. I have an m-65 style from Gap that I bought, probably 5-6 years ago now, that’s still in perfect condition. It’s all in how you’re going to use it. If you have time, it’d be great to have your recommendations for options you consider to be better quality.

      • Jeff

        http://well-spent.com/2013/09/27/the-friday-find-surplus-m65-field-jackets/ – back to the roots of where a field coat came from,

        A link to a barbour or belstaff that any of the quilted or waxed coats are replicas of….

        Sources from most products listed here;

        http://redselvage.tumblr.com/

        I will admit i admire a lot of the combinations you put together they are eye-pleasing complete ensembles, but feel you should cover the price spectrum more thoroughly – consumers should be encouraged to purchase for quality and durability and discouraged from participation in fast fashion, gap and others listed aren’t the best corporate citizens.

        • diversification

          Genuine M65 jackets (and therefore ‘exact’ replicas) fit like tents. They were made for functionality with aesthetics being secondary. They are designed to have thick liners, allow heavy layering, etc.

          Barbour jackets, (in general) also fit like tents. They are designed to take a beating, keep you very warm, windproof, waterproof, etc while you work outside for hours on end. They also have weird details designed specifically for functionality (big goofy pockets, etc).

          Will they last longer than the options provided? Sure. Will they look better doing it? If you don’t mind a big boxy fit with some weird details, yes. Otherwise, no.

    • ChrisReetz

      I’ve had great luck with Gap, Target (blazer) and Old Navy jackets. I keep a healthy rotation so they never are worn day-in, day-out. I will definitely splurge for a Barbour jacket someday, but for the time being the knockoffs work great.

    • Bob

      Also, it’s worth noting that sometimes the originals can be quite frumpy looking. Even though these are on the cheaper end, they have an updated fit that will look much more current than the original. Granted, not everyone wants to look fashionable, but right now I really enjoy my Old Navy M65 way more than my military repro M65.

      • diversification

        This. A Barbour will last for a long time. That means you’re going to have a baggy jacket with weird details (like huge baggy pockets) for a very long time…. But hey, you can layer 3 sweaters under it if you want!

  • http://www.iamchris.ca/ Chris Jones

    I think out of all of them, I prefer the Gap one

  • Zachary Glotfelty

    That duffel doesn’t really seem like a “light jacket.” Nonetheless, I want it.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Haha yeah, I included it because it doesn’t look like it would do you much good once the temperature drops significantly.

  • http://twitter.com/mdigirol Matt

    Andrew, what do you think of Frank & Oak’s “Overshirt”? I had never seen something like this before and bought it just out of curiosity…

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I dig it! An overshirt is just a heavy shirt, so you’d wear it like a sweatshirt essentially. Lighter than a light jacket.

  • Chris A

    Gap and Banana Republic are running 35% off and Old Navy 30% with code THANKYOU which will knock $$ off some of these.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nice! Thanks for sharing.

  • Ron Macoon

    I mean…its not like i *need* a new jacket..but how do you not get excited when you see a page like this!

  • Jonathan

    I Bought the Uniqlo Military Blouson about 2 weeks ago and it has quickly turned into my favorite jacket for fall, and is easily a wardrobe staple.

    • ChrisReetz

      Good pick!

    • Peter

      How is the sizing? 6’2″ 32 waist, athletic build with looong arms. Thought about the medium, however, I haven’t ever ordered from Uniqlo.

      • Ranger63

        Wow, we are almost built the same. I’m 6’2″ with a 30 waist at 190 to 195 pounds depending on how much protein I consume. I have the Uniqlo jacket and I love it. I got it in black. The sleeves are perfect! I have long arms, normally have to get sleeves in 36 or 37 depending on the cut so it is very difficult for me to find shorts and jackets that fit. I got the jacket in XL, normally go with L or XL in Uniqlo depending on the cut. The XL allows me to layer a tee and sweater under the jacket but still look trim. I hate the baggy, excessive body and sleeve look. Got mine on sale for less than $15, good buy!! I may have to start getting my shirts in Tall, not big just tall to get the right length.

  • Ryan

    I’m not seeing any Harrington jackets. Do you not like them or are there just not any affordable ones in your normal department stores? I got a Baracuta G9 last year. It was expensive but a quality jacket.

  • techorama

    Thank you for these posts Andrew, but I am wondering if you look only at the aesthetic when determining style. Do you also consider the quality of the material and product? I’m thinking that a $40 jacket probably doesn’t have much longevity to it, so is it just going to look shabby after I’ve worn it a dozen times?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      All the style posts on Primer are a balance of aesthetic and price. Quality is obviously affected as you slide up or down on that scale. Sometimes we feature really cheap stuff from K-Mart, other times we feature $300 Allen Edmonds that will last you the rest of your life. As for these jackets, the mid-priced ones should all last you a decent amount of time. I mentioned this in another comment, but I have a light jacket from Gap that I bought 5 or 6 years ago, and it’s still in great shape. It depends person to person, how often you’re going to wear it, and what kind of hell you’ll put it through. These are meant to be a look guide with some affordable options, but if quality is what you’re after and are willing to spend more, there are much nicer jackets out there.

  • themodestman

    I would add Zara to this list. They have a great coat selection right now… just picked up their dark blue wool coat for myself (not quite thick enough for winter, but perfect for fall in DC).

    -Brock

  • Brenn

    Just want to say that I really appreciate seeing a post with actual affordable items instead of the “affordable” $300+ options that most menswear blogs and magazines tend to favor. Your continual focus on affordable for the masses items is one of the major reasons I check your site every day. Great picks in this post. Keep up the good work!

  • Chris
  • Derek Boemler

    I just picked up the H&M jacket yesterday. I love it. Fits fantastically and makes me feel a bit like a Hemingway novel.

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  • George

    I have a question for you folks! My wife has this brown leather jacket (A&F Haven leather) but if we go out together, all of my jackets are either clearly over dressed (pea coat) or much too casual (similar to the $80 Dockers on top row of graphic). Any suggestions to meet formality level without going leather?

    • diversification

      A zip-up technical shell with a matte finish, a mock neck collar in all black or grey can fill that void, while protecting you from wind, rain and holding in a good amount of heat. Watch out for elastic at the bottom hem and cuffs – that will make it look less refined. Also, look for one that is the same material throughout (some of them sneak in patches or large sections of fleece and other materials).

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  • Bo

    Fantastic post, great stuff from here as always Andrew! If I may, I would definitely add Frank & Oak’s Aurora military jacket to the list — a great, lightweight military-inspired piece! Shameless plug for the blog post I wrote about it here: https://siblingswithstyleboh.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/fall-style-suggestion-military-inspired-outerwear/

  • norma fay

    I love the look and feel of the light fall Jackets. They really are perfect this time of year. I found my new coat from Barlington Coat FActory. They had some great deals there, so I saved about $40 on it.