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 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: Aurélien
Aurélien has made a name for itself as a master of 'smart luxury', with garments that boast the quality of designer clothing without the hefty price tag. The brand's take on the Harrington jacket demonstrates its innovative approach to design. The style is reversible, combining an extra soft contrasting jersey side with a lightweight shell alternative that's specially treated for wind and rain resistance. Its sleek silhouette and minimal detailing make it an easy go-to for both work and play.
The linen blazer
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.
The gilet is a practical, stylish and often underrated outerwear hero that transcends trends and seasons, offering versatile layering options and ease of movement – whether you're hiking a mountain or commuting across the city. Varieties range from padded and quilted versions made for insulation, to more spring and summer-appropriate options that are usually crafted from sturdy cotton twill or breathable technical fabrics.
Our pick: Forét
The best gilets are the ones that fuse functionality and style, like this quilted version from Danish outdoor wear experts Forét. Made from water and wind-repellent recycled ripstop, it's lightweight yet warm, the perfect piece to have on hand when the sun goes down.
Complete your summer look with our pick of the best retro-inspired sunglasses for men.