The Best Shirt Jackets for Men Never Go Out of Style

Behind every great man, there's an even greater shacket

Updated January 26, 2024 10:21 am
a collage of shirt jackets on a grey background
All hail the shacket, king of layering.
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Even if you follow the right people on Instagram, pour over your little substacks and generally take the sage advice provided to you by a one InsideHook, it can be hard to stay up to date with menswear trends. We’re not blaming you here — it’s the increasingly rapid trend cycles, TikTok, blah blah blah. If anything, we completely understand your plight, given that we’re in the same boat. (Editors — they’re just like us!) So, as a little reset for your fashion-fatigued brain, we’ll let you in on a little secret: a cozy shacket always looks good, no matter what’s currently in vogue. And the best shirt jackets for men aren’t just a hack, they’re a downright flex.

What Is a Shirt Jacket?

A shirt jacket (often shortened to “shacket”) is just what it sounds like — a hybrid garment that combines the slim wear of an everyday button-down shirt with the warmth and weatherproofing of a proper jacket, factors which we believe make them among the most useful garments a man can have in his closet. It’s warm enough to deter chill, but not so stuffy that you’ll sweat through it if the sun comes out. It’s likewise easy enough to toss on top of a tee, under a jacket, or just rock on its own, making it a versatile behemoth when temps can range anywhere from 20 to 65.

Shirt Jacket Vs. Overshirt: What’s the Difference?

Nominal, overshirt and shirt jacket sound like two different beasts, but we’ve found both models to produce basically the same product. Overshirts tend to skew a bit more shirty and often lack the weatherproof coating or insulation that might come with a shirt jacket, but for all but the most discerning dude, feel free to treat the two as synonymous.

How to Style A Shirt Jacket:

Seeing that we’re currently in a temporal twilight zone — the hodgepodge of overly-toasty offices and frigid temps outside — the shirt jacket has once again come to pull its weight in our closets. Built for those quick trips to the coffee shop, meeting-heavy office days or frigid mornings when just a parka won’t cut it, it’s the utility layer we’ve found ourselves turning to, time and time again.

As connoisseurs of the layer and generally stylish guys, we’ve gotten our hands on a shitton of shirt-jackets over the years, from the vast expanse of brands that offer some take on the style. range of brands. Everyone from Faherty to Everlane to Aime Leon Dore’s got a version, and we’ve put them through the paces, testing for functionality (durability, cut, and of course, amount of pockets) but with a watchful eye towards aesthetics.

Post-considering and reviewing a plethora of aforementioned styles, we’ve decided to update our list of our favorites for 2024. They’re all different enough that it doesn’t feel right to compare them against each other — some are decidedly jacket-esque, while others skew falls into the shirt side of things — but we were able to assign a superlative for each of our favorites. Peruse our finds, and browse the best shackets for men below.

Material: 100% cotton | Size: S-XXL | Colors: 25 | Fit: slim | Weatherproof: no

From their Bernie-inspired mitten campaign to their 10-year plan for the planet, Outerknown has lead the sustainable brand charge for years, and even better, their products are actually good. The oft-lauded Blanket Shirt is a perfect example of what sustainable clothing practices can look like — and also a perfect example of an excellent shacket. Made from 100% organic cotton, the shirt’s construction uses no harmful chemicals as to be safer for farmers and the environment, and its buttons are sourced from the fallen seeds of the tagua palm, creating an industry that safeguards South American rainforests from deforestation. It’s sturdy, warm and conscious; everything we could ask for in a top.

Material: 60% polyester, 36% cotton, 4% spandex | Size: XS-XXXL | Colors: 3 | Fit: traditional | Weatherproof: no

As if it weren’t enough that Uniqlo’s heavy shirt jacket is a mere $50, the fit of the top is bar none on this list. While it’s not the softest, nor coziest, not most breathable, it fits like a damn glove, and with its price tag, you really can’t go wrong.

Material: 100% British Millerain Cambridge 6 wax cotton canvas | Size: XS-XXXL | Colors: 4 | Fit: fitted | Weatherproof: waxed canvas

Flint and Tinder makes sturdy clothes. There’s no question about it, and in case you needed proof, feast your eyes on the Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket (or their Waxed Trucker Jackets, or 365 Chinos, or…). With a British Millerain waxed canvas shell and 100% recycled {rimaloft insulation, the shirt can easily withstand adverse and windy conditions, but with a seemed quilting and two discrete flap chest pockets, it functions just as well under a duffle coat or parka. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Material: 100% virgin Mackinaw wool | Size: XS-XXXL | Colors: 2 | Fit: relaxed | Weatherproof: yes

As we’ve mentioned, most shackets operate in the “layer” zone. Not Filson’s Mackinaw Jac-Shirt. The 100% virgin Mackinaw Wool layer, perfected over 50 years and in line with the label’s iconic Alaskan Guide flannel on the inside for added warmth, practically repels nasty weather and can more than hold its own, even with frigid temps and rough conditions. Of course, there’s an unlined version, as well, if that’s more your cup of tea.

Material: 100% cotton corduroy | Size: S-XXXL | Colors: 6 | Fit: traditional | Weatherproof: no

It’s no surprise that the shacket decked out in corduroy and a fleece lining won most cozy; after all, when it comes to the warmth-comfort combo, the two together just can’t be beat. This is what we like to call a “day in, day out” shirt; that is, we want to wear it, day in and day out. The traditional cut makes it even roomier, and the weight of the whole thing feels like a hug that you get to wear. How’s that for cozy?

Material: 40% wool, 30% cotton, 15% nylon, 8% polyester, 7% other fibers | Size: S-XL | Colors: 4 | Fit: fitted | Weatherproof: no

Be they days in the woods, on the trail, at a tailgate … the running gurus at Tracksmith created a top that can do it all. Crafted from a blend of recycled wool, cotton and nylon, the New England Overshirt pays tribute to — and respects the harsh conditions of — bitter East Coast winters with a top that can handle it all, day in and day out. Billed a running layer, the overshirt is full of stretch and quick to dry, harnessing the natural warmth and wicking properties of wool. It certainly helps that, though performance-driven, the layer looks the part of a standard, albeit handsome shacket, meaning you won’t get funky looks when you’re not hitting the pavement.

Material: 47% cotton, 25% rayon, 22% thermolite core, 6% spandex | Size: S-XXL | Colors: 4 | Fit: fitted | Weatherproof: no

If it were acceptable to swath ourselves in a comforter and wear it outside the confines of our house we would, but alas, society has not progressed to that point yet. Instead, we’ll settle for the next best thing with Public Rec’s Strech Thermal Button Down. Made with a special THERMOLITE CORE technology, the overshirt keeps you nice and snug without a bundle of extra weight, and moves with you thanks to a touch of spandex in the cotton-rayon blend. With a lounge factor this high, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better top for easy mornings and movie nights.

Material: 100% PES Gore-Tex Infinium | Size: XS-XXL | Colors: 4 | Fit: relaxed | Weatherproof: Gore-Tex

It’s not every day that your regular old shirt jacket gets decked out in premium weather-resistant GORE-TEX, but Norse Projects has found a way to turn their Jens layer into something of an overshirt-rain jacket hybrid. The mesh lining, press stud closure, utility-inspired flap pocket and magnetic side pocket closures all sweeten the deal.

Material: 52% polyester, 42% cotton, 6% elastane | Size: XS-XXL | Colors: 6 | Fit: relaxed | Weatherproof: no

We don’t know what lululemon does to make their brushed French terry so soft, but whatever it is, it’s working. This overshirt was the softest style we’ve tried by a mile (even dethroning Faherty’s Legend Sweater Shirt), and, thanks to it’s relative thinnest, layered beautifully under jackets. Plus, it’s currently on sale.

More Shirt Jackets We Love

Shirt jackets often invite debate over nomenclature. Is it too shirty to be called a jacket? Or vice versa? Everlane doesn’t really care. The SF-based masters of basics officially call this piece an “overshirt,” but acknowledge it could function as an “over-jacket” or “over-sweater,” too.

 Cut from a Japanese cotton blend, this Percival shirt jacket is decidedly more stylish than many of its competitors.

We’re not entirely sure how one of the softest shirt jackets we tested isn’t 100% cotton, but Faherty, a men’s brand label out of the Northeast making simple clothes for regular fellas, actually employed a polyester-viscose-spandex blend that has four-way stretch (a method favored by most activewear brands these days). That means this shirt has a bit more backbone, won’t shrink, and allows for a heightened range of motion than you’d normally find in a flannel button-down.

A western-themed zip overshirt for those modern-day cowboys.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the Universal Works Shirt Jacket: that’s kind of the point. It’s just a handsome staple that’ll look great and wear in even better.

While this is technically just a flannel, any insulated later that plays like and overshirt is good in our books, especially one this discounted.

This feels like something Ryan Gosling would wear in The Notebook. That’s a good thing, we promise.

Is it really blue-collar stolen valor to wear a Carhartt Shirt Jac? After all, you worked hard to find that Matcha Latte.

Florals are so in this year.

Todd Snyder’s overshirt is luxe as hell. We’re practically drooling over its Italian cashmere and gorgeous finish.

Topo Designs really said, “screw it, puffer shirt.”

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