Here’s the thing about Fall jackets—one is never enough. Unlike the Winter coat, so durable, so versatile, and who cares, you are FREEZING so let’s just cover up and get back inside as soon as possible, Fall jackets are made for street stylin’. Because when layered right, they’re the finishing touch to your whole look.
Every once in a while, that rare jacket (leather bomber) comes along that looks as good with your running tights as it does with a work dress. But even that has its kryptonite (Rain-soaked evenings waiting for a bus? Extra-chilly November tailgate parties when you just want to feel cuddly and cozy?).
Between the fluctuating weather and the vast array of Fall activities, it just makes sense to have a multitude of different jacket weights, lengths, and styles hanging by the door. Start with the basics and if you’re budget allows (or you’ve had a really bad week), enjoy a splurge or two… or three.
A versatile parka
Six years ago, I found my quintessential Fall outerwear piece. Nothing else seemed right—it was either too short and edgy to wear with my AM comfy pants, or it was the belted and quilted equivalent of Mom jeans. Then my husband, who knows me so well, waltzed out of the Juniors department holding something very similar to this, right down to the removable fur hood. The reason it’s my go-to year after year (and it’s getting quite threadbare, I must say) is because it hits the sweet spot of warm and relaxed, but kinda military-chic (the olive color is EVERYTHING—I don’t think I’d feel the same if it were black or navy).
A multi-use raincoat with a hood
It’s hard enough getting out of bed on a rainy day without stepping out in something that looks and feels like a garbage bag. This heather grey trench is weekend- and work-friendly; I love how the collar is Peter Pan-charming when down and Veronica Corningstone-refined when folded up. If you prefer belt-less (I do), this head-turning bamboo-print also reverses to solid black for when you just want to blend in to the sea of umbrellas.
Perfect top layers
Here’s the part where you consider the rest of your Fall wardrobe and what makes your style your own. Not all puffer vests, for example, are created equal. There’s one if you’re off for a bike-and-hike in the country and another if you’re playing “Joan Jett goes to the corn maze.”
Blazers with slightly whimsical patterns like dots and constellations are nice to keep at work if your profesh styles are mostly solids and neutrals. And everyone should have one or two hoodies with a bit of flair—these work from 9 to 9 for sure.
A look-at-me coat
Sure, pattern is the new neutral and a belted trench is a timeless classic. But a coat like this—while AMAZING—demands attention whenever you wear it. And you might not want attention when you are running to the corner store in your glasses at 6 30 am to get milk for your cereal. Get the versatile coat first, and then totally buy this when you’ve got the budget for a second option.
The jacket equivalent of your teenage crush
When I came across this somewhat impractical, probably-not-warm-at-all satin embroidered bomber, I thought: Omigod, this looks exactly like what Molly Ringwald is wearing in the Pretty in Pink montage when she starts making her perfect prom dress and I have always wanted this jacket and this is my chance to get it.
And why shouldn’t I? I work hard, I’ve always wanted it, and it will make my thirteen-year-old heart grow ten sizes every time I wear it.