Spring is almost here. While this past winter has been relatively mild, spring always brings uncertain weather, volatile temperature changes, and a daily difficulty about what to wear. Should I wear a coat? Will I be too warm? Too cold? What if it rains? Allow me to introduce the perfect spring coat; the field jacket. Based on the iconic M65 field jacket, this utilitarian outerwear is a great way to differentiate from the plethora of wind breakers and denim, leather, and bomber jackets littering the backs of desk chairs everywhere. I have no problems with either of those types of coats, but I like options. I think more options are always better (at least when it comes to style). We can have a discussion about decision fatigue another time.
Field jackets are best worn as casual or business casual pieces. They’re a bit too short and informal to be worn as overcoats. Originally, field jackets we meant to replace sport coats as a more casual option when in the “field” or country. Additionally, field jackets come in a variety of fabrics, all with the intended purpose of keeping you dry and warm.
Synthetics: These are not my personal favorites for style and breathability reasons. But they excel at keeping you dry. They are also typically the most affordable option.
Cotton: These tend to be lighter weight. Additionally, they can be waxed or woven tighter to increase the waterproofing.
Wool: This is the heaviest (and warmest) option. Wool is also naturally waterproof, making this excellent for cold, rainy, spring days.
My personal preference is cotton in the spring. I’ll layer if I need some additional warmth. I also prefer waxed cotton jackets in the fall too! I have found that cotton transitions best from cold to warm, wet to dry, and vice versa for both.
Here are a few field jackets that I really like. I’m going to note the material used too, so you don’t have to search all over the sites to find it.
I also put together two different outfit using field jackets as the common thread, one casual and one business casual. Although I do think a good number of the components for each outfit are interchangeable with each other.