The Definitive Fall Outerwear Ranking

Once the temperature drops below 50 degrees, everyone’s wardrobe expands. Things that sat in your closet all summer come roaring back into play. It’s confusing to know what clothes to stack on top of other clothes. To help out, here’s our definitive ranking of fall outerwear.

11. Denim Jacket

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Denim jackets give you a rugged, down-home look without the warmth. If you drop a little extra coin for a lined version, you can’t really avoid looking like a douche. No one likes a douche in the winter—save that garbage for the summertime.

10. Down Jacket

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Down jackets are warm and comfy, but they’re full of baby goose feathers and occasionally lined with fox fur. In other words, they’re PETA’s worst enemy, perfect for wearing if you feel like being shamed for animal cruelty.

8. Shawl Collar Sweater

photo courtesy of Flickr user Loreak Mendian

A shawl collar is basically a scarf you can never separate from a sweater. It turns two perfectly fine garments into a neck sweat reservoir.

9. Pea Coat

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Pea coats are warm, classy coats for warm, classy people. And yet there’s something antiquated about them. Maybe it’s that fire blanket texture or the extra unnecessary row of buttons. Why make something double breasted when you’d have to lose half your bodyweight to make it work? That’s bad math.

7. Quarter/Half-Zip Sweater

Outerwear for cowards. The way I see it, you can live life one of two ways: a fraction of the way down your sweater or all the way open. Quarter and half zip sweaters are reserved for the meek and mild among us who can’t commit to full belly exposure. Then again, a full zip sweater is just a lazy man’s cardigan. Speaking of which…

6. Cardigan

I’d like to know the first person that looked at a perfectly good sweater and said, “cut that right down the center and sew some buttons on it.” A cardigan is pointless unless you’re Mr. Rogers or a 1950s high school athlete. If you’re planning on shoving someone in a locker or taking a trolley to the Neighborhood of Make Believe, go for it.

5. Turtleneck

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Demetri Martin once said that wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy all day long. This sums up everything the garment stands for—strangulation, discomfort and general weakness. You probably shouldn’t wear one unless you’re Michael Fassbender. Or if you decide to tuck it into your jeans and invent the iPod. Or both.

4. Thermals

The best thing thermals have going is that they’re reappropriated underwear. That means at some point in time some visionary was feeling snug in their long johns, looked in the mirror and walked outside. They didn’t even need to change for bed when they got home. Bonus point for its ability to serve as emergency graph paper.

3. Leather Jacket

photo courtesy of Flickr user Robert Sheie

Leather jackets look good enough to make up for the fact that you’re probably a jerk. But you’re a cool jerk, because you’re wearing a leather jacket. I mean, look at the way it accents your hair and eye color. And boy is it ever warm. The world is yours, and you owe it nothing in return, because you’re way too cool for it. You’re basically wearing a cow pelt, but who cares? Lame-os, that’s who.

2. Flannel

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The choice of lumberjacks, hipsters and dads everywhere. You really can’t go wrong with a flannel. Whether you’re spending the day with your family, roaming out in the woods or inside an L.L. Bean catalog, rest assured this garment will keep you warm and fill you with an odd sense of certainty. Pair with a beard and hot beverage in a mug for maximum effect.

1. Hoodie

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The hoodie is the one and true perfect article of clothing. Oh, your hands are cold? Slip ‘em in that belly pocket. Head a little chilly? This bad boy’s got a built-in noggin garage, complete with a drawstring in case you’ve had enough of the world around you. Hoodie season is bigger than Christmas in New York, and that’s because we know it’s the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive.