In these days of ever-escalating outwear prices, it’s easy to get caught up in how great that $1,000 winter coat will feel when winter really starts to blow. And we’ll be the first to admit, they do feel great — but they’re far from necessary. For less than $200, you can find a jacket that lasts for years, keep you warm, and has you looking great. Don’t believe us? Don’t look at our list—at least, not yet. Look anywhere else, at the classic styles that men have come to rely on over the past century. The leather jackets, the overcoats, the down jackets, the truckers. Then revisit this list to find your perfect match at a price that will pleasantly surprise you. The clothes make the man, not how much you pay for them.
Eddie Bauer 1936 Skyliner Model Down Jacket
Whether or not you like its classic bomber silhouette, use the Eddie Bauer 1936 Skyliner Model Down Jacket as a template for your outwear purchase this fall. Its look may incorporate modern materials and finishes, but its overall style should be traceable to the last century. The Skyliner, launched in the early 20th century, was the first down jacket patented in the States, and its diamond-quilted pockets are iconic in American outerwear. Pumped full of 650-fill Responsible Down Standard (RDS)-certified down, it’s rated down to -15.
Gap Wool-Blend Peacoat
The classic sea-service outerwear has withstood the test of time because no one looks bad in black. Gap’s Wool-Blend Peacoat lines the inside and pads the arms for extra warmth (a well-appreciated upgrade for the modern midshipman), along with two sets of exterior pockets to thaw chilly extremities.
Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Coat
A Northern clime? Sporting a suit? It’s time for an overcoat-length down jacket like the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Coat. Superwarm (and supercheap), this thigh-length nylon piece is treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating that can withstand light precipitation and blustery temps simultaneously. The Japanese company is making a push into lightweight down this season, meaning that you can pick up a piece that, anywhere else, would be substantially more expensive.
Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket
Generations of men have ridden out colder temps in the Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket. Lined with the Sherpa material in the body and flannel down the length of the sleeves, it’s nevertheless casual enough to wear while changing your car’s oil in the driveway. Wear it like you would your favorite pair of jeans: often, and without much deliberation.
Prana Bronson Towne Jacket
The M65 military jacket has always struggled in colder weather, but Prana solved this with a warm liner in its Bronson Towne Jacket. Underneath the organic cotton canvas shell is a heathered Sherpa in the upper body and quilted taffeta in the lower body, the latter of which is also stuffed with 100 grams of synthetic insulation. That same insulation also pads its removable hood and sleeves. The combination allows this classic look to roam far into the winter and beyond.
Express Camel Recycled Wool-Blend Topcoat
Should the Express Camel Recycled Wool-Blend Topcoat be on this list? No way — it’s usually a hundred bucks more. But whether the maker of some of our favorite button-downs made too many topcoats this season or some intern hit the wrong key, now’s the time to pick up an overcoat you’ll wear for years. The fabric, already naturally water-resistant and uber-warm, gets a DWR treatment to further batten down the hatches.
Vans Woodcrest MTE Jacket
If you still think of Van’s as a seaside shoe company, you’ve missed the company’s inroads into the outdoors over the past few years with its MTE line. The Woodcrest MTE Jacket comes in a parka-length (read: either casual or over your favorite suit) and in a variety of colors. Water-resistant, warm, and best of all, it packs down small enough to fit into its own hood.
Columbia Ridgestone Jacket
Water-resistant, insulated, and with a long hem to keep out drafts, the Columbia Ridgestone Jacket could have made this list on merit alone. But with its snap-front placket and front pockets and its crosshatched shoulders a la the classic shooting jacket, it’s just a cool-looking piece. Whether you’re at the lodge during deer season or wishing you were, this is the piece to take you there.