Used to be, there were only three kinds of people who would ever be caught dead in a men’s fleece jacket: crunchy climber types with a dozen REI stickers plastered on their Nalgenes; Bay Area startup wonks who love the feel of their Allbirds against the pedals of their Teslas; and finance bros whose personal style never outgrew their frat house days. All of that changed a few years ago, when swiftly and suddenly—perhaps prompted by an intrinsic fear that the world was ending—the entire fashion world started dressing like they were halfway through a weeklong canoe trip in Maine. Hiking sneakers trekked their way onto red carpets, technical puffers posted up front row at Paris Fashion Week, and best of all, cozy fleece zip-ups became acceptable non-dad attire.
That’s great news for you, because bundling up in a fuzzy, furry fleece is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself in the depths of a long winter. They are impenetrably warm, impossibly comfy, and bring more texture to a single fit than all the cords in your closet combined. And with seemingly every outdoors outfitter, designer label, and underground streetwear brand on the planet getting into the men’s fleece jacket game, you’ve got more shaggy options at your fingertips than ever before. Here are 22 of the fleeces that matter most.
The Best Fleece Jacket, Period
Patagonia classic Retro-X fleece jacket
Patagonia invented fleece as we know it. The mountaineering OGs were the first to bring synthetic pile into outdoors wear in the ‘70s, the first to fix its problematic pilling by developing its signature Synchilla fabric in the ‘80s, and they dropped the first fleece jacket ever to reach icon status later that decade. The Retro-X is the Air Jordan 3 of fluffy zip-ups: instantly recognizable, eternally in style, still up to snuff performance-wise decades after its release. The shaggy sherpa exterior is water-repellent and quick-drying, the mesh lining is wind-resistant and controls odors, and both are built from 50% recycled materials. It’s got the requisite zip hand pockets and chest pocket for your ear buds and granola bar. If you’re a first time fleecer, this is the only place to start.
The Best Fleece Jacket for Layering Up
Veilance “Dinitz” comp jacket
One thing fleece isn’t always great for? Layering under anything but the roomiest of technical shells. This collarless Veilance joint, though, will slide right into all manner of multifaceted fits, thanks to a slimmer layer of wool fleece that’ll still pack in the heat with the best of ’em.
The Modern Classic Fleece Jacket
Sandy Liang Cuddles fleece
Rising NYC designer Sandy Liang is a big reason why we’re even talking about fleece in a fashion context. Back in 2018, her signature fuzzy jackets—ostensibly designed for women—became a crossover hit among menswear aficionados thanks to its oversized fit, offbeat details like a neon lining and leopard print trim, and, as one GQ editor put it, its “extremely pettable” outer. Liang’s dropped a handful of tasty new fleece silhouettes every season since, including this impossibly rad baby blue rendition.
The Bang-For-Your-Buck Fleece Jacket
Uniqlo windproof fleece jacket
Can’t quite afford the Patagonia joint above? Head to Uniqlo. This, shall we say, homage to the Retro-X is nearly as good as the real thing, but costs a quarter of the price. The polyester fleece is sumptuous, fluffy, and fully windproof. It’s cut roomy enough to fit over your favorite hoodie, and comes in four subdued colors that’ll pair well with just about everything else in your closet. At this price, you can definitely afford to collect them all.
The Best Fleece Jacket for the Dead of Winter
The North Face sherpa Nuptse jacket
The North Face’s Nuptse jacket ranks among the handsomest, most iconic puffer jackets on the market. Now, they’ve gone and made the all-time classic even better, by decking the whole thing out in fuzzy fleece. Puffed and fluffed? It doesn’t get any cozier. If you’re looking for a big, bold fleece jacket that can stand up to the bone-chilling-est days of winter, this is the one. Pair it with some baggy cords and rugged winter boots, and you’ll stay toasty and stylish no matter the wind chill.
The True-Blue Grail Fleece Jacket
Kapital multi cow-intarsia fleece sweatshirt
Just about everything Kapital makes is rare and enticing, but in recent years, the label’s exquisite fleece jackets have arguably been their rarest, most enticing offerings of all. Each season, the Japanese denim masters turn ‘em out in an array of artful prints, like traditional damask and sashiko patterns. But for our money, the wildest and most desirable version is this oversized cow print, which’ll bring a welcome kooky energy to your weekend wardrobe.
The Heirloom-Grade Fleece Jacket
Manastash Mountain Gorilla fleece jacket
If you’re looking for a fleece jacket to pass on to your kids, this vintage-inspired joint from Japanese outdoors specialists Manastash is the way to go. The high-quality fleece is deep and dense, and it’s laden with abrasion-resistant ripstop panels for extra durability. Try it with some faded jeans and Birkenstocks, chinos and polished boots, or even over a sweatsuit and fuzzy shoes for some cabin vibes.
15 More Men’s Fleece Jackets We Love
Columbia Steens Mountain printed jacket
This’ll look killer over a pair of sweats and some toasty Ugg boots.
Patagonia lightweight Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover
In the Patagonia fleece canon, the Snap-T is just as—if not more—iconic than the Retro-X up top.
UO sherpa zip jacket
A jacket that says, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
Columbia Rugged Ridge sherpa shirt jacket
Try this midweight overshirt with a turtleneck, an alpaca beanie, and some succulent cords.
Gap sherpa fleece jacket
Some fleece jackets really shout. This one is more of a whisper.
Todd Snyder x L.L. Bean hi-pile sherpa snap front shirt jacket
With a thermal base layer and raw denim jeans, you’ll be ready to chop some wood in style.
Carhartt WIP “Prentis” liner
Abonimable Snowman, but make it fashion.
J.Crew Nordic sherpa-fleece full-zip jacket
A wild tartan fleece jacket is a the perfect way to prep up your winter fits.
NN07 Morten fleece jacket
Light wash jeans + good boots + this jacket = an infallible winter look.
Arc’teryx Covert cardigan
A svelter, lightweight fleece that packs in heat without any bulk. Perfect for the trail and great as a mid-layer beneath more substantial jackets.
JieDa Boa Monk jacket
The fleece jacket of choice for any Bond villain.
Universal Works wool fleece check zip liner jacket
A great liner jacket is the perfect pairing for your coziest hoodie.
Alex Mill brushed casentino wool popover
Real-deal wool fleece in a deep olive that’ll look ace with a flannel shirt peeking out underneath.
Stan Ray high pile fleece jacket
As vibrant and delicious as roasted purple yams.
Doublet sherpa fleece badge coat
The winter blues ain’t so bad.
More Best Stuff
30 Perfect Beanies to Keep You Snug and Stylish
The Best Socks for Every Situation, Style and Budget
The Best Blue Dress Shirts for Men Are the Workhorses of Your Office Wardrobe
Source by www.gq.com