Everyone has a different approach to outerwear during fall and winter. Some stick to lightweight transitional pieces until it’s not physically possible anymore while others reach for the puffer jacket at the first sign of cold. We — on the other hand — are here to preach the gospel of layering.

Layering jackets is the way forward for all of us because it’s neither too little nor too much and allows for superior styling. But, to layer your outerwear you need a base jacket and that’s why we’re here. With the help of USC, we’ve rounded up the best layering jackets for winter.

The key to a good layering jacket is that it’s lightweight. A bulky base layer will leave you no room to experiment with other pieces. Soft-shell jackets and lightweight down layers are the real stars of the layering show and our selection features articles ranging from Napapijri to Jack Wolfskin which prove that layering jackets for winter come in all styles.

Shop the best layering jackets for winter below.

Barbour Karl Box Quilt Jacket

Karl Box Quilt Jacket

Karl Box Quilt Jacket

$105

Barbour

Buy at USC

A couple of aspects of the Karl Jacket make it a great candidate for layering. The lightweight quilting provides insulation without any bulk while the short body means that its length won’t interfere with any top layers you’re sporting.

Napapijri Acalmar Padded Jacket

Acalmar Padded Jacket

Acalmar Padded Jacket

$128

Napapijri

Buy at USC

Usually we say opt for something neutral as your base layer because it allows you to build on it like a blank canvas. That said, this vivid orange Napapijri jacket works too. As long as your top layers stay neutral, this piece will provide the punch.

Lacoste Padded Jacket

Padded Jacket

Padded Jacket

$330

Lacoste

Buy at USC

Originating in preppy sportswear, Lacoste’s offering has grown to include all aspects of contemporary style. This lightweight padded jacket is a dialed-down wardrobe essential.

Timberland Hybrid Fied Jacket

Hybrid Field Jacket

Hybrid Field Jacket

$128

Timberland

Buy at USC

While quilted insulation is one consideration, fleece offers similar warmth without any of the padding, freeing up room for another layer underneath when the mercury drops.

Jack Wolfskin Andean Jacket

Andean Jacket

Andean Jacket

$120

Jack Wolfskin

Buy at USC

If you’re on the hunt for utility, Jack Wolfskin’s Andean Jacket should be top of the list. Mastering the outdoors is the goal for Jack Wolfskin and this jacket is positioned perfectly to slot into the gorp trend.

Tommy Jeans Lightweight Bomber Jacket

Lightweight Bomber Jacket

Lightweight Bomber Jacket

$142

Tommy Jeans

Buy at USC

Tommy Jeans keeps things classic with its signature three-color palette. Red, white, and blue form the perfect base colors to build on.

New Balance Wind Breaker Jacket

Wind Breaker Jacket

Wind Breaker Jacket

$120

New Balance

Buy at USC

Not only does this sporty New Balance jacket fit easily under thicker shells, but its windproof build also makes it a valuable insulating layer, too.

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