How to Choose a Transitional Jacket

Eventually, the sweltering heat of summer gives way to the uncertainty of fall. It can be warm one day and chill the next. Sometimes, it can do both at once.

Fall requires proper jackets and vests so that you are prepared. This short guide will help you navigate the available options, which strike the balance between fashion and functionality:

INSULATED VESTS & FLANNELS

In the beginning of the season, it tends to be warm and the sun still holds sway. It’s starting to get chilly, however, with an average between 10°C to 15°C.

At this time of year, look for a vest with minimal insulation. You just need something that will protect your core from the occasional cold without causing you to break into a sweat. The weather is predominantly warm.

A vest, a flannel, or both will keep you warm if the weather is a bit cooler than you expected. Choose from a variety of materials, whether it is insulated with down, synthetic material, or simply provides another valuable layer. You can also choose from a variety of styles to find a perfect fit for your look.

It’s easy to look good with a flannel. And you don’t need to sacrifice your comfort to do it. If you need to take your warmth up a gear, look to a fleece or a light hoodie in addition to your vest and/or flannel.

FLEECES OR LIGHT HOODIES

Now there’s a slight undertone of winter. There’s a crisp breeze blowing that’s got you shivering and an average temperature ranging from 5°C to 10°C. It’s time to move to something more substantial than a simple vest or flannel. These are the days where you want to reach for a fleece or a insulated hoodie. Pair your choice with a scarf to achieve a look that is both warm and stylish.

COATS

That’s it. You’re in the middle of fall and there’s no mistaking that ''WINTER IS COMING''. The weather is predominantly cold now. Temperatures drop to an average of between 0°C to 5°C. An errant ray of sun does break through and warm you up from time to time, but you want to be wearing a toque, and a down-insulated or synthetic coat.

When it comes to choosing between down or synthetic material, it really depends on the degree of insulation you’re looking for. In fall, either will do. Down is nature’s best insulator, but today’s new synthetic fibers can provide a great degree of insulation. In fall, you can afford to choose according to your fashion sense rather than the fabric.

Once you have decided which type of vest or jacket is best suited for your needs, here are some guidelines that will help you get the most for your buck.

LOOK FOR QUALITY

Read every label carefully. Sometimes "wool" only indicates that a small percentage of wool is present, supplemented with other fibers.

Make sure you're buying something of quality, especially if you're getting spendy. Interestingly enough, buying a brand doesn’t immediately translate to quality. Some of the more affordable brands can outperform the big names and spare your wallet.

WEAR LAYERS UNDERNEATH

Instead of alternating between a lighter or heavier vest, it might be more practical to layer your clothes. For example, choosing a heavier flannel underneath a lighter vest can provide you with better insulation than a single coat, and it also gives you the option to remove either of the garments.

FUNCTIONALITY OR FASHION?

Jackets and vests are more than just clothes and fashion accessories. They are also functional tools with the purpose of keeping you warm. And like all tools, you need to choose the right ones for the job.

If you are into outdoor sports, for example, you shouldn’t be buying just any vest. Ideally, you’re looking for a vest that will keep your core warm while allowing you freedom of movement. It’s better to go for more specialized vests, as these are usually designed with added breathability and the water column is higher than with other types (your vest’s degree of rain proofing). When shopping for seasonal items, invest in quality and think long-term. Get properly equipped and you’ll enjoy the beauty of every season.

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