Men’s Outerwear Buying Guide

Men’s jackets and coats need to look good while providing warmth, keeping moisture away and protecting the clothing underneath. This men’s outerwear buying guide outlines your all-weather options.

Men’s Outerwear 101

Don't wait for the mercury to drop before turning your attention to fall and winter outerwear. From warm dress coats to cozy parkas to stylish, comfy bomber jackets there’s no shortage of options, and each has a distinctive look and purpose. Most men's jackets feature a shorter, more casual style, usually designed for weather ranging from breezy to cold. Men’s winter coats are usually longer and offer protection from mildly cold to freezing temperatures. The outer shell of a jacket or coat should match the expected weather and protect both body and clothes underneath. Always look for a good lining with the right mix of warmth and comfort.

Types of Men’s Outerwear


Men's Coats

A good coat should cover the top of the body and extend down to the mid-thighs or knees for lower-body protection. This coverage is necessary in winter both for warmth and to shield the clothing underneath from the harsh environment. When shopping, you should always choose materials that provide the right amount of insulation and water resistance for your climate. Inner pockets provide easy access to wallets and mobile devices; outer pockets will help ensure gloves don’t get lost. High collars and hoods offer extra protection against sleet and driving snow.

Men's Jackets

Living in a climate with three cool/cold weather seasons means it's essential to have a good selection of jackets. Compared to coats, jackets are typically a shorter, more casual type of outerwear. Styles range from simple denim to fashionable leather or faux leather, with inner linings often available. Athletic jackets are great for exercising and getting active outdoors in colder weather. For colder days, look for options like men's puffer jackets that have additional insulation. Jackets that feature snap or elastic rib knit cuffs allow for rolled-up sleeves.

Men's Parkas

The parka is a Canadian winter staple that can be worn over a light shirt, bulky sweater or even a business suit. A lined hood keeps you warm on top, with the body of the parka extending down to the hips, mid-thigh or knee. This type of men's coat can be either lightly or heavily insulated coat, depending on the style. Some men's parkas have faux fur-lined hoods for extra face protection and detachable linings, giving you the option of lighter or heavier insulation. Parkas in traditional neutral colours like black, tan and olive match well with most winter gloves, hats and other accessories. 

Men's Bomber Jackets

A bomber jackets is a flexible option that can be worn for style or warmth, or both. Distinctive features include a low collar and short length that ends at the hips. The cuffs are often elastic to keep the cold out and prevent body heat from escaping. A thick lining provides good insulation without taking away from the style. The front can be either zip or button, and material can range from polyester to leather. Men's bomber jackets are not recommended for severe weather or winter sports, since the style is geared more to fashion than durability. 

Men's Leather Jackets

Men's leather jackets are famous for their rugged, ultra-cool style. This outerwear goes with just about any outfit, from jeans to dress pants. Some leather jackets feature a sleek, rather than rugged, style and include fashionable embellishments such as snap closures at the neck and hem. More affordable faux leather jackets look quite similar to leather but they don't have the same feel and may not be as durable. That said, faux leather is easier to maintain than real leather. 

Men's Fleece Jackets

Fleece jackets are renowned for their lightweight, comfy feel. Style options range from turtleneck vests and hoodies to the classic zip-up. Fleece is recommended for brisk days or as an extra layer for colder weather. A fleece-lined jacket with a secure outer shell is a practical option for winter activities. To lock in warmth, choose a men's fleece jacket with elastic cuffs. 

Men's Pullovers

A pullover is similar to a sweater but typically has a high collar and zip closure at the neck. This casual outerwear is not recommended for harsh winter activities. In colder temperatures, you'll want to add a thermal lining and protective outer shell. Pullovers come in a variety of materials, including fleece, cashmere, nylon and polyester. This outerwear provides adequate protection on chilly, windy days and can serve as a layer under a jacket in colder temperatures.

Men's Rainwear

Every man needs at least one good water resistant garment to protect both body and clothing in wet conditions. A rain jacket offers a protective hood with a draw cord for adjustment, and a storm flap to prevent water from seeping through the front zipper or snaps. For outside work, consider a two-piece rain suit or a rain bib, which resembles a pair of overalls and provides lower-body protection. For weather that's both cold and wet, look for rainwear with an insulated lining. 

Men's Gloves

Mittens will help keep hands warm in winter, but gloves are essential for performing tasks that require a strong grip, like driving. Dexterity is also important for activating knobs and dials on the dashboard, or changing a flat tire. Many outdoor jobs also require the use of fingers, like stringing Christmas lights for example. Look for gloves with good but not restrictive insulation, a soft inner lining and strong outer protection. Leather and waterproof synthetics are popular choices for everyday wear; suede looks great with dress wear but won’t withstand harsher weather. 

Men’s Outerwear Buying Tips:

• Buy a jacket style that complements your height
• Opt for extra insulation if you're not accustomed to cold temperatures
• A coat or jacket with a removable insulated lining can be used in both fall and winter
• Invest in a neutral coloured coat that will coordinate with most of your outfits
• Buy the proper jacket or coat in advance before the cold weather arrives

Men’s Outerwear Features

Material +

Fleece and wool are good for layering during winter, or on their own for brisk days. Pea coats are generally made from wool for insulating properties. Wool is also a reliable insulating lining for winter jackets or coats. Nylon, thin yet strong, is suitable for windbreakers. Super-thin microfibre, made from polyester and nylon, is used for windbreakers and as an inner jacket lining. Leather jackets offer a solid balance between style and durability. Suede is a form of leather, but its lightly napped texture gives jackets a softer look.

Fit +

Men’s outerwear should fit snug on the body and rest naturally on the shoulders. The fit should allow arms to stretch out comfortably. The recommended way to size men’s coats is to go one size higher than the preferred suit size. This allows for a proportionate fit over suits and jackets. When fitting the shoulders, end the shoulder seams at the edge of the shoulders to create a broad silhouette.

Thermal Properties +

The thermal properties of outerwear refer to the degree of insulation and warmth. Wool and down are two well-known natural fabrics used for centuries to make coats and jackets. Wool consists of fine hairs that trap air and stop heat from escaping. Down is durable, compressible and warmer for its weight than synthetics, but loses its warming capacity when wet. Synthetic insulation, while not as warm as down, retains much of its insulating properties when wet.

Water Resistance +

Water resistant fabrics are designed to keep you dry in light precipitation, but not in heavy rain. That's a job for a rubber raincoat. Manufacturers use a waterproof rating to classify the ability of fabrics to resist water. Fabrics with a rating of 0 mm have no resistance to moisture; fabrics with a rating of 20,000-plus have a very high resistance. The trick is to choose clothing that strikes a balance between resisting rain and snow, and allowing water vapour (perspiration) to escape.

Lining +

Outerwear lining contributes to comfort, insulation and style. Faux fur, wool and silk are all cozy lining materials for a fall or winter coat. A fashionable lining will peek out of the collar, hood or rolled up cuffs to add detail to your outfit. Removable insulated lining allows you to customize your coat or jacket for the season.

Hood +

A hood protects the head and neck from wind, rain and snow. Some coats and jackets feature removable hoods that are donned and doffed with snap, zip or button. A three-piece hood is a hood cut and sewn with three different pieces of material for a better fit. Some hooded jackets feature stylish trims along the hood or a draw cord for adjusting the size. The hoodie jacket is famous for its hood, which is typically made of a soft material. Water-resistant material is recommended for athletic hoodies.

Pockets +

Most men's coats and jackets have pockets both outside and inside. Outer pockets keep hands warm and are usually the best place to store winter gloves. Men’s outer coat pockets are often covered by a large flap to protect against the elements. Fashionable men's coats may have flapless welt-style pockets. Inner pockets are handy for storing personal items. For added security, inner pockets often feature a snap or zipper closure.

Neckline +

Neckline choices in men's coats include collarless, classic collar and turtleneck. Some jackets, such as most bomber jackets and windbreakers, have collars that can be adjusted from traditional to turtleneck style using the zip closure. High-collar jackets are a recommended for winter sports.

Accents +

The accents on a coat or jacket can add style and sophistication to the look. Double-breasted button closures are a fashionable touch on dressier outerwear. Contrast trims and decorative topstitched seams are another attractive style feature. Elastic rib knit cuffs allow for easy roll-up sleeves, which are stylish and also helpful when temperatures vary.

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Men’s Outerwear Care Tips:

• Always follow the manufacturer's directions for care and cleaning
• Dry clean jackets and coats at the beginning and end of each fall or winter
• Hang up jackets and coats in a strong hanger that fits their shape
• Treat a leather jacket before wearing it
• Use a lint or suede brush after wearing winter coats to removes surface grime
• Never bleach or use extremely hot water on wool
• Blot a stain on a wool coat or jacket with cold water or club soda
• Throw tennis balls in the dryer with a jacket to bring back its shape
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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