Overshirts Are The Most Important Part of Your Cold-Weather Wardrobe

The weather can't make its mind up, but it's time for you to take action.

Let's be honest, summer is just an unnecessary distraction from buying and wearing lovely big coats. Festivals? Barbecues? Both fine, but filling your wardrobe with near-identical outerwear is what life is really about. And thankfully it's almost time to wrap up again, but for one final hurdle: Autumn. 

It’s an awkward transitional period that calls for versatile clothing. Chilly September winds can give way to blazing sunshine in the blink of an eye, and you need to be prepared. That’s where overshirts come in. 

Heavier than a normal shirt and lighter than a jacket, leading many (lazy, incorrect) people to dub them shackets, the understated overshirt has roots in utilitarian 20th-century workwear but has become a style staple over the past decade. They come in a variety of fabricstwill, cotton, chambray, you pickbut all put in a shift against unpredictable weather. What's more, they can slide underneath your coat to lend you extra layers in the frosty depths of winter. You need one, in other words.

To help you out we’ve rounded up some of the best overshirts available right now, from independent British brands such as Albam and Universal Works, as well as global outfitters like A Day's March and Barena Venezia... 

1| A Day's March  

A Day's March's mission statement is as simple as it is ambitious: to 'perfect the essentials.' Nowhere is that effort more evident than in the Swedish brand's vast and varied range of well-crafted, reasonably priced overshirts. 

Photo by A DAY'S MARCH.

Original Herringbone Overshirt, 

2| Aspesi 

James Dean ruined red jackets. He looked so slammin' in that Rebel Without a Cause Harrington that he consigned the rest of us to fancy dress tribute territory as a result. But a red overshirt? Go forth and make it your own. 

Photo by ASPESI.

Garment-Dyed Cotton-Twill Overshirt, 

3| Universal Works 

The ‘Baker’ chore jacket has been Universal Works’ best-selling piece for over a decade, and that should come as no surprise. It’s a modern staple with a storied history. And while the style has been rejigged time and time again in a range of fabrics and colors, this indigo Mr Porter exclusive made of lightweight slub-cotton is one of our favorites.

Photo by ESQUIRE.
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Bakers Slub-Cotton Overshirt, 

4| Séfr 

Pinstripes aren't just for guys who put Wolf of Wall Street quotes in their dating profiles. This woven overshirt, from Swedish retro menswear dons Séfr, is laced with a technical mesh membrane that makes it water- and wind-resistant. 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Mats Pinstriped Woven Overshirt, 

5| Barena 

Entrepreneur Sandro Zara was inspired by the functional clothing of his fellow Venetians when he founded Berena Venezia, aiming to bring contemporary flair to Italian-crafted classics. Reader: He only went and bloody pulled it off! We’re big fans of this boxy wide-waled corduroy number, which is probably better suited to British drizzle than splishy-splashy gondola rides. 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Cotton-Corduroy Overshirt, 

6| Albam 

Albam is usually all about timeless British design, but they looked to traditional Japanese work jackets for this grey, loose-weaved cotton overshirt. Beyond being very, very nice, the baseball collar means you can wear a shirt underneath, too (because multi-collar layering can get a bit Steve Bannon if you're not careful.) 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Noragi Work Jacket in Open Weave, 

7| Mr P. 

Too much mustard gets up your nose? Nonsense. This Mr P Cuban collared overshirt, made from a puckered cotton-corduroy that's not too dissimilar to seersucker, is a great way to inject some brightness into your muted autumn wardrobe. 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Cotton-Corduroy Overshirt, 

8| Topman 

You don't need to spend big to get a quality overshirt. Topman has a wide selection in a range of colors, but this khaki two pocket is our top pick. 

Photo by TOPMAN.

Khaki Two Pocket Overshirt, 

9| The Workers Club 

Husband and wife Charlotte and Adam Cameron created The Workers Club with the aim of creating sustainable clothes that are built to last. So it goes without saying that this oversized indigo overshirt, from the brand's England capsule, will see you right for some time to come. 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Bright Indigo Cotton Shirt Jacket, 

10| A.P.C. 

Hungover trip to the newsagents to buy Rubicon in your pyjamas, but make it fashion. This piped-edge Cuban from French brand A.P.C. is made from refined virgin wool twill, so will provide more warmth than your average pajama-style shirt. 

Photo by ESQUIRE.

Piped-edge virgin wool-twill bowling overshirt,

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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