How To Wear A Shacket

First there was the spork, then there was the iPhone, and now we have the shacket. Humanity’s innovative nature and the ability to combine two separate entities into one form never ceases to amaze me.

If you learn how to wear a shacket then you—yes, you, dear reader—can also learn how to amaze people with your cool-as-a-cucumber style, effortless flair, and pronounced comfiness

Thankfully, you came to the right place, because I’m going to teach you all about the history of the shacket, tell you some fashion do’s and don’t’s, and provide you with a few outfit ideas to get your brain juices flowing. 

Besides understanding how to wear a shacket, this article will also touch upon some ideas and concepts that you may find helpful if you’re looking for info on any of the following topics:

  • Shacket women’s styles
  • Men’s shacket options
  • Plaid shackets
  • Flannel shackets
  • Plus-size shackets
  • Sherpa shackets
  • Long shackets
  • Cropped shackets

What Is A Shacket?

How To Wear A Shacket

Are you interested in feeling your third eye prying itself open and witnessing the cosmos expanding right in front of you? If so, sit down for this one honey, because this news might knock you off of your feet.

A shacket is a shirt that’s also a jacket.

Okay, that might be obvious just by looking at the word. But it doesn’t explain what separates a shacket from either a shirt or a jacket. Shackets are defined by a few vague descriptors that I will go over next.

Basically, shackets are oversized shirts that were designed to be worn over other shirts.

This is what separates them from regular oversized and/or boxy fit shirts that seem to be everywhere these days. Shackets are layering pieces—earning them a distinct place in an outfit. 

They’re also usually made out of fabric with a bit more body and weight. This separates them from dress shirts and other button-up tops because they provide an additional bit of warmth.

Their texture is usually more interesting than a standard cotton dress shirt as well. This feature comes from their jacket nature.

Finally, as you’ll read about in this upcoming section on the history of the shacket, these garments are unisex.

Of course, there are some patterns that are more masculine or feminine than others, but shackets are designed with a bulky frame that complements traditional men’s styles and goes well with the recent shift towards ‘manly’ styles in women’s fashion.

History Of Shackets

How To Wear A Shacket

The shacket trend has been around for over a decade, though the term is a product of the 2010s. I called up fashion experts and linguistic professors, and they found that the term ‘shacket’ started gaining popularity around 2012 despite the fact that the garment’s lineage extends further back than that.

That’s obvious when you think about it. People have been wearing clothes that were too big for them for centuries—especially since it was easier for younger children to inherit oversized hand-me-downs than it was for parents to buy new clothes. 

Yet the specific origin of the shacket can be traced to the work and military apparel of the early 20th century. Tough jackets were worn by both military personnel and laborers to protect their bodies and their delicate clothing underneath. This was especially prevalent in France where workers wore stuffy indigo shirts over their casual clothes.

These shirts were dark blue because it was less expensive to print this color and it repelled dirt and stains more effectively than other hues. This design was copied by workers in other fields as a means to protect their clothes.

After World War II, the CPO jacket gained popularity among forward-thinking (and penny-pinching, if I’m being honest) folks who wanted an alternative to overcoats. Companies started jumping on the bandwagon and making their own variations. 

Pendleton was one of the first American companies to recognize the potential of the garment and released the ‘49er in 1949 (duh) for women. 

It’s hard to pinpoint what lead to them climbing up the fashion relevance totem pole in the 70+ years since then, but the shacket’s shape and broad definition attracted more fans.

There were no formal identifying traits to the item yet, but its casual style and durable fabric meant that it could last for years or even decades.

Fashion entered hyperspace in the 2000s and styles came and went at lightspeed. During this time period, old trends were recycled, which helped revive the ones that people enjoyed and discard the ones that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. 

Near the end of the aughts, the shacket stepped into the spotlight and its step away from the classy and fitted style of other garments earned it acclaim from people who wanted something easy to throw on.

All of that leads us to today when oversized clothes are back in style but we’re a bit smarter when it comes to styling them properly.

We’re long past the days of JNCO jeans and people understand that oversized doesn’t equate to ‘drowning in fabric.’

When To Wear A Shacket

How To Wear A Shacket

Due to their nature as jackets, it’s not a good idea to wear shackets in the summer. You can wear them when it gets cooler at night, but you’re going to be drowning in a bucket of sweat if you wear them during the day.

On the other hand, shackets are perfect for the spring and fall seasons when layers are abundant and the weather is unpredictable.

Let’s discuss the different occasions when it’s acceptable to wear a shacket. They’re the perfect ‘I can’t be bothered to tidy up’ item, so they’re great for running errands or for relaxed outings with your friends. You definitely wouldnt want to wear one to a business meeting though.

How To Wear A Shacket

How To Wear A Shacket

So now that you understand what shackets are, where they came from, and when to wear one, it’s time to figure out how to wear a shacket. I’ll be providing you with some concrete examples and breaking down why each of the outfits works.

From there, I’ll explain what to look for when you’re choosing a shacket and some of the different varieties you can acquire.

Why wait any longer, then; let’s dive right into the outfit ideas.

4 Outfit Ideas With A Shacket

How To Wear A Shacket

The first thing that should pop into your mind when thinking about how to wear a shacket is to keep your outfit as casual as possible. The ensemble I’ve chosen for this example is about as traditional as you can get. I included it because it’s endlessly versatile.

It’s the perfect casual shacket outfit. You can keep things simple by using the evergreen combination of a white t-shirt, white sneakers, and light-wash denim—a combo that looks good on anyone.

The flannel shacket is the centerpiece here even though it’s not screaming for attention. It goes along with the effortless vibe of the rest of the outfit. This is a staple fall fit that you can wear repeatedly because of how laid-back it is.

How To Wear A Shacket

Just because shackets are relaxed doesn’t mean they can’t flex a little bit. The best way to add some life to your shacket outfits is by picking one with a pop of color like the pink shacket in this example. 

While this model keeps the lowkey theme going throughout her ensemble, she also coordinates her accessories with the shacket. Her watch, bag, belt, and necklace all have gold pigments, and everyone knows that gold and pink are besties. 

And while I don’t usually mention make-up in my outfit guides, I have to comment on this model’s pink eyeshadow. It’s a subtle touch that pairs wonderfully with the pink shacket.

How To Wear A Shacket

Another popular way that people are figuring out how to wear a shacket is by choosing a cropped shacket.

That may sound like an oxymoron at first—how can a piece of clothing be both oversized and cropped? Listen, cowgirl, if we can put a man on the moon then we can figure out how to both shrink and enlarge our clothes.

If you want to wear a cropped shacket then you should follow in this model’s footsteps. She‘s wearing a shorter shirt underneath and high-waisted jeans to complement the length of the shacket. Keep in mind that a long shacket could also work with this outfit.

How To Wear A Shacket

Sherpa shackets are perfect for fall and winter weather, and this outfit is a prime example of how to make the garment work. It follows many of the ideas I’ve already laid out in this guide, namely:

  1. Pairing a white t-shirt and blue jeans
  2. Keeping your outfit simple
  3. Including some choice accessories

This type of shacket works great as a statement piece. Its texture and size are louder than regular shackets so you have a bit less leeway in terms of what you can wear with it.

That’s why it’s smart to pair it with more subtle pieces. If you do that then you can let the sherpa shacket speak for itself.

What Type Of Shacket Outfits Can You Get?

How To Wear A Shacket

Due to their history and association with workwear, shackets are commonly made from tougher materials.

That means that you can find shackets that are made from wool, corduroy, leather, fleece, and more. These are the materials that you’ll want to look into because they complement the piece’s laid-back nature so well.

There are even more options when it comes to designs.

You can find plain shackets, plaid shackets, denim jackets, and even some with more ornate designs. That’s great if you find that the typical workwear shackets aren’t cutting it for you. 

How To Choose The Best Shacket Outfit

How To Wear A Shacket

When you consider how many different types of shackets there are then you’ll realize that you’re a little spoiled. There are so many options to choose from at so many price ranges that you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that’s perfect for you.

However, there are a few things you should consider before you start shopping. This will help make the decision-making process as simple as possible.

First, consider your budget. Depending on which shacket manufacturer you’re looking at, you could end up paying anything from pennies to pounds of cash for a shacket.

It’s worth putting a fair bit of change into your shacket purchase so that you can buy one that’ll last you for years to come.

On the subject of longevity, the shacket’s fabric and material are of equal importance when you’re deciding between products. Most shackets are made from thicker materials but you want one that’s well stitched and tough. 

Think of it this way: all the wool in the world can’t keep you warm if it’s just a pile on the ground. With that logic, you want a shacket with a warm fabric that’s wellmade.

And how can you tell if a product is well-made? Check online. Look at customer reviews, scour Reddit to see what people are saying about it, and read product guides that others have written online.

You can use these resources to find out details about particular shackets that you can’t learn just from looking at them online.

How To Style A Shacket Outfit

How To Wear A Shacket

My main piece of advice about how to wear a shacket is to lean into its laid-back nature. They’re big and comfy, so why try and make them stuffy by dressing them up?

This means that comfy clothes are your friends when you want to wear a shacket. Break out your best pair of mom jeans, throw on an oversized t-shirt, and let your hair down (or tie it up if you didn’t prep it today, messy buns work great with shackets).

When it comes to footwear, you really cant go wrong with sneakers. Both chunky sneakers like Nike Air Force 1s and smaller pairs like Converse All-Stars go well with shackets.

And sneakers aren’t your only option for footwear. Boots and Derbys both pair seamlessly with shackets because they carry the ‘workwear vibe.’ You can even wear sandals if you want. The more relaxed the shoe, the more fun you can have.

Fashion Tips To Avoid With A Shacket 

How To Wear A Shacket

Regardless if you’re wearing a flannel shacket, a plaid shacket, or a sherpa shacket, there are some universal fashion sins’ that can ruin the look that you’re going for.

And you can’t know how to wear a shacket if you don’t know how to not wear a shacket. So, here are some simple things to avoid when plotting out your outfit for the day.

  • Don’t pair a shacket with formal clothes: Shackets are easy and breezy—not stuffy and orderly—so you don’t want to try to work them into a fancy outfit.
  • Don’t wear a bright undershirt: It’s hard to make bright undershirts work alongside shackets. If you do want to wear a colored bottom layer then I recommend choosing a muted color rather than neon.
  • Don’t ignore your accessories: This is an easy way to make your shacket outfit fall flat. They may not seem like much, but a ring, a watch, or even a hat can add so much personality to your outfit.
  • Don’t wear classy shoes with a shacket: That’s not to say that heels or platforms won’t work, but you shouldn’t bust out your stilettos when you’re wearing a shacket.
  • Don’t forget to experiment: It’s easy to fall back on the jeans and a t-shirt combo when you’re wearing a shacket, but that’s certainly not the only way to style them. Experiment with your creative side and try something new!

How To Take Care Of A Shacket 

How To Wear A Shacket

If you buy a good shacket then you can pretty much beat it up as much as you’d like. It’s more important to know how to wear a shacket than it is how to take care of it.

They’re made to be tough and oversized, so you don’t have to treat them like they’re a pair of linen pants. 

Best Places To Buy A Shacket 

How To Wear A Shacket

Now that you know how to wear a shacket, it’s time to start shopping. Shackets are so popular these days that you can find them at places like Walmart.

However, I’d advise against purchasing shackets from there when there are other companies that care more about their products.

Here are a few of my favorite retailers:

  • Everlane
  • Allsaints
  • Mango
  • Asos

Final Thoughts

How To Wear A Shacket

Everybody wants to look cool, and the key to that is looking like you’re not trying to look cool.

By that logic, shackets are one of the coolest items on the market. They’re so cool because they can’t be bothered to look cool. And science dictates then that if you wear a shacket, you’ll capture this essence too. 

If you want proof of that, then apply what you’ve learned in this ‘how to wear a shacket’ guide and find out for yourself.


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