You might not know it yet but you need a field jacket. Trust us. They look great, they’re practical (why wear a cross body bag with all of those pockets?), you can dress them up and down and there’s plenty of variations out there to suit your personal style. The field jacket is an all-time classic for a reason. Here’s our pick of the best.


The history of the field jacket

Like many of the best garments out there, military influence is to thank for the classic field jacket. The M-65 field jacket was the standard issue follow up to the M-51 and M-43 jackets issued by the US military in conflicts since WWII, the number reflecting the year of issue. The M-65 replaced buttons with a zip closure and snap closure front pockets, a tougher cotton canvas and a built-in roll up hood.

Owing to its military origins the field jacket is all about functionality, with practical pockets and a robust build. Synonymous with Vietnam War imagery, films like Taxi Driver (1976) and Serpico (1973) cemented the jacket into the pop culture consciousness, where it has remained to this day being absorbed into music and wider youth culture.

Styling of the jacket has subsequently gone in differing directions. For every beat up military surplus field jacket seen at a punk gig, covered in patches and scrawled with band names, is a sartorially minded alternative being worn in a similar fashion to an overshirt. Whether dressed up or down, the field jacket remains an extremely practical and stylish outerwear option.

Where to buy a field jacket in 2024


For smart, proudly well-made basics, Asket is the one and it’s no surprise that a classic field jacket is one of their strengths. Available in dark Navy and khaki green, Asket’s is a refined take on functionality, ensuring the dependable style still remains versatile and durable. The 100% organic cotton fabric is comfortable but still durable, with a water-repellancy treated double twill weave ensuring comfort in challenging conditions. All of which means it’s durable, but it’ll also look great for longer. Four pockets on the front come with snap closures whilst the jacket features a zip down the front. Rock it with jeans and an Oxford shirt underneath. 

American Trench

A waxed field jacket is a handsome idea. Rugged functionality with a patina that’ll age beautifully over time. Re-waxing, meanwhile, will ensure longevity and result in a jacket that moulds to your shape. The Tom Beckbe Tenshaw field jacket from American Trench is a classic, tried and tested all over the world. A real statement piece, the Tenshaw features set-in sleeves for a flattering fit, gusseted underarms, a cotton lining inspired by Alabama clay, a Bedford corduroy-lined collar and a four pocket front. A hidden Napoleon pocket also ensures easy access to phone and wallet whilst keeping them protected.


Workwear principles underpin the Yoke field jacket from Foret, but the choice of herringbone fabric is a smart upgrade from traditional canvas. This is a great smart option for spring summer. The jacket, available in rubber (rust orange) and khaki colourways, features four front pockets with button closures for pragmatic storage and functionality, with a regular fit that sits comfortably over choice layers beneath. Pair with a cotton polo and loose denim.

Private White V.C.

A field jacket very much feels like Manchester brand Private White V.C.’s cup of tea. A match made in heaven. The ripstop multi-pocket jacket is made from an exclusive UK-woven 100% cotton ripstop. The material has been specially developed for a unique feel and patina, with an innate robustness that’ll keep it looking smart for longer. Crafted for a regular fit, the jacket features a button down front closure, with signature back-neck yoke with hanger loop, button-secured flap pockets and two internal secure jet pockets. Elbows are reinforced and working shirt cuffs are buttoned. A handsome garment with a nod to military aesthetics. 


The Closed field jacket eschews traditional field jacket calling cards for a minimalist overshirt look. Available in black and chino beige, the jacket has a regular drapey fit, with a large button up utility pocket, concealed button border and side pockets. The Italian cotton fabric provides a smooth, comfortable feel and the garment dying technique ensures a lived-in look. Pair with slouchy denim and a mule for a casual take on a classic.

Pini Parma

The first thing that stands out about Pini Parma’s blue field jacket in Loro Piana green storm system wool is the structure. A confident, tailored silhouette with a little pinch around the waist and strong shoulders. Made from 100% virgin wool, given the world-renowend Loro Piana green storm system treatment, the fabric is robust and breathable whilst still retaining its natural qualities of warmth and comfort. The jacket features four flap pockets, a front zip and press stud fastening, hidden hood and adjustable waist. Pragmatism never looked so sprezzatura.


Outerknown’s Voyager organic cotton field jacket nods proudly to the US Armed Force’s iconic M-65 Field design, one of the most identifiable military garment designs. Built for a slubby fit and weathered appearance, the jacket is fitted with four flap pockets and a packable hood in the collar. An internal drawstring at the waist allows the jacket to be nipped in if required. We’d pair it with a casual combat trouser for pockets galore, finished off with a dadcore sneaker or contemporary hiking boot. 


For a larger, darker take on the field jacket, OrSlow has just the garment. A friend to baggy, layered fits (think parachute pants, wider-legged utility trousers), the brand’s cotton canvas field jacket is an updated take on the classic M-65. Made from sturdy cotton canvas, the jacket features a classic four pocket layout with pull ties throughout allowing you to experiment with shape. That loose, baggy fit means it’s great for layering and it’s worth sizing up to ensure a relaxed fit.


We’re big fans of heritage British brand Sunspel and we’re even bigger fans of this quilted cotton twill field jacket. The quilting sets it apart from other jackets on the list and makes for a welcome point of difference from classic cotton canvas as well as some lightweight insulation. The jacket features a neat collar, two patch pockets around the hips and branded silver tone snap fastenings. A minimalist piece where the quality does the talking and a welcome transitional season piece that could be swapped in for a coach jacket. 

Stone Island

Last but not least, let’s get the badge in. The Stone Island ghost ventile field jacket, another testament to the brand’s passion for materials, design and research. Few brands do colour like Stone Island, but they’re also masters in monochrome. This option in tightly woven cotton canvas provides serious comfort and practicality, being both windproof and warm but also breathable. The hidden hood adds further practicality, with four front pockets, an adjustable stand collar and zip closure and storm flap.

Up next, a definitive guide to GORE-TEX jackets.