Unlike our winter jackets (opens in new tab), mandatory for staying warm, the best summer jackets are a supplemental warm-weather piece for surprise summer rain showers (opens in new tab), chilly morning and evening temps, and the inevitable office air conditioning.
"A summer jacket can make you look more put together," explains Monica Patel-Cohn (opens in new tab), the founder and designer of Two New York (opens in new tab), a Brooklyn-based brand that uses textiles and Saris from India to create easy summer staples. Cohn brings along her versatile Kantha jacket (opens in new tab), inspired by vintage men's carcoats, for summer flights and car trips. "Its lightweight makeup is like a soft hug," she says.
To secure the best summer jacket, Cohn recommends searching for one that avoids too many bells and whistles. Instead, choose a summer jacket with great character—from the texture to the print to the pockets. "It will speak for itself," she explains.
Ahead, five different types of summer jackets to try now.
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Often comprised of a slim silhouette adorned with pockets, a lightweight bouclé fabric makes the ideal elevated summer jacket for office days and lunch meetings. Pair yours with a free-flowing midi skirt (opens in new tab) and kitten heels (opens in new tab), gently draped over your shoulders to achieve maximum sophistication.
Some of Cohn's preferred summer jacket styles are denim and canvas cotton jackets with large pockets perfect for keys and phones. If you've already got one or two denim jackets in your closet she recommends revamping them with whimsical brooches and pins.
For weddings and other special summer events, Cohn opts for a lightweight blazer elegantly paired with slip dresses or silk pants. A breezy cotton blazer is also a timeless option for city-goers, especially when they come equipped with functional side pockets.
Breathable by nature, a light windbreaker has all of the fixings of an ideal summer jacket. Conquer early morning errands, casual outdoor dinners, and outdoor adventures with windbreakers that offer an endless array of pattern and color options alongside detachable hoods and zip pockets.
A quilted jacket has a carefree summertime spirit that seamlessly pairs with ethereal summer dresses and beachy sandals. Cohn recommends rolling up the sleeves to achieve a fit that has that certain je nais se quois.
Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.
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