With options available in every style, shape, size, and color possible, picking the correct type of jacket for your child can be an overwhelming task these days. This article has been written with you and your child’s seasonal needs in mind to make sure you get the job done quickly, efficiently, and in-budget.
From denim jackets to puffer jackets and from windbreakers to parkas, there are many different types of jackets for kids. Certain jackets are designed to be worn in rainy, windy, and even snowy conditions, while others are specifically designed for wearing on warm summer days.
In a nutshell: modern-day kids are spoilt for choice when it comes to all of the different types of jackets available on the market. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the nine most popular types of jackets for kids.
The Different Types of Children’s Jackets
Since you’re reading this article, you no doubt know all too well that there are many different types of jackets for kids out there. The sheer abundance of options can make picking the right one for your child quite an arduous undertaking.
There are so many different types of jackets available to grown men and women. But not all of them – think leather jackets, blazers, and bed jackets – are appropriate for children.
Kids, while they don’t have quite as many options as their parents, have a decent array of jacket options at their disposal. Here are the nine most popular types of jackets for kids that we will be covering in detail in today’s article.
|Summer and spring
|Fall, spring, and early winter
1. Rain Jacket
As the name suggests, rain jackets are jackets that are designed to be worn while it’s raining. Rain jackets, also known as raincoats or Mackintosh jackets, are staples in children’s wardrobes and have been since their invention back in 1824.
Rain jackets have come a very long way since Charles Macintosh patented them. But the premise remains the same: keep the wearer dry from the rain. High-tech materials like nylon, quilted fabric, blended cotton, Tyvek, or Gore-Tex are used to make modern-day rain jackets.
You get rain jackets in several different styles and colors, but red and yellow are the most popular colors by far. These colors, and any other bright color, are great for kids as they enhance their visibility and make them stand out on gray days, a wonderfully unexpected bonus safety feature.
Here are some standard features of rain jackets:
- Brightly colored
- Waist-length or longer
- Breathable material
Rain jackets are ideal for usage in rainy weather all year round, regardless of the season. They’re an excellent option for typical summer, spring, and autumn weather. They also work exceptionally well in the early evenings.
In saying the above, rain jackets aren’t an appropriate choice for winter as they don’t have much insulation properties.
2. Puffer Jacket
Puffer jackets, also known as down jackets, are quilted coats stuffed with feathers from geese or ducks that are known for their incredibly high level of insulation.
These iconic jackets were designed in 1936 by an American adventurer called Eddie Bauer after he almost died of hypothermia on an ill-fated fishing trip. Construction-wise not much has changed since then except that a vegan version of the coat – made with plant matter or polyester – is available.
Puffer jackets are available in lots of styles and colors, ranging from pretty pastels to muted metallics. These days they’re also available in different lengths, but there’s nothing quite as cute and comical as seeing a child waddling along in a more traditional long-length puffer jacket!
A puffer jacket will generally be:
- Zippered instead of buttoned
Puffer jackets are perfect for deep winter and are ideal for usage in snowy or outdoor environments.
Puffer jackets are only appropriate for seriously cold conditions, and your little one will sweat if they wear this jacket in weather that is considered too warm. On top of this, puffer jackets aren’t flexible at all, and they – especially the longer ones – limit movement, so they’re not a good option for very busy children.
3. Fleece Jackets
Fleece jackets are casual jackets that are known for being lightweight and comfortable. They were invented back in 1979 in Massachusetts when the Synchilla (synthetic chinchilla) material came to be, and there’s a reason why it remains a popular jacket choice to this day.
Though they were made with Synchilla for decades, modern-day fleece jackets are made from polyester synthetic wool. This material is exceptionally easy to dye, and as a result, fleece jackets are available in every color you can imagine.
Fleece jackets are usually:
- Brightly colored
Due to the superior thermal insulation that polyester synthetic wool has, fleece jackets are an excellent option for early winter or frigid summer evenings. And because of their casual, uncomplicated, and comfortable nature, fleece jackets are one of the best jacket options for younger children.
Fleece jackets aren’t suitable for warm weather as the wearer will find themselves feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.
4. Denim Jacket
Denim jackets, also known as jean jackets or trucker jackets, are jackets that are constructed from denim. Now an American fashion icon, when denim jackets were invented by Levi Strauss in 1880, they were reserved for cowboys, miners, and laborers.
Other than the actual way in which they’re made, there’s not much difference between the denim jackets of yesterday and those of today. All denim jackets are made with denim, a sturdy cotton fabric.
Denim jackets are traditionally blue in color, but you can also get white and purple denim jackets which kids seem to love. These jackets are available in all kinds of styles ranging from bedazzled to distressed and raw to bleached.
The typical features of denim jackets include:
- Buttons instead of zippers
- Blue in color
Because they’re light and breathable, denim jackets are ideal for wearing during spring and summer. Though they’re not appropriate for winter weather, practically speaking, they can be worn all year round as a fashion statement.
Denim jackets are not a good choice for cold weather as they’re not water-resistant at all and aren’t very insulated. While you can get special denim jackets that are fur-lined or very thick, they’re not easy to find.
5. Teddy Jacket
If your child is on TikTok or Instagram, they’ll know just what a teddy bear jacket is. Teddy bear jackets, also known as Borg jackets, were first introduced in the 1920s to keep motorists warm but have become fashionable again in recent years since they were spotted on a 2013 MaxMara runway.
As the name suggests, teddy bear jackets are made from soft materials that wouldn’t feel out of place on a teddy bear. Back in the day, this meant alpaca fur, mohair, faux fur, or pile. And it’s pretty much the same nowadays.
These jackets are available in typical teddy bear colors like camel, beige, wheat, tan, russet, sienna, taupe, and ivory. You can get teddy bear jackets in other colors, but even then, they’re likely to be muted, neutral, or pastel.
Typical features of teddy bear jackets include:
- Fuzzy or fluffy
- Full collar
- Deep oversized pockets
- Drooped or unstructured shoulders
- Thigh-length or longer
Teddy bear jackets are great for fall, dry winter weather, or frigid spring mornings. They’re also fantastic for lounging around at home on chilly nights – your child will be the snuggest version of themself that has ever existed!
As you can probably imagine, teddy bear jackets aren’t ideal for wet or windy conditions as they aren’t weatherproof at all. In addition, they’re not an appropriate choice for summer or warm days alike as they’re just too warm and fuzzy.
6. Parka Jacket
A parka, also known as an anorak depending on where in the world you are, is a type of hooded jacket best suited for freezing weather and icy winds. This is unsurprising since it was invented by the Caribou Inuit people way back when.
Back in the day, Parkas were made from animal skins and body parts such as the intestine. Thankfully that is no longer the case as these days they’re made from typical materials such as nylon, cotton, or wool and treated with water-repellent coating.
While the fur trim is almost always a ‘traditional’ fur color reminiscent of the color of fur from a bearded seal, fox, bear, or coyote. Parkas are available in all kinds of colors, but deep olive greens and bold navy blues seem to be the most popular pick.
Parkas typically have the following features:
- Lined with fur or faux fur trimming
- Hip-length or longer
- Boasts high level of insulation
- Water-resistant or waterproof
Parka jackets are literally designed to withstand Arctic conditions, so they make for incredible winter jackets for kids who live in very cold areas. In addition, they’re a fantastic option for children who participate in winter sports such as skiing, ice skating, or sledding.
In warmer climates, parkas are simply considered overkill, and a simple puffer jacket will suffice.
7. Bomber Jacket
Bomber jackets, also known as flight jackets, are a style of jacket that have militant origins. Initially designed in the 1930s to keep World War I pilots warm while they were in their cockpits, bomber jackets are iconic all over the world.
Back then, bomber jackets had thick fur collars and were made from sealskin, horsehide, sheepskin, or goatskin. Nowadays, bomber jackets can be made from nylon and polyester blends, polyester, wool, suede, and leather.
Depending on the materials used to construct the bomber jackets, they can be waterproof and weatherproof. These jackets generally come in green, blue, black, tan, or khaki and can be worn with both casual and formal outfits.
There are many different types of bomber jackets, including:
- A1 and A2 Bomber Jackets
- B3, B6, B7, B10, and B15 Flight Jackets
- M422 and M422A Jackets
- G1 Jackets
- MA1 and MA2 Bomber Jackets
- Irvin Flying Jackets
Typical features of bomber jackets include the following:
- Ribbed cuffs and hem
- A well-defined neckline
- Waist-length or shorter
- Extra pockets
Since a bomber is more of a style and not so much a type of jacket, the information on when and when not to wear one is dependent on the materials used. However, since bomber jackets are hardly ever hooded, they’re not a good option for harsh weather.
8. Track Jacket
Track jackets are lightweight jackets that are typically worn on – you guessed it – the running track. Once upon a time, from the 1930s onwards, track jackets were merely the top half of a tracksuit. But nowadays they are bought and worn separately.
Track jackets can be made from many different materials, depending on the sport that they’re designed for. In most instances, track jackets are made from polyester or fleece. These jackets come in many different colors, but the design always remains simple.
A track jacket will always be:
- Hip-length or shorter
Track jackets are great for summer and warm weather conditions as they’re lightweight and breathable. Since they’re great for layering, it’s also a decent option for cold spring days and early winter weather. Finally, they’re great to wear while exercising, which makes them a great all-rounder jacket.
Unless you properly layer it, track jackets are inappropriate for cold weather. In addition, track jackets are almost exclusively worn in informal settings, so you’re little one may not feel comfortable wearing them to ‘fancy’ places like restaurants or the cinema.
Windbreakers are thin, lightweight jackets that are designed to protect the wearer from cold or strong winds. Though they’ve been around in some shape or form for quite some time, these jackets were officially introduced to the market in the late 1940s.
Windbreakers are usually made of nylon, polyester, micro-polyester, or tricot materials.
If a windbreaker has a hood, it’s guaranteed to be the stowable or removable kind.
While windbreakers are available in many different colors, if your child is going to be wearing one outdoors, it’s a good idea to get a brightly colored or reflective windbreaker.
Windbreakers generally have:
- Elastic waistbands
- Elastic cuffs
- Stowable or removable hoods
- Hip-length or shorter
Windbreakers are a top choice for warmer seasons and the very beginning of winter. They’re a clever choice for children who spend lots of time outdoors and those who participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and jogging.
In terms of insulation, windbreakers don’t offer much. It’s generally recommended to only wear windbreakers when the conditions are windy and the temperature is between fifty to sixty degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Picking a Jacket for Your Kid
Once you have a basic understanding of the different kinds of jackets, picking the right one for your kid is as easy as pie. But there are still a handful of factors to keep in mind before clicking that “Add to Cart” button.
The most important of these factors include:
Gone are the days when jackets were available in limited color and style options. Brown or black, wool or leather, anyone? This is good news because the days of children not caring about style and fashion are gone too!
Many kids are style-conscious and won’t feel comfortable wearing a jacket that is frumpy, outdated, dowdy, or simply not trendy. You should get your child a jacket that is not just stylish now but will be next season too.
A surefire way to pick a jacket that your child likes and will feel comfortable and confident wearing is simple: let them pick it themselves! You can lay down some ground rules in terms of budget, color, design, and the type of jacket, but let them pick an option or two that they find most stylish.
Alternatively, swap the above around and select three or four different options that meet your criteria. Present these options to your child and let them choose the one that they like best.
Color is another crucial factor to keep in mind when picking a children’s jacket. While specific jackets traditionally come in certain colors, most are available in every color under the sun.
When picking a jacket for your little one, keep the following color guidelines in mind:
- Classic colors: Opting for a jacket in a classic color like black, gray, olive green, or burgundy is a smart move. This is because these colors do not go out of fashion. In addition, these colors are easy to style as they typically work well with most – if not all – other colors.
- Bright colors: Though difficult to style, brightly colored jackets are fun, bold, and playful, but they’re also a great security measure. This is because your child will be easily identifiable when wearing one. This is especially true when it comes to weather conditions that are dark, gray, and gloomy.
- Pastel colors: Jackets that come in pastel colors like baby pink, duck egg blue, or Crayola yellow are very stylish, but they’re also very impractical. Jackets in such colors are often a mission to style and are a bit of a nightmare to keep clean.
- Dark colors: Dark colors work well for jackets because they’re easy to style, and keeping them clean is easy. The only downside to dark-colored jackets is that they can get lost on gloomy days, and keeping an eye on your child as they play is made difficult.
It’s imperative to keep the season in mind when shopping for a children’s jacket. This is because a light summer jacket will be rendered useless in winter, and a big bulky winter coat won’t see the light of day in summer.
It is recommended that you have a minimum of two jackets for your child, one for summer and one for winter. If you genuinely cannot get two jackets, opt for a summer jacket or a year-round one instead of a winter one.
You can warm up a summer jacket with accessories like scarves and gloves and apply clever layering to make it more appropriate for usage in colder weather. In addition, you can generally wear summer jackets in spring and fall as well. But you can’t make a winter jacket any less warm.
Unfortunately, a children’s jacket will not last a lifetime like a grown-up’s jacket should. But it should still last them a good couple of years. When it’s time to donate it or pack it away for future children, it will be because they’ve outgrown their jacket and not because it broke or got too worn to wear.
A jacket for your child is an investment, so you should put a pretty penny towards getting them a jacket that will last. The cost of the jacket depends on the type of jacket you pick. A standard fleece jacket can cost just a handful of dollars, whereas a down jacket will set you back anything from $20 to $100.
As you can tell from today’s article, there are loads of different types of jackets for kids that parents should be aware of. While it’s great to have variety, in the interest of wardrobe space and money, all your kid really needs is a jacket for winter and one for summer.
Wikipedia: Jean jacket
The Highest Fashion: What is a Windbreaker Jacket – All You Need to Know About Windbreakers
Wikipedia: Down jacket
Wikipedia: Fleece jacket
The Jacket Maker: What Is A Bomber Jacket?
Wikipedia: Flight jacket
Town & Country Magazine: 21 Cozy and Chic Teddy Bear Coats to Shop For Fall
The New York Times: That Cuddly Teddy Bear Coat Is a Monster