How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide

Outer Jacket Shirt – You can find them everywhere and men are wearing them. Despite their growing popularity, there's still a lot of confusion surrounding these versatile garments.

If you're like a lot of people, you might not even know what a coat shirt is. Don't worry. We are at your service!

While an overshirt is essentially a casual, comfortable garment, you can also dress it up with style.

In this article, we’ll show you how to wear a men’s jacket shirt without looking sloppy.

What is a Jacket Shirt?
How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide

Almost any casual garment that is worn on the upper body and is made of fabric that is thicker than a regular shirt and thinner than a jacket can technically be called an outer shirt. “Some people even lump denim jackets and quilted jackets under the umbrella term ‘outer shirts’.

Indeed, "outer shirt" is a general term that can be applied to a variety of garments. However, for the purposes of this article, a coat-style shirt (sometimes also called a shirt jacket, or more rarely, a "jacket") is a broad term that refers to a garment that is neither quite a shirt nor quite a jacket.

This article will not discuss garments that already fit neatly into existing definitions, such as denim jackets and quilted jackets. Instead, we’ll focus on shirt-jacket hybrids.

A jacket-style shirt (left) compared to a regular flannel shirt (right).
Is a shirt jacket a jacket?
Although sometimes called a "shirt jacket," a coat shirt is not a jacket. They occupy a unique place in a man's wardrobe, being neither quite a jacket nor quite a regular shirt.

Why wear an overshirt?

While a jacket shirt is not a jacket, it can serve the same core function - providing extra protection and warmth. Because work shirts blur the lines, they are extremely versatile.
How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
The overshirt is made from heavyweight fabric and is perfect for layering in colder weather. Especially when worn over a T-shirt or hoodie or worn under a coat, a layer shirt adds needed warmth when the temperatures drop.

Shirt jackets are also convenient for outdoor work and leisure. They usually have several deep pockets that can be used to carry tools or other items. Additionally, outerwear is thick and sturdy to help protect you from cuts and scrapes.

Outer shirts are not only functional, but they look great too. When they fit well, they help add volume to your shoulders and upper body, making you look more muscular.

Types of coat shirts
Overshirts come in many styles. Therefore, hem length, number of pockets, fabric type and thickness, etc. are not standardized. I like to think of outer shirts as a line between shirts and jackets. Some outer shirts are more like "shirts," while others are more like "jackets."

Here are just some of the many types of outerwear shirts:

#1 Flannel Jacket

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
When I think of outerwear shirts, the first thing that comes to mind is a heavy flannel shirt jacket with a plaid or plaid pattern. If you're looking for a comfortable overshirt for fall, a flannel overshirt is the best choice.

#2 Wool Shirt

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
Wool jacket shirts are ideal for winter. Unlike most fabrics, wool retains heat even when wet. It is also very durable. A good wool coat shirt may be more expensive than other types of coat shirts because wool garments are expensive to produce.

Buy the highest quality wool shirt jacket you can afford to lower your cost per wear and save money in the long run.

#3 Military Style Jacket

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
Military-style coat-style shirts often feature flap pockets, epaulettes, and cuff snaps. You can almost think of them as a simple field jacket.

Military-style overshirts are most commonly made of cotton or canvas, such as navy, green, or brown.

#4 Denim Jacket

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
Denim is also twill. Denim jacket shirts occupy the space between denim shirts and denim jackets. They are usually slightly longer than a denim jacket (a denim jacket should reach just below the waistband). Denim jacket shirts usually have breast pockets.

A dark blue denim jacket shirt is more formal than a lighter wash.

#5 Corduroy Jacket

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
Corduroy is casual yet durable, making it a great fabric for outerwear shirts. Corduroy is a less common fabric that will help you stand out. Opt for a brown corduroy shirt jacket with double breast pockets for a classic option.

#6 Zippered Shirt Jacket

How to Wear a Jacket Shirt – Men’s Style Guide
Most shirt jackets have buttons. Sometimes you will find a shirt jacket that has a zipper in the front. These overshirts are usually more oriented toward jackets.