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The Best Lightweight Jackets For In-Between Weather

Unlined, open-front jackets that won't make you overheat.

best lightweight jackets
Gear Patrol

The switch from one season to the next doesn't happen as smoothly as a line change in hockey or the handoff of a baton in a relay race. There's overlap; a waiting period wherein weird weather lies. It's cool in the morning, warm by lunch, and even warmer by the mid-afternoon — and then cold again as the evening creeps in.

Transitional remains the best way to describe it. And there's a growing number of brands dedicating collections to this cold-but-kind-of-hot time of year. For those suffering through living in places with four defined seasons, this phenomena takes place twice a year, when spring turns into summer and when summer fades into fall. And it seems, at least for me, when it does, I lose my ability to dress accordingly.

I'm caught in a heavy coat when the high is still in the mid-70s; missing my warmer layer when temperatures hit the mid-50s. Either way, I've learned from my mistakes, and found quite a few jackets that can be layered overtop sweatshirts for the ultra-mild moments, paired with a T-shirt for temperate days, and carried around with ease when it gets too steamy.

Shop an assortment of jackets for transitional times of year below.

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Raft Zip Through Jacket

Folk's 100-percent cotton Raft jacket is finished with a two-way zipper and two side pockets. It's green, but a shade reminiscent of rocks or seafoam, not fatigues.

Chase Jacket Floral Burgundy
Wax London

Cool, huh? This Chase jacket by Wax London packs a hell of a punch. It's cut from recycled French yarn and finished with a near-paisley, sort of psychedelic print. 

Resist-Dyed Cotton and Linen-Blend Blouson Jacket

Mr P., the in-house label of online retailer Mr Porter, sells this resist-dyed Blouson jacket. Cut from a cotton-linen blend, it proves right for crisp days and as a top later for cooler evenings.

Waxed Herringbone Flight Jacket
Buck Mason

This waxed jacket isn't from Barbour but rather Buck Mason, a California brand making super solid menswear. Their Flight Jacket is cut from cotton herringbone and finished with a light water-resistant, dry-wax coating.

Waxed Flight Jacket
Flint and Tinder

Flint and TInder's Waxed Flight Jacket is made in the US from midweight, weather-resistant cotton with a chambray liner. As is the case with the rest of the jackets on this list, this one's light, but it's also streamlined through the body with interior pockets to boot.

The Everyday Jacket

Want to look like a cool sports coach circa the mid-80s or a stylish grandpa circa, well, right now? Give Everlane's The Everyday Jacket a go. All kidding aside, it's a sensible, water-resistant jacket with a lightweight liner and elasticated cuffs and hem.

Unlined Eisenhower Jacket
Now 17% off

The classic. The GOAT? (Greatest of all time, duh.) Donned by celebs and WW2 pilots alike, there's nothing Dickies' Eisenhower Jacket can't do. Fit in alongside tuxedos at the Met Gala? Check. Grace the garages of nearly every auto body shop in America? Check again.

Carhartt WIP Detroit JacketDark Navy
Carhartt WIP

Step away from Carhartt's hefty coats for Carhartt WIP's trimmed down Detroit Jacket. It's cut from durable yet breathable Dearborn canvas and has a contrasting corduroy collar.

Italian Mechanic Jacket in Pecan
Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder calls his Italian Mechanic Jacket a rugged take on a windbreaker. Agree, but it's also a bit like the aforementioned Eisenhower, too. This option is obviously lighter — cotton and elastane — and has a few more pockets.

Waxed Zip Work Jacket

Knickerbocker's simple Waxed Zip Work Jacket arrives water-resistant and has two pockets on the hip — plus one inside. Sleek and stiff at first, it'll break in beautifully and soften in spots while distressing at others. Wear it to work, wear it to work, or wear it out at night; it'll fit in everywhere it goes.

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