The Best Lightweight Jackets of 2023

The Toteme Collarless Blazer for women and the Cos Technical Jacket for men are timeless and versatile.

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Best Lightweight Jackets

Amazon, Ralph Lauren

Dressing while the weather changes heralds a newfound levity. Before it's time for heavy winter attire, we need staples to round out our end-of-summer and autumn wardrobes. The key transitional piece you’ll need? A great lightweight jacket. Even the most blazing hot days can roll into cool nights in the summer and fall, and whether you’re dining al fresco, wandering around town after hours, or setting sail on a sunset cruise, a lightweight outer layer is an essential piece to have on hand.

Our top picks overall are the Toteme Collarless Linen Blazer for women and the Cos Technical Jacket for men, both of which are versatile and timeless. But there are a number of excellent options on the market right now, ranging from stylish statement jackets to foundational wardrobe staples to invest in. Take a look at our list to find the perfect lightweight jacket for you.

Here are the best lightweight jackets to have in your closet:

T+L’s Top Picks for Women

Best Overall

Toteme Collarless Linen-blend Blazer

Toteme Collarless Linen-Blend Blazer


Why We Love It: It’s perfect for minimalists, thanks to its sleek, monochromatic look.

What to Consider: The fit is oversized and boxy, and it’s dry clean only. 

The appeal of “slow fashion” has never been more apparent, and building a wardrobe with fewer, higher-quality pieces can streamline the process of getting dressed. One key piece to invest in is a versatile, lightweight jacket, like this collarless linen blazer from Toteme. The Stockholm-based brand is renowned for its timeless hero pieces, and this blazer is something that can be worn time after time and adapted to suit various occasions. Just picture it with matching wide leg trousers and a silky cami, or layered over a mini dress with mules—it’s a perennial staple that will never go out of style. Just like bikinis and bucket hats, linen blazers are everywhere during the warmer months, but what we love about this style is its unique silhouette: it has the structure of a regular blazer, but the collarless design makes it easier to dress down for more casual ensembles. You could even wear it over a bandeau top with denim shorts and slide sandals for a beach club outing or to go from the hotel restaurant straight to the pool. The bone white shade is fresh and summery without being too stark, and it has subtle side patch pockets, a concealed front fastening, and an airy, linen-blend fabric that’s a dream to wear on balmy days. 

Sizes: 32-42 | Material: Viscose, linen

Best Bomber

Apparis Syd Tweed Bomber Jacket

Apparis Syd Tweed Bomber Jacket


Why We Love It: It’s a summery iteration of the classic bomber. 

What to Consider: The fabric is a textured tweed that can catch on jewelry. Be aware of it to avoid pilling.

This would look right at home riding through Paris on a Vespa, no? The classic Apparis bomber is rendered in a soft ivory tweed, providing a summery alternative to similar versions that only come in black. But the lighter shade doesn’t compromise on edginess—it has all the standard characteristics: a visible zipper, oversized pockets, cuffs, and a cinched elastic waistband. It pairs beautifully with denim and can be worn open over a T-shirt or zipped up as a statement piece to build your outfit around. And given that it’s made of cotton and polyester, it’s light enough to wear when the temperatures are soaring, but you still want a bit of coverage. 

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Polyester, cotton

Best Water-repellent Windbreaker

Polo Ralph Lauren Water-repellent Hooded Windbreaker

Polo Ralph Lauren Water-Repellent Hooded Windbreaker

Polo Ralph Lauren

Why We Love It: It’s a functional staple that could live in your wardrobe for years.

What to Consider: The zip ends before the buttons, so if you want full coverage, you’ll need to snap the buttons at the bottom. 

Sporty fashion is something that Ralph Lauren has mastered, and this water-repellent windbreaker is as functional as it is stylish. The fabric is a lightweight nylon, and it’s designed to protect from the elements with a hood, a back storm flap, and an extended mid-thigh hemline (which is invaluable for encountering horizontal rain). It has a drawstring waistband that adds definition and cuffs with three different fastening domes, so you can adjust it to suit whatever arm length you desire—cuffed up to the elbow for a power walk or secured around the wrist to provide coverage in inclement weather (and to protect your watch if you’re wearing one). Whether you’re looking for something to throw on over athleisure for the morning coffee run or something for a gusty beach walk, this fresh white jacket is something that every woman could do with in her wardrobe.

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Material: Nylon

Best Denim

L’agence Janice Jacket

L’AGENCE Janice Jacket

Saks Fifth Avenue

Why We Love It: It’s more figure-flattering than a larger, boxy denim jacket.

What to Consider: It has a raw hem.

Have you ever seen a prettier fabric on a denim jacket? This cropped style from the denim gods at L’agence is a statement piece and a classic all in one. It has iconic jean-jacket details with paneled construction, a folded collar, welted pockets, and metal rivet buttons. The fit is cropped and relaxed, with a lightweight denim made of cotton and polyurethane. If you’re seeking something more traditional, there are block-colored versions available in the same silhouette (the Janelle Jacket, which comes in 14 different colors), but this floral print is unique and can enliven any ensemble (just don’t clash it with any different prints). Embrace the coordinating set trend, and pair with the matching shorts, or layer it over a crisp white dress with chunky sandals for a feminine summer look.

Sizes: XS-XL Material: Cotton, polyurethane

Best Breathable Blazer

The Frankie Shop Bea Blazer

The Frankie Shop Bea Blazer


Why We Love It: It can be easily dressed up or down.

What to Consider: It’s oversized and boxy.

There’s a reason this oversized blazer is often waitlisted: it’s sophisticated, versatile, and affordable. Beloved New York label The Frankie Shop has garnered a following for its on-trend basics, and The Bea Blazer is one of its top sellers, picked up by virtually every major fashion e-com site.  It’s a boxy, oversized fit that’s perfect for throwing on over a dress or a T-shirt and a miniskirt in the warmer months.  The fabric is airy and lightweight with a soft satin lining that’s a dream to wear. Like most of the brand’s suiting, it’s available in several neutral colors, and it has peak lapels, flap front pockets, a double-vented hem, and a double-button front closure.

Sizes: XS-L Material: Polyester, spandex

Best Shacket

Reformation Layne Jacket

 Reformation Layne Jacket


Why We Love It: It’s versatile and made from deadstock fabric, making it an eco-friendly option.

What to Consider: It’s an oversized fit, so it’s advised to size down if you want something more structured.

Nothing offsets summer’s glow like a natural color palette, and this staple from Reformation hits all the right notes. In true “shacket” (shirt/jacket hybrid) style, the fabric is a bit thicker than a regular shirt. It has a lapel collar, pockets at the hips, and small snap buttons down the front. It’s a simple, blend-in piece that is perfect if you have a lot going on in the rest of your look (e.g., prints, statement accessories). The sleeves are finished with buttoned cuffs, and it’s an oversized silhouette that is breezy enough for hot days. Coordinate with a fitted white mini dress paired with slide sandals, and you’ve got a go-to summer outfit.

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Polyester

Best Formal

Maje Straight-cut Shiny Tweed Jacket

Maje Straight-Cut Shiny Tweed Jacket

Saks Fifth Avenue

Why We Love It: It could pass for Chanel.

What to Consider: It looks best buttoned up and belted with a bow tied at the front, so it’s not one to throw on and go.

Headed to the theater or to a fine restaurant in Europe? You’ll need something sophisticated, like this shiny tweed jacket from Parisian brand Maje. It radiates effortless glamor, and like similar styles from renowned luxury brands (Balmain, Saint Laurent, Chanel, et al.), it has a structured silhouette, illuminated with intricate details, including decorative gold buttons, braided edges, and metallic threading. Similar jackets are often made with 100 percent wool, but this one is primarily composed of cotton, viscose, and acrylic, so it’s light enough to wear during the summer. And if you want to channel French girl style for a night out, pair with straight-cut jeans, pointed black pumps, and a slick of red lipstick. Et voila!

Sizes: S-XL | Material: Cotton, polyester, acrylic, viscose, wool, polyamide, metallic fibers, acetate, elastane

Best Trench

Everlane The Gathered Drape Trench

Everlane The Gathered Drape Trench


Why We Love It: It has a wrinkle-resistant finish. 

What to Consider: It’s dry-clean only.

This minimal trench coat instantly refines any look with a feminine, duster-style silhouette that is flattering on all body types, and it can be worn open or done up as a coat dress over a slip. It falls below the knee and has an adjustable tie waist, gathered detail at the shoulders, side pockets, and a storm flap. It’s also available in a unique smoke shade.

Sizes: XXS-XL | Material: Lyocell, cotton

T+L’s Top Picks for Men

Best Overall for Men

Cos Technical Jacket

Cos Technical Jacket


Why We Love It: Its casual yet ultra-sleek design makes it incredibly versatile. 

What to Consider: It’s a boxy fit. 

Cos is a haven of minimalism where you’re always guaranteed to find timeless, versatile staples, like this transitional technical jacket. It’s a key piece that could live in every man’s wardrobe for years on end. The quality is excellent, it has interior and exterior pockets, and it’s water-resistant with a coated zip that prevents any rain from getting through. Another highlight? It’s machine washable, so it’s great for taking on extended trips where you’re moving around and need a quick refresh, without having to wait around for dry-cleaning. The fabric is super light, composed of half cotton and half nylon. It’s airy but insulated, which is ideal for wearing between seasons. It’s also available in a khaki shade, but the black is more versatile and easier to dress up. Wear it during the day with shorts, sneakers, and a T-shirt, or for a night out, just add chinos, a polo, and loafers for a smart-casual look.

Sizes: S to XL | Material: Cotton, nylon, lyocell

Best Bomber for Men

Mr Porter Textured Cotton and Linen-blend Bomber Jacket

Mr Porter Textured Cotton and Linen-blend Bomber Jacket

Mr Poter

Why We Love It: It has a textured surface that prevents creases from setting in.

What to Consider: It’s dry clean-only and an investment piece.

You can always count on Mr Porter for stylish and functional essentials, and this lightweight bomber is a classic staple to invest in. Made from a linen blend, it’s a summery rendition of the classic bomber jacket, with a relaxed fit and black accents at the hem, cuffs, and collar. It has two exterior pockets at the hips and a shiny silver zip. It’s available in navy and an '80s-style brick shade. (We recommend going for the navy.) 

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Cotton, linen, viscose

Best Water-repellent Jacket for Men

The North Face Alta Vista Jacket in Aviator Navy

The North Face Alta Vista Jacket in Aviator Navy


Why We Love It: It’s functional and is made from 100 percent recycled fabrics.

What to Consider: It’s a slim fit, so it’s best to size up if you want to layer it.

Do your travel plans involve hiking?  Look no further than this functional hooded jacket. The North Face has long been a destination for technical performance wear, and the Alta Vista Jacket is designed to navigate the great outdoors in comfort. The fabric contains the brand’s trademark DryVent technology, engineered to be completely waterproof, windproof, and breathable. There are technical features throughout, including an adjustable hood, pit-zip venting, and secure zip pocket, which is ideal for keeping your phone and keys safe if you’re moving around a lot or venturing into water. (Capsizing a kayak wouldn’t be so bad if you’re wearing this.) It’s a classic hooded-jacket silhouette, with the brand’s signature logo that references the granite half dome in Yosemite National Park–a destination that this jacket would be perfect for.

Sizes: S-XXL | Material: Polyester, nylon

Best Denim for Men

Todd Snyder Stretch Denim Jacket

Todd Snyder Stretch Denim Jacket

Todd Snyder

Why We Love It: Unlike most denim jackets that are rigid, this has some stretch in the fabric, so it’s not too restrictive to move around in.

What to Consider: It has a broken-in look that could pass for vintage.

Tailoring is something that Todd Snyder (the former head of men’s design at J.Crew) does well, and this timeless denim jacket is the only one that you’ll ever need to invest in. It’s a modern take on the standard vintage-inspired style, with a simple silhouette and the brand’s proprietary faded indigo wash. There is some stretch to the fabric (which is great to wear if you’re traveling), and it has practical details like pockets at the chest and buttoned cuffs. There are matching jeans available if you’re into a Canadian tuxedo moment (but we much prefer it with a pair of chinos). 

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Cotton

Best Breathable Blazer for Men

J.Crew Ludlow Slim-fit Unstructured Suit Jacket in Irish Cotton-linen

J.Crew Ludlow Slim-fit Unstructured Suit Jacket in Irish Cotton-Linen

J. Crew

Why We Love It: It’s the perfect blazer for warmer climates.

What to Consider: The fit is slim, as are the lapels.

J.Crew is renowned for its high-quality essentials, and this linen blazer is just as useful today as it will be in a decade’s time. It’s made from a lightweight cotton linen blend that is perfect for warmer climates. And if you have a summer wedding or an occasion that requires a touch of formality, layer it over a shirt and pair it with chinos and leather loafers. The fit is refined, with a darted waist, notch lapels, and flap pockets that sit just above the hip. It’s available in five neutral colors, but this creamy beige sings ‘summer in Europe’ to us.

Sizes: 34S-46L | Material: Cotton/linen blend

Best Shacket for Men

Mango Linen Overshirt with Pockets

Mango Linen Overshirt with Pockets


Why We Love It: It’s ideal for layering. 

What to Consider: You’ll likely want to skip it for more formal occasions.

Nothing echoes the breezy spirit of summer like a lightweight linen overshirt. It’s a piece that every man could do with in his warm-weather wardrobe. This minimalist iteration from Mango looks effortlessly cool undone, layered over a shirt or a tee, or buttoned up. It’s made from 100 percent linen, and it has front patch pockets, a pointed collar, and buttons at the arms with a fastening strap to secure the sleeves if you’re opting to cuff it up.

Sizes: S-XXL | Material: Linen, cotton, polyester

Best Formal Jacket for Men

Zegna Cotton Linen and Silk Jacket

Zegna Cotton Linen and Silk Jacket


Why We Love It: The quality is exceptional, and the color is unique.

What to Consider: As you would expect with any luxury item, it comes with a substantial price tag. 

Wouldn’t this be lovely for cruising along Lake Como in the peak of summer? Add a crisp white shirt, biscuit-colored chinos, and a pair of aviators, and you could be mistaken for George Clooney.  The light blue blazer-style jacket fuses low-key elegance with seasonal functionality.  It’s made from a luxuriously light blend of linen, cotton, and silk and is styled with double vents and patch pockets. Whether it’s a suit or a sports jacket, you can always rely on Zegna for sophisticated staples that transcend trends and turn heads for all the right reasons. Say it with us: Bellissimo!

Sizes: 44-58 | Material: Cotton, linen, silk, cupro

Best Trench Coat for Men

Coach Trench Coat

 Coach Trench Coat


Why We Love It: It resembles Burberry’s iconic Kensington coat for a fraction of the price.

What to Consider: It has leather detailing around the cuffs in a contrasting terracotta shade—our recommendation is to roll them back so there’s not too much going on.

Available in black and classic khaki, this Coach trench coat is a well-made classic. The fabric is a light linen and cotton blend that’s comfortable to wear, and it’s highly functional, with front pockets, a gun flap, and a hook-and-eye collar closure. It also has a stylish belt cinching in the mid-section—very James Bond indeed.

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Cotton, polyester

Tips for Buying a Lightweight Jacket

Consider the climate 

If you’re in the market for a lightweight jacket, chances are you’re going somewhere warm. The question is, How warm? Is it going to be sticky and humid or a more manageable heat where you can layer comfortably? Either way, if your intention is to buy a jacket that is light and breathable, look for fabrics like linen, cotton, denim, or nylon.

Think about layering

How are you planning to wear your jacket? As is the case with buying any new item of clothing, try it on with the garments that you intend to pair it with, whether it’s an undershirt or a more substantial exterior layer.

Look for packability 

Avoid the bulky Michelin Man aesthetic if you’re going for a puffer style; it will occupy most of the space in your suitcase. Go for something thin that can be easily folded and compressed. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What defines a “lightweight” jacket?

    Something that is breathable with fabrics like linen, cotton, denim, or nylon. It shouldn’t weigh you down but should be an airy outer layer that provides coverage and light protection from the elements.

  • How do I pack a jacket?

    Zip it up (or fasten the buttons), and fold the shoulders back from the middle, and then fold the body up from the bottom. If it’s a more formal jacket or a blazer, consider placing it in a garment bag or covering it in plastic or tissue to protect from shoes or any toiletries that may leak through your suitcase.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Amy Louise Bailey drew on her decade-plus career in the fashion and luxury industry to curate an inspiring edit to suit various requirements for travel. She also spoke with major designers, leading multi-brand retailers, and personal shoppers to obtain insights on the most popular items and the trends that they’re seeing this year. 

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