A shopper views jean jackets for sale inside the Levi Strauss & Co. flagship store in San Francisco, California, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)  

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

(Bloomberg) -- The changing seasons present their its own unique challenges, especially when it comes to dressing. Days can be hot by mid-morning and chilly by late afternoon, and everything else in-between. Consider a lightweight jacket your best defense.

When looking for a transitional jacket, you’ll want something substantial but not cumbersome, stylish yet versatile, and up to the challenge of battling errant wind or wet. Here are 14 options as selected by our network of fashion experts, stylis fellas who have considered the nuance of appropriate outerwear to handle whatever wacky weather lies ahead.

The Non-Dreary Raincoat

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Eye/Loewe/Nature Color-block Nylon Hooded Jacket, $1,250, mrporter.com

Recommended by: Jack Sachs, owner of Brooklyn boutique Drama Club.

There’s a current trend of designers applying ’90s caliber whimsy to the more granola, outdoorsy jacket styles made famous by the likes of Patagonia and Columbia. Says Sachs: “J.W. Anderson’s newest line interprets the staple raincoat with bold colors and a youthful outlook on what to do with April showers: run right in to them.”

The Simple Trench

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

J. Crew Ventile Trench Coat, $598, jcrew.com

Recommended by:  Justin Fenner, senior associate editor at Gear Patrol.

The “bargain of the season,” is how Fenner characterizes this stylish trench from J. Crew. “I love how effortlessly the rubberized cotton repels water, and I also love that it comes with a liner you can zip in on chillier days. This is a value buy in the purest sense; anyone who thinks otherwise is invited to fight me.”

The Lightweight Bomber

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Jil Sander Man Seattle Jacket in Beige Overflow, $1,150, mohawkgeneralstore.com

Recommended by: Kevin Carney, owner of Mohawk General Store.

“I’m really into spring jacket silhouettes that are made in shirt weight cotton,” says Carney of this bomber from Jil Sander. “The zipper wrapping around the collar is a detail I have never seen before, and it makes the wearer look like an expert shopper.”

The Quintessential Denim Jacket

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

AMI Point-Collar Denim Jacket, $268,  matchesfashion.com

Recommended by:  Steve Dool, freelance writer and author of a forthcoming book about men’s footwear

“Some people may try to tell you that there are spring jackets that are superior to a simple denim jacket, but those people, I’m afraid, are wrong,” says Dool. “A classic, in the truest sense of the word, well-cut, unfussy version can stay in your wardrobe forever. I’m partial to this one from AMI, but you can’t go wrong with the basic style from Levi’s, either.”

The Suede Upgrade

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Mr P. Slim-Fit Suede Trucker Jacket, $995, mrporter.com

Recommended by: Garrett Munce, freelance grooming and fashion editor.

Although Munce wears a denim jacket underneath bigger coats all winter, he says it’s usually a bit too chilly for him to wear it by itself, even up to May. “I know suede isn’t the most practical choice for spring,” he says, “but with the same silhouette [as a denim jacket], it’s the perfect weight to wear by itself.” Opt for black, which makes everything a little more elevated. 

The Packable Windbreaker

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Holiday Boileau Nylon Jacket, 195 euros ($221), holiday-paris.fr

Recommended by:  Gauthier Borsarello, menswear artistic director and vintage collector 

Says Borsarello of this throwback shell, which is inspired by vintage automobile racing jackets: “Super-light, unlined, easy to pack, waterproof, and well-made in an Italian nylon… it’s the perfect jacket to travel with!”

The Reversible Fashion Statement

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Dries Van Noten Reversible Marble Print Jacket, $1,329, endclothing.com

Recommended by: Christopher Legaspi, menswear editor at Vanity Fair.

As Legaspi packs away his puffers and long wool coats for the season, it’s the easy versatility of a bomber style jacket that he reaches for next—especially when it has a reversible print, like this Dries Van Noten, which features solid black on one side and a runway-tested marble pattern on the other. “It’s a statement piece on one side,” says Legaspi, “and the other is perfect to pair with a hoodie and take on the subway,”

The Leather Jacket

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Loewe Biker Jacket, $3,950, loewe.com 

Recommended by:  Sidney Prawatyotin, head of Siduations, a popular fashion Instagram account 

As far as basic clothing staples go, a leather jacket is workhorse you can keep a lifetime, which means it pays to invest correct. Of this biker-styled one from Loewe, says Prawatyotin, “the Nappa leather shields you from chilly or wet spring nights, and it’s light enough for warm afternoons. It’s a bit oversized which is great for layering over a sweater or jean jacket.”

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

The (Way) Above-Average Vest

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Brunello Cucinellli Lightweight Suede Down Vest, $3,595,  shop.brunellocucinelli.com

Recommended by:  Jim Gaddy, deputy editor at Bloomberg Pursuits

“Listen, a vest is amazingly utilitarian—it can be worn on its own when there’s a nip in the air or under a sport coat or proper coat when it’s actually cold out,” says Gaddy. But if you’re going to opt into the Midtown Uniform (aka “finance bro vest”), consider the luxury upgrade. Quilted, insulated, and with a two-way zip for extra versatility, Brunello’s suede gilet adds subtle color and texture and not-so-subtle swag to a closet otherwise black, white, and navy.

The Nylon Pullover

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Adsum UC Jacket, $165, adsumnyc.com

Recommended by: Michael Baquerizo, freelance stylist and head of marketing for M5 Showroom and M5 Shop

Depending where you live, the window for a lighter, transitional jacket as the seasons change can be quite small, so a layering strategy is a smart move. For cooler evenings, Baquerizo likes this a coated nylon pullover from Adsum. “I’m debating between the green or the bright blue, but either way the idea is to get a pop color in that will still pair well with the rest of my wardrobe. I’m into the idea of an athletic-inspired jacket in a more modern cut that I can pair with a light pair of trousers, mixing dressy with the athletic.”

The Office-Appropriate Workwear

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Lanvin Patchwork Cotton Jacket, $1,845, mrporter.com

Recommended by:  Isaiah Freeman-Schub, fashion editor and writer 

“This cotton jacket by Lucas Ossendrijver for Lanvin hits all the workwear notes and integrates classic suiting fabric,” says Freeman-Schub of the tonal combination of black herringbone and navy-and-black pinstriped patches. Also, there are pockets galore, if for some reason utility is primary motivation behind purchasing a Lanvin chore coat.

The Brown Suede Trucker

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Polo Ralph Lauren Roughout Suede Trucker Jacket, $750, bloomingdales.com

Recommended by: Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s

Call it an occupational hazard, but Berkowitz admits to being on the eternal search for better versions of things he knows he loves, like this this brown suede trucker jacket from Polo Ralph Lauren, “an elegant update” to one that’s already sitting in his closet. (A trucker jacket is the name for the style of a classic cropped denim jacket, say, from Levi’s—just not necessarily in denim.) “I would wear this jacket with a camel cashmere sweater, pleated navy pants, and a pair of loafers.”

The Utilitarian Layer

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Todd Snyder French Chore Jacket, $348

Recommended by:  Frank Muytjens, former head of men’s design J.Crew, now posh innkeeper

I’ve always gravitated towards classic pieces with a heritage, pieces that tell a story and come from humble utilitarian beginnings,” says Muytjens of this Todd Snyder Chore Jacket. “The name says it all, stripped down to its essence: no frills, just three functional patch pockets, the way it always has been. What makes it modern again are the proportions and the material. The linen will age beautifully throughout the years, like a pair of jeans.” 

The Color Pop

The 14 Best Light Jackets According to Menswear Experts

Très Bien Leather Blouson Jacket, $975, tres-bien.com

Recommended by: Jesse Hudnutt, retail buying and merchandising consultant.

Although Hudnutt readily admits he’s a “sucker for a pop of red,” this leather jacket from Très Bien’s in-house collection would work for anyone looking to escape the dooldrums of a black-leather coat (and winter). “This red leather would look great layered over a hoodie, or more dressed up on top of a tucked-in shirt,” says Hudnutt. “Plus, it will be fun to see how the red leather ages over time.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.