When I woke up this morning, bright-eyed and bushy-eyebrowed, tiny blue birds flitting around my head, this is what I did. I clocked the blanket of grey clouds, felt a chilly breeze drift through the weird crack in my bedroom window, smiled to myself, and thought, It’s motherf**king jacket season. (With apologies to McSweeney’s.)
Let me explain. A jacket is a hug. A jacket is an extra layer of fashun. A jacket is a good thing to leave at your friend’s house so you get to go there again (sorry to the four people I’ve done this to in the last two weeks). Jackets are treasures of the garment world, and I am a devotee. Just think about it: Denim jackets! Leather jackets! Weird jackets that have three-quarter length sleeves! (Why did you buy that, buy that, buy that?) Capelets! Blazers! Things that are khaki but not really shirts! You have to admit, jackets have the range.
There’s something soothing about the weather of Jacket Season—or, as the French call it, Jacquette Saison. (Okay, fun-killer, they don’t really call it that!) For instance, today in New York City, it’s going to be a maximum of 63 degrees, with a low of 41. That’s a whole day—a full 24 hours—during which I’m not worried I’m going to sweat through my shirt or temporarily lose feeling in my fingers, at Mother Weather’s truly harsh whim. In a city where you spend three summer months stewing in your own dirty sweat, and three winter months wearing essentially a sleeping bag, any time you can just wear regular-ass clothes in pure comfort? Bliss.
But what do I know? I’m but a humble lover of jackets. What did my more fashionably astute ELLE.com colleagues think? Well, most share my Jacket Enthusiasm. However, others find jackets confusing—or even sartorially stifling. (These people are wrong, but I work with them every day, so I will just have to deal with it.)
Here are our thoughts on the wonder, the beauty, and the sheer utility of the glorious jacket.
What do the jacket lovers have to say?
Leah Chernikoff, Site Director: “First of all, I don’t understand people who are like: Summer is the best, summer is the only season, summer summer summer. When it’s summer, there’s nothing you can do about being too hot. You can be nearly naked and still be hot and miserable and stuck to a subway seat. But, hello colder weather! The options. The outfits! So many possibilities. And a MEDIUM TO LIGHT JACKET [all caps sic] is the best kind. A big coat that must keep you warm from freezing weather can only look so cute. But the jacket you wear in 45–60 degree weather can be so many things. It can be a nice blazer. A denim jacket. A wrapped trench. You can live the dream of wearing an outfit-making coat.
Nikki Ogunnaike, Fashion Features Director: Jacket season is the best season: A. because you get to layer, B. you’re less likely to sweat/overheat than when you’re wearing a proper coat, and C. because you instantly look more polished when you’re wearing a nice blazer like this one.
Madison Feller, Staff Writer: I live for jackets, and I am truly appalled that some people don’t understand the joy of walking outside in a cute—but not overly warm—jean or leather jacket and feeling completely comfortable. Coats are too precarious. Will I get too hot? Why am I dressed as a marshmallow? Jackets are light and fun and only want you to have a good time. They’re the epitome of those two weeks in October when all is right with the world and I can drink apple cider outside without wearing mittens. Jackets are meant for thriving.
Kristina Rodulfo, Senior Beauty Editor: The letterman jacket is the perfect blend of function and style because it’s just as comfy as a thick hoodie but looks a little more put-together. I love the nostalgia factor of it—that back-to-school, homecoming-game vibe it gives off. This silky, fancier take on the classic stood out to me because I could easily imagine it over jeans or a dress. It’d look especially nice worn off the shoulders like a shawl or thrown over one shoulder…which I realize defeats the purpose of a jacket but let me live, okay?
But jackets aren’t easy.
Nerisha Penrose, Assistant Editor: I absolutely hate the winter—I quake with fear at the mere mention of the season. I hate feeling cold, I hate layering sweaters over thermals and jeans over leggings, and I really hate wearing scarves. But what makes the season just a tad bit better is the fresh crop of coats that hit stores every season—because if I have to brave the brisk winds and be miserable for four months, why not do so in a plush fur coat or a padded puffer? A bright fur or puffer makes almost any of my outfits stand out in the crowd, even if I didn’t put any effort into the ensemble underneath. As I type this, it’s 58 degrees outside and I’m wearing an Adidas x Pharrell Williams Camouflage Puffer jacket, but I’m eyeing this Tibi Luxe Fur Oversize Coat for when the temperature really drops.