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Jackets, Sweaters and the like--closet problem

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    Jackets, Sweaters and the like--closet problem

    Quick BACKGROUND on me (financial mostly) for any specific suggestions: Recent (2 years ago) college grad that will be attending graduate school in a year to 3 years time. Don't have a lot of money to spend, but appreciate the idea of investing in quality clothing vs buying garbage that will far apart. With that said, again, don't have cash flow to get non-essentials right now. I have become more conscious of style because of sites like this and am slowly working on upgrading the wardrobe. I have a black leather jacket that I'll wear when it's definitely going to be cold and I'm dressing for a nicer occasion (a sport coat/blazer to dress up or down is also in my future). I have a black shawl collar cardigan, blue light v-neck sweater, gray heavier v-neck sweater, gray hooded sweater (w/zipper)..though I always feel a little too hipster putting that one on...and I have a few nike track jackets (blue and green hooded and white). I feel better about my winter appropriate outerwear than my summer.

    Basically my PROBLEM is this: Every time I go to get ready for a casual night out with friends (house party, bars, dinner), I feel I don't have a jacket that screams out to me for the occasion.

    So my QUESTION I pose to you is what style jacket may fill that gap that I have. Or do you not see a gap, in which case, what should I grab most often for the typical night out?

    Lastly, a very generic question, how would you line up jacket styles in order of informal to formal? e.g hoodie --> v-neck sweater --> blazer dressed down --> blazer dressed up... what fills in between those arrows...

    Thanks gentleman (and any ladies who may read).


    Hi GB2010, I definitely understand your position. I was where you were about 2 years ago (from the closet inventory standpoint), and I think I've got way too much outerwear now.

    What climate do you live in? I'm in the South, so springs are temperate (~68 to 73 degrees) but summer nights don't require a jacket.

    It also depends on what look you're going for. Have you tried an unlined or partially lined unconstructed jacket? I have always liked how you can dress up or down a versatile blazer, perhaps in navy or, if your complexion favors it, a khaki or tan color.

    A more casual option is a sort of jacket is the iconic Harrington jacket (writeup here: Example here:

    Steven Alan has a linen/cotton blend variant of this jacket is on sale here: It's about $90 plus an additional 30% off with the SUMMER30 code.

    Another outerwear option that is in vogue is the military styled field jacket. You can get these in very lightweight nylon/polyamide, midweight cotton, and of course wool (for fall/winter). I like waxed cotton since it gives it is waterproof (perfect for those unpredictable summer showers) and waxed cotton gives anything a rustic feel since it is an early form of waterproofing. It can be a rather dense and heavy material so it might not be ideal to wear if you live some place with rather hot summer nights.

    For early fall, there's also the CPO shirt-jacket. This is an ideal layering piece which can also pull double duty as outerwear if you have another layer or two under them.

    For cooler environs, there's also the duffel coat/jacket, which uses toggles (usually plastic but the higher quality ones use wood or horn) to fasten the jacket instead of a zipper or buttons. These are trendy nowadays but may not be in style as much longer. has a sale now (up to 60% off) where you can pick up tasteful, functional jackets for a good price. I like their Walpole in navy ( but navy is only available in L, XL, and XXL now), though other colors are available. Their Rochester is also a nice choice for a waterproof jacket ($62).

    Casual navy jacket (deck jacket variant)

    You might try the Victura jacket from J. Crew as well ($148). I think it's a little high for what it offers (and the burnt color picture looks like a woman's jacket due to the tapering) but it's an example of a simple lightweight jacket which you can wear for at least 3 seasons a year.

    I'd check out the sales page on to see what sales are on. has an assortment of jackets as well, though you'll find a lot of hipster stuff which may not be what you're looking for. is a helpful site to view different types of jackets at sale prices to determine what kind of outerwear you'd like to hone in on.

    Good luck!



      I think the Harrington jacket is a great casual jacket and great for many different occasions day and night. It is very boring however.

      I usually don't wear a jacket to a club or a house party as it gets too hot. But if you are looking for a jacket for a casual jacket for the evenings. A cotton blazer/sports jacket is your best bet. I would favor a navy or grey color.