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Style Advice

The best jackets to own in your 40s

The best jackets to own in your 40s

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 your 40s – and if you invest in high-quality iterations, you’ll be able to keep hold of them well into your 50s. We tapped resident style expert Toby Standing to walk you through his favourites. Your 40s are about to get a lot more stylish. 

Bomber

Why it works

Bombers are hardly just for your 20s and 30s. They work equally well in your 40s – think of them as a slightly more considered alternative to a denim jacket. They’re a great weekend style that will lend a fresh feel when paired with your everyday staples. They're also great for seeing you through tricky trans-seasonal weather.

What to look for

I’d skip the standard nylon styles (they tend to look cheap and you can do better). Instead, opt for a wool bomber. It will last you longer, keep you warmer, while still maintaining a cool silhouette. I’d stick to classic colours like navy, brown, or olive, as you don’t want to overwhelm your look or restrict your outfit choices. 

How to style it 

The bomber often works best with relaxed trousers, sneakers, and a tee. But because it’s both classic and contemporary, it’s easy to wear with a mix of clothing. That said, I’d avoid going too smart or it will look out of place. You also want to make sure that none of your layers underneath are longer than the hem of the jacket or else it will look sloppy. 

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Peacoat

Why it works

This is a forever classic that many generations of men have worn before you, but there’s still something fresh and youthful in its shape, so it won’t feel dated or stuffy. And in addition to looking really smart, it’s incredibly practical and super warm thanks to the frigid conditions it was designed for. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a breeze to pull off.

Photographed: Arlen Wool Blend Peacoat ($270)

What to look for

Always go for navy peacoat – that’s the colour it was originally designed in and it consistently looks the best. I tend to think a double-breasted, shorter style looks the most flattering. Make sure you choose a well-made style, so it will last you for years to come. 

How to style it 

The peacoat looks great paired with textured knits – a fisherman knit especially as it nods to its nautical roots. It also goes well with other practical pieces, like a pair of Chelsea boots. For a considered smart casual look, try it with a dark knit, selvedge denim, and boots. The addition of the peacoat will take the entire look up a notch. 

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Parka

Why it works

This is one of the jacket styles I get asked most about by clients, and it’s not surprising when you consider how versatile it is. What’s great about it in your 40s is it feels like a more mature version of the windcheater you might have worn in your 20s – it’s still got the same casual feel and practical features, but it still maintains a fresh, sleek feel. Because it has lots of historical clout, you can rest assured this style isn’t going anywhere. It's going to serve you well on the weekends especially, as it’s not too dressy and will keep you protected against the elements.

Photographed: MVP Padded Hooded Coat ($136)

What to look for

For a sleeker style, opt for one without fur. I’d recommend a navy green style for optimal versatility and a classic design, as you’ll get the most wear out of it. If you look for one with removable lining, you’ll be able to get more trans-seasonal wear out of it. 

How to style it 

This is a jacket that’s inherently easy to dress down because of the more practical features, like the pockets and hood. I love it with a chunky knit and some hard-wearing jeans and boots or with a sweatshirt and sneakers. It’s a really simple, no-fuss style you can wear out with mates or your family.

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Words: Allison Pavlick
Styling: Toby Standing