Men’s Windbreaker Jackets: Everything You Need to Know
Chances are you own a windbreaker and if not then you have at least seen one. The windbreaker jacket is one of the most versatile and fashionable jackets on the market today due to its ability to keep us warm in cold weather. These jackets are a short and close-fitting garment sometimes with a hood that are created with high quality fabrics used to give our bodies protection from the wind. Windbreakers are lightweight and are a great fashion choice to add to any casual look!
Where Did Windbreakers Come From?
Windbreakers really started to become popular in the 1970s however if you look far enough you can find these jackets appearing as far as 500 years ago. Windbreakers actually come from parkas which were first created by Inuit’s due to frigid conditions. At this time, the parka was made of two animal skins; seal and caribou.
The Inuit’s fashioned the two skins together with the skin facing outward and the hair side facing inward. By doing this, they were able to trap the warm air inside the jacket which was also weatherproofed due to the seal skin! This was the beginning of one of the most popular jackets on the market today; the windbreaker! In the 20th century, these waterproof insulating jackets were picked up by western polar explorers. They modified the jacket which then entered into the sports wardrobe market.
After World War II and advancements of society, nylon replaced the animal skins and the development of waterproof fabrics led to the production of thinner jackets. During the 1970’s, these jackets really grew in popularity for men reaching to look fashionable, but also wear something functionable.
Today, windbreakers are typically made from nylon, polycotton, or different cotton mixes. These fabrics are usually treated with a waterproofing finish to withstand the rain.
Why do I Need a Windbreaker Jacket?
Whether there is a subtle drop in temperature or a chilling breeze, convective heat loss is greatly increased when there is movement in the air. A windbreaker jacket provides a barrier to slow this heat loss keeping you warm at all times.
What is the Difference Between a Windbreaker and a Rain Jacket?
Windbreakers: Windbreakers are made of breathable nylon and are wind and rain resistant. Their construction makes them lighter in weight and more compact. They are also relatively cheap compared to rain, hard shell and insulated jackets. A windbreaker is usually a close-fitting outer jacket that sits at your hips with an elasticized wrist and waistband. Windbreakers can be worn at any time however many people find them useful when camping, biking, hunting or during any outdoor activity typically in the fall season.
Rain Jackets: Rain Jackets are usually waist length and made with a durable water-resistant coating (DWR) making these jackets water resistant. They tend to be bulkier, less breathable and more expensive than other types of jackets due to having a combination of two or more materials such as cotton, polyester, wool, nylon and or vinyl. These jackets have a multi-layer construction that enables them to be more resistant to water than a windbreaker. Rain jackets are commonly used outdoors in bad weather conditions.
Windbreaker Versus Anorak?
These two types of jackets are commonly mistaken for one another, but the fact is they are very different. We've discussed windbreakers and will continue to do so, but it's important to know how an anorak is different. anorak jacket is essentially a water-resistant hoodie with a full zip and buttons to close off the full zip.
6 Types of Windbreakers
We all know there are a million different types of jackets out there. There are fleece jackets, bomber jackets, sweatshirts and more. However, the great thing about windbreakers is there is a style for everyone making it a must-have for everyone's wardrobe. New arrivals are constantly making their way into stores and best sellers are always evolving. Who wouldn't want a water and wind-resistant, lightweight jacket ready to grab and go. Windbreakers come in different styles such as a pull over, half-zip, hooded windbreaker and more. Here are 6 types of windbreakers you need to know about.
Insulated windbreakers- Insulated windbreakers have a fleece or cotton liner making them much warmer than other jackets. The liner is designed to increase the resistance to bad weather and the nylon helps to wick away rain from the body to help it breathe better. Insulated windbreakers will cause you to warm up much more quickly, so it is a good jacket to grab in cooler weather.
Water Resistant Windbreakers- To make a windbreaker water resistant, manufacturers apply a DWR coating to the outside of all jackets making it a waterproof jacket. This means when rain falls down onto your windbreaker, it will bead up and fall off the fabric keeping you dry! The only issue with DWR coatings is that over time the effectiveness tends to wear off. Water resistant windbreakers are best used in environments with rainy weather.
Single Layer Nylon- Single layer nylon is the most popular type of windbreaker on the market today. This simply means the jacket is made from one piece of thin, nylon fabric. These jackets are best for all year use but can usually be found best for warmer seasons. Many people reach for this jacket when they are doing outdoor activities like running or biking.
Outer Shell jackets- Outer shell jackets act more like rain jackets but are lighter in weight. They tend to fit a little larger allowing enough room to wear layers. Although similar to the look and feel of a rain jacket, they are not water resistant. Many people will opt for this jacket when it is chilly outside, and they are looking to bundle up with many layers to keep warm.
Polyester Windbreakers- Polyester windbreakers are slightly heavier in weight than its nylon counterpart causing them to be a tad bulkier. Due to the material, these jackets are softer and tend to be much quieter when you move compared to nylon. Polyester serves as a barrier for almost all-weather conditions making it an excellent choice when wanting to keep warm and stay dry.
Tricot Windbreakers- Tricot windbreakers are the heaviest in weight when it comes to windbreakers. Tricot is extremely soft to the touch making them extremely comfortable to wear and comes with a slight shine from the fabric. These jackets do not withstand water well compared to other fabrics but will definitely keep you warm! Due to the heavy weight of tricot, windbreakers made from this material are best to be worn in areas with colder weather conditions.
How to Wear Your Windbreaker
So, you just bought a new windbreaker with the gift cards you had and now aren't sure how to wear it. We can help! Windbreakers are versatile no matter if the brand is The North Face, Adidas or Nike or whether it's a colorblock windbreaker or a camo. There's no secret that these sportswear jackets can be worn in many different ways.
Try pairing your windbreaker with a good pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Keep it casual with some sneakers or a pair of loafers. Or you can always just stick to the basics and wear your windbreaker over your activewear. This makes it perfect for the athleisure trends we've been seeing all over the fashion world.
Windbreakers have been a staple in the fashion industry dating back to many centuries ago. Due to its versatile uses in keeping the cold out and leaving the warmth in, windbreakers are a must for anyone's wardrobe! We suggest you try on different types of windbreakers to find which one is best for you.
You should also consider where you will be wearing it as that will make a difference in your choice as well. If you live in a colder environment, you may want to opt for an insulated windbreaker. If you live in a warmer environment, you should try a single layer nylon windbreaker. While buying your windbreaker, you should also consider the features that the jacket offers and what is more important to you.
For example, some windbreakers have an adjustable hood where others do not. Some jackets offer greater protection against the rain with DWR where others do not. Whatever you decide to purchase, we know that you will absolutely love your windbreaker due to its fashionable sleek look and versatility that can be worn year-round.