Don’t let the rising mercury fool you into thinking your summer wardrobe is complete without ample outerwear. The inevitability of temperamental weather and cool evenings means all men should have a healthy rotation of lightweight summer jackets that can be thrown on over any ensemble. Scroll on for our ultimate guide to summer jackets – including the five summer jacket styles all men should own.
What is a summer jacket?
A seasonal staple, the summer jacket will provide just the right amount of warmth whilst enabling sufficient air circulation, making it a must-have throughout the warmer months.
Typically unlined and crafted from breathable cotton or linen, it tends to take a loose-fitting, unstructured silhouette. Examples include overshirts, chore jackets, denim jackets and coach jackets as well as lightweight raincoats, gilets and – for those more formal occasions – linen blazers.
The summer jacket’s lightweight nature makes it perfect for layering year-round: wear yours as a transitional piece in spring and over a sweater or under a coat when the weather cools. Think of it as an investment – such versatility and timelessness will guarantee a low cost-per-wear.
5 essential summer jacket styles for men
The denim jacket
Sported by everyone from cowboys to contemporary celebrities, the denim jacket has stood the test of time as a classic piece of outerwear. And it's no wonder: denim jackets are hard-wearing and ultra-versatile, effortlessly teamed with just about anything. Choose a dark indigo denim jacket to team with tailored trousers and loafers for an effortless take on smart-casual style, or go for a laid-back look by coordinating a light-wash denim jacket with a crisp white T-shirt and leather trainers.
Our pick: ASKET
ASKET's raw denim jacket is a refined reinterpretation of the classic trucker jacket. Crafted from Japanese mid-weight, organic cotton denim, it's designed to hold its shape for many years. Features worth noting include a fully lined black interior, hidden side pockets and recycled metal hardware. Wear it with a lighter shade of denim jeans for a contemporary take on the Canadian tuxedo.
The chore jacket
The origins of the chore jacket can be traced back to late 19th century France, when it was first developed as a utilitarian garment for railway labourers and engineers. Known as the 'bleu de travail' its purpose was purely practical, designed to endure the demands of physical labour. Today, the chore jacket has evolved beyond its workwear roots and is beloved by many for its sturdy construction, pared-back aesthetic and high comfort value. It's the perfect spring and summer layer, ideal for having on hand when a warm day inevitably transitions to a cool evening.
Our pick: ISTO.
Lisbon-based label ISTO. has drawn inspiration from the iconic bleu de travail to create this versatile worker jacket that's perfect for year-round layering. Ethically crafted in Portugal from premium heavyweight organic cotton, softened with an organic wash and boasting natural corozo buttons, it's an eco-friendly wardrobe addition that you'll reach for time and again.
The lightweight bomber jacket
The bomber jacket is a classic silhouette that's rooted in military tradition. Originally created for American fighter pilots in World War Two, bomber jackets were designed to withstand cold temperatures at high altitudes and take up minimal space in the cockpit, thus needed to be warm, slim-fitting and lightweight. These days, bomber jackets have been adapted for everyday wear, so you'll find them in a range of fabrics and weights. For spring and summer, opt for a bomber jacket in a lightweight fabric like organic cotton, linen or recycled nylon.
Our pick: Unrecorded
Thanks to its breathable ECONYL® regenerated nylon shell and lining, this innovatively designed bomber jacket from Dutch label Unrecorded is a comfortable and lightweight summer jacket for men. Inspired by the classic MA-1 bomber jacket from the 1950s, it's reversible with a diamond quilted side and a smooth and shiny side. Its understated design makes it a go-to for everyday wear – you can’t go wrong by teaming it with a pair of classic denim jeans and high-top sneakers.
The Harrington jacket
The Harrington jacket has endured for decades as a menswear staple and is one of our all-time favourite summer jacket styles for men thanks to its lightweight construction and smart-casual sophistication . It differs from the bomber jacket in that it features a stand-up collar as opposed to an elastic collar, as well as a more refined, tailored silhouette that's perfect for elegant occasions. Channel 1950s icons like James Dean and Elvis Presley by wearing your Harrington jacket with a camp collar shirt and vintage mid-rise jeans.
Our pick: Flax London
Flax London has made a name for itself as a master of sustainable men’s linen shirts, jackets and trousers, its beautiful garments consciously designed for ultimate longevity. And this smart jacket promises just that. Made in London from the brand's signature 420gsm Belgian jacket linen, it features lining made from deadbolt shirting fabric, a premium material that would have otherwise gone to waste. The straight, cropped fit is flattering and timeless.
When it comes to summer dressing, the linen blazer is a sure-fire staple. Its lightweight flax fibre construction lends it a breathable quality and super soft texture, making it the perfect go-to for ultimate warm weather style. Opt for a blazer in a light, neutral or pastel shade and wear it over a crisp shirt, with lightweight chinos and leather sneakers or brogues. A must-have for any summer wedding.
Our pick: Wax London
When it comes to elegant summer events, reach for this smart linen jacket from London-based menswear label Wax London. Half-lined and featuring natural corozo nut buttons, it exudes relaxed sophistication. Pair it with Wax London's matching suit trousers or dress it down with linen shorts for a more casual look.