In case you haven’t been paying attention, modern man’s spring outerwear options have expanded well beyond the usual sartorial suspects in recent years. Where once there were merely macs, denim and leather jackets at our disposal, we now have bombers in fresh, contemporary shapes and winder-breakers constructed from cutting-edge technical fabrics. But one of the strongest transitional top layers is a style that flies under the radar.
A US classic reborn, the coach jacket has evolved since its origins as a lightweight, logoed-up waterproof layer for American football coaches as they toed the touchline. Picked up by the hip-hop crowd in the 1990s, as squads like NWA and Public Enemy turned sports uniforms into hyper-masculine streetwear, the silhouette has gone on to garner a cult following and become synonymous with hard-bitten urban style.
Considering menswear’s current obsession with all things 1990s, it’s unsurprising that the coach jacket is back in force. The style’s practical benefits endure – it’s lightweight and showerproof, so perfect for navigating tricky spring weather – but this season designers have reworked it for a sleeker, crisper take.
“The original was characterised by a point collar, snap-button front, hip pockets, and drawstring waist,” says Emma Shore, designer at music platform and streetwear label Boiler Room. “The best modern examples stay true to these elements, but run wild with everything else.” That means materials both luxe and utility, cuts from oversized to slim-fit, and everything from souvenir jacket-style chinoiserie to Scandinavian minimalism.
All of which makes the coach jacket extremely versatile, perfect for bridging the gap between sporty and smart. It hits similar marks to last year’s outerwear must-have, the shacket – albeit with a technical handle – which allows it to be dressed down with jeans or even layered up over unstructured tailoring. Making the coach jacket this season’s undisputed outerwear MVP.
HUF x Obey Blood Brothers Camo Coach Jacket
Streetwear label HUF applies the kind of detailed embroidery usually reserved for souvenir jackets, to breathe new life into a classic style.
Available at Obey, priced £75.
Norse Projects Svend Coach Jacket
Norse Projects excels in fusing vintage style with utilitarian fabrics. Coupled with Scandinavian minimalism, it’s an approach that elevates a streetwear staple into something you can wear to dinner.
Available at J.Crew, priced £250.
Topman Jersey Tailored Coach Jacket
Topman gives the coach jacket a formal spin, with a tailored cut and heavyweight construction. Wear yours in place of blazer for an on-point smart-casual look.
Available at Topman, priced £65.
ASOS Khaki Coach Jacket
We’re calling it – khaki is the new black. This supreme green number is your new spring staple.
Available at ASOS, priced £35.
Acne Black Tony Face Jacket
A signature varsity-inspired style from Scandinavian design collective Acne Studios, this understated ‘Tony’ coach jacket is crafted from lightweight water-repellent nylon and features the brand’s signature smiley-faced rubber patch.
Available at Oki-ni, priced £220.
Boiler Room Coach Windbreaker
Streetwear done right, Boiler Room’s minimalist coach jacket is ideal for slinging over a hoodie when it’s chilly, or leaving open with a tee when it’s not. Just keep everything clean to let that logo sing.
Available at Boiler Room, priced £98.
Neighbourhood Printed Coach Shell Jacket
This black coach jacket is made from technical shell and fully lined with soft microfibre for comfort. The elasticated cuffs and drawstring hem will keep chills out on breezy days.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £140.
Stussy Printed Shell Coach Jacket
Perfect for navigating unpredictable spring days, this coach jacket from 1990s streetwear label Stussy comes with steez as standard.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £125.
Oi Polloi x Rains Coach Jacket
A collaboration between Manchester-based retailer Oi Polloi and Danish rainwear supremo Rains, this coach jacket looks slick and means you’re prepped for the Great British Summer, thanks to its detachable hood.
Available at Oi Polloi, priced £85.
Dickies Torrance Coach Jacket
No brand does heritage American workwear quite like Dickies. Clean, functional and the perfect finish to any off-duty look.
Available at Dickies, priced £45.