Remember the (let’s be real, iconic) scene in Miss Congeniality where a ditzy beauty pageant contestant is asked to describe “her perfect date”? She replies, “It’s a tough one… I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not too cold—all you need is a light jacket!”
Well, we’re still a ways away from spring and its “perfect date” but at SG HQ, we’re definitely all in on a light jacket. Specifically a shirt jacket.
We love a shirt jacket so much, and, well, we need you to love it, too. You might otherwise know this piece as a “shacket” (a silly portmanteau yet here we are), but no matter what you call it—it’s really time to get one in your closet ASAP.
A shirt jacket brings together everything that’s great about a button-up shirt—like the curved hems, classic collar and everyday wearability—with the “Hey let’s go outside and do stuff!” attitude of a jacket. The shirt jacket is sexy and versatile and outdoorsy, like a Hemsworth brother. It’s a romantic lead and a superhero. It’s a shirt and a jacket, you see?
In the dead of winter (Woo! Are you enjoying it yet?) the shirt jacket is the ideal mid-layer between your cozy cashmere sweater and your winter coat. In the spring (say, sometime around April 25th, perhaps?), you can throw it on over a brightly-colored button-up and off you go. On a crisp fall morning, it’s the easiest topper to toss on over a t-shirt and your Fourth Pants to walk the dog.
Now go ahead and snap up one of these SG-approved shirt jackets before I start shouting “You complete me!” at all my open browser windows.
Hurley Lt. Dan Shirt Jacket, $56 (originally $70)
Right now while there’s snow in the forecast across literally the entire country, this military-inspired shirt jacket can serve as an easy mid-layer to add some color and texture to your usual sweater-and-jeans routine. Olive pops especially well with cream, but honestly you can wear this with literally anything and you’ll look great.
When spring arrives, it’ll transition right into the perfect April-25th-worthy light jacket over your t-shirts and henleys.
Most of the shirt jackets you can buy right now are navy, grey, black or green. Which is great, no shade on those darker hues. But I gotta hand it to Hill City for striking out and offering their insulated, fleece-lined shirt jacket in a really nice, light shade of camel that reminds me of a perfectly baked croissant. In a sea of gloomy, wintery colors, why not be a cozy, stylish beacon of pastry-esque perfection!?
What I love about this Flint and Tinder shirt jacket is that it’s truly soft enough to wear on its own buttoned-up with jeans, while also being incredibly durable. Moleskin is historically great that way; it’s been a staple of the workwear world and soldier’s uniforms since the 1960s. My favorite feature of this particular shirt jacket is the pocket game—you get two breast patch pockets (cool!) and two slant pockets down low (practical!).
Soft like a sweatshirt but polished enough to look way more put-together than your go-to hoodie, this Faherty shirt jacket is definitely the coziest of the bunch. It’s got all the outdoorsy good looks you want for an epic, perfectly layered winter ‘fit, but if you end up wearing it to laze around and watch Netflix on the couch I won’t blame you… And I won’t tell anyone.
If a company is based in Seattle, you can be sure as sh*t they take their outerwear seriously. Filson certainly does (the company was founded there in 1897), and their collection of “jac-shirts” (yes, they coined their own name, which personally I like much more than shacket) is the warmest, most water-resistant and most handsomely rugged assortment you’ll find. The quilted Hyder—a favorite at SG HQ—is the most jacket-y (eh?) of the shirt jackets, thanks to a wax coating that can really stand up to the elements.
A little bit Southern, a little bit rugged, and a lot luxurious, this Billy Reid shirt jacket is what transitional outerwear dreams are made of. The devil is in the details with this one, too—from the brass snap buttons to the unique “channel quilting” that goes in horizontal lines rather than squares or diamonds you usually see on a shacket. It looks so good you might not want to layer anything over it… In which case you could order a size up and work on your base layers instead!