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Style Advice

The best jackets to own in your 20s

The best jackets to own in your 20s

Jackets serve many a purpose: they’re your armour against the elements, an expression of your personal style, and the first thing people see you wearing in the cold-weather months. So lest you’ve been throwing on any old outer-layer in arm’s reach, we’d challenge you to give yours a bit more consideration. And that involves factoring in your age. 

Now we're not suggesting that age should in any way limit your personal style. There is a way to style every outerwear style during any period of your life – in fact, we've seen 50-somethings style bomber jackets more stylishly than the coolest 25 year olds. All it takes are a few style tweaks and the right level of confidence. 

That said, there are certain styles you’ll get the most wear out of during this decade of self-discovery – and even a couple that you'll want to wear into your 30s. To walk you through them, we enlisted the help of stylist and fellow 20-something Toby Standing.

Puffer jacket

Why it works

Yours 20s is the time to experiment with your style, buck trends, and dress vibrantly (even if only in moderation). Puffers are a non-intimidating way to do this. They nod to streetwear and allow you to invite some expressive colour into your look without requiring you to tap into cutting-edge trends. They’re also practical and stylish, which is a good intersecting point when you’re really just discovering your personal style.

What to look for

You want to avoid looking like you’re wearing a ski jacket, so look for a shorter, more modern style. And don’t be afraid to go for a bolder colour. As I mentioned, this is the time to push the boat out. 

How to style it 

If you go for a bright puffer, make it the statement item in your look and pair it with off-duty pieces, like a hoodie and Dickies-style canvas trousers. I say keep it simple on your feet with classic trainers, but if you’re feeling bold, don’t hesitate to go for a trendier pair. Also, avoid layering too much underneath – this jacket is already warm and doesn’t need more added volume. 

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Overcoat

Why it works

This is such an all-rounder coat. I’m in my 20s, and this is the one I always reach for, as it works seamlessly in different settings. Despite what you might think, it’s not just for pairing with smarter styles (although that works too). It looks equally great with a hoodie and sweatpants for a smart casual mix. It’s been around for decades and has been adopted by all kinds of styles, so it will certainly adapt to yours. Think of it as a blank slate you can use to express your style. 

What to look for

Choose the one that best complements your style. If you’re interested in a younger take, then go for an oversized drop-shoulder style. If you want a classic take you’ll have in your style arsenal for years to come, a slimmer, single-breasted one will do the trick. The beauty of this coat is there’s so much variety, you’ll easily find one that works for you. 

How to style it 

Dress it down with sweats or up with a shirt. For a sleek look, I’d wear it over a rollneck and formal trousers with Chelsea boots. Like I said, consider it your blank slate. 

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Windcheater

Why it works

This jacket epitomises practicality – it’s designed to face the elements after all – but it’s been adopted by streetwear brands, so it has an underlying cool factor. It’s certainly not the jacket your mum tells you to put on when it’s raining. Features like a hood and drawstring make it feel more youthful and laid-back than a classic rain jacket or a mac.

What to look for

Go for a neutral colour (think tan, black, navy), so that you can style it with whatever you’re wearing. Anything more colourful and it will look like activewear. I’d also recommend going for a style in a regular fit for optimal wearability.

How to style it 

You have the freedom to dress this coat up or down. Just be sure to let other pieces, like a statement shoe, be the hero of your look, and let this one complement it. Also avoid layering it too much or it will bulge. 

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Words: Allison Pavlick
Styling: Toby Standing