9 Essential Jacket Styles Every Woman Should Own

Here's how to create a capsule jacket collection. 
By Hana Hong
April 20, 2021
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Ready to stow away your puffer coats but still looking to layer up for spring? The term "jacket" may seem straightforward enough, but it actually encompasses a lot of different styles. So many styles, in fact, that they've spawned new subcategories of their own, making the world of outerwear pretty difficult to navigate. We probably all own a few variations-such as a moto jacket or jean jacket-but there are several key styles you should always have on hand. From your functional raincoat to a trendy trench, this capsule jacket guide will help you differentiate between essential and excess. 

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best-jackets-abercrombie-Cozy Shirt Jacket

1 Shacket

$99, abercrombie.com

If a casual jacket and structured button-down had a baby, it would be the endlessly versatile and practical shacket. (FYI: It's also the trendiest outerwear of 2021.) Abercrombie's layering piece is so cute we want one in every color (there's four!). 

best-jackets-AE Boyfriend Denim Jacket

2 Jean Jacket

$52, ae.com

The biggest benefit of boyfriend jackets? You don't have to size up to get an oversized fit. But unlike some boyfriend jean jackets, this one manages to not look bulky, and has a flexible fabric that is easy to wear in summer yet sturdy enough to feel like high-quality denim.


3 Military Jacket

$150, draperjames.com

With its slightly boxy cut and rich army green color, this utilitarian number may be borrowed from the boys, but its tailored structure and waist-cinching belt means it pairs nicely with feminine pieces. 

best-jackets-Free People Vegan Moto Jacket

4 Leather/Moto Jacket

$98, freepeople.com

Leather is a year-long classic-however, if you're not looking to spend a ridiculous chunk of money on one piece, or prefer to stick to the animal-friendly version of the timeless item, vegan leather is the way to go. This version from Free People comes in an ultra-flattering moto fit and a polyurethane fabric that is much easier to maintain than real animal leather.

best-jackets-Lane Bryant Crinkle Cinched-Waist Jacket With Convertible Hood

5 Waterproof Rain Jacket

$84, lanebryant.com

Bridge the gap between April showers and May flowers with this adorable mint green jacket made from water-resistant crinkle nylon. Repelling raindrops without adding a heavy layer to warm-weather attire, the supremely lightweight pick can also be stashed easily in your tote following sudden showers. 

best-jackets-UO Yogi Fleece Cropped Hoodie Sweatshirt

6 Hoodie Jacket

$69, urbanoutfitters.com

This hoodie sweatshirt (which comes in six must-have colors) is one of Urban Outfitters' top bestsellers. The slouchy fit is cozy enough to wear 24/7, and a super cropped silhouette makes it perfect to style with high-waisted jeans or leggings.


7 Bomber Jacket

$114, saltwaterluxe.com

Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking per se, but we're still considering it a pattern staple in our book. To prevent florals from looking tacky, opt for a neutral-colored base with muted prints; this polyester crew-neck jacket can be paired with denim and a tucked-in top for a cute spring ensemble.


8 Trench 

$253, wolfandbadger.com

How Elle Woods is this trench? Aptly named the Elle Trench, the fashion staple stays true to its classic roots, yet imparts a stylish flare with a fitted silhouette and fun pink hue.

best-jackets-Eco Ryann Linen Blazer

9 Boyfriend Blazer

$118, guess.com

Possessing all the professionalism of a blazer, this style's slouchy cut gives it the versatility of a casual jacket to comfortably elevate daytime looks. Another plus? It's made entirely of recycled linen (sustainable fashion FTW) to slick away sweat and help you keep cool in warmer temps.

RELATED: Boyfriend Blazers Are the Only Professional Clothing I Will Wear This Year-Here Are the 8 Best