As the temperatures continue to fall and autumn gives way to winter, it’s a great time to look at trends in jackets and coats. Providing multiple layers of promo gear is a smart strategy, especially for employee apparel programs, so here’s a handful of key trends to help guide clients looking to make an investment in branded outerwear:

  1. Shackets Continue To Shake Things Up

Shirt jackets – aka shackets – emerged as a trend a few years ago, and they just keep getting bigger.

“Shackets are huge,” says Hilary Barnes, a field sales manager for PCNA and 2022 Rising Star. “We’re definitely going to see a big push for shackets again this fall and this winter.”

These casual-but-tailored jackets are inspired by the more general popularity of workwear styles, and the lighter weight makes a shacket perfect for the transitions between seasons – or between a warm afternoon and a chilly air-conditioned office.

  1. Bomber And Varsity-Style Jackets Still On Target

Thanks to Top Gun: Maverick and runway models and celebrities sporting modern takes on the classic bomber silhouette, bomber jackets offer what Barnes calls “that vintage old-school style.” Kathy Cheng, founder and president of Canadian supplier Redwood Classics Apparel, adds that a bomber is both classic and fresh, making it a great cost-per-wear investment.

“It’s been one of the biggest trends for fall ’22,” Cheng says. “It’s a great, sporty style that layers well, and that’s going to follow us into the new year. Invest in it now and wear it for the next 12 to 18 months at least.”

  1. Go For Timeless And Tough With Leather Or Denim

For another take on classic American cool, try denim or leather (or pleather, aka vegan leather). No less an authority than Vogue has declared that both head-to-toe denim and the biker jacket are back, and that “denim-on-denim outfit combinations are endless.”

While the classic American jean jacket and leather motorcycle or biker jackets never really went away, this season’s high-fashion runways have been filled with more rugged, workwear-inspired styles, as well as colorful and fanciful takes. If your clients are going for a cool, rugged, Americana vibe, these are definitely styles to consider.

  1. Retail Name Brands Still In Demand

Promo apparel takes cues from retail style, and name brands still offer the cachet of perceived added value among recipients.

“Retail brands are really continuing to sell heavily,” says Barnes. “This was definitely a big trend that came up during the pandemic, but we’re finding that even with things returning to a bit more normalcy, people are still willing to pay a little bit more for a product that has higher perceived value.”

Millennials and Gen Z particularly appreciate apparel with a label they recognize, she adds.

“We’re finding more than ever that the retail brands resonate with them more than previous generations,” Barnes says. “There’s more of a want and a need for it, so we’re also finding that companies are looking for that even more than ever before.”

  1. Keep Things Interesting With Innovative Decoration

More subtle decoration is key for the coming year, whether it’s moving away from the left chest logo to a sleeve or a back yoke or using a tone-on-tone method. What’s more, you can do things with laser etching that you can’t do with embroidery. Laser etching can be particularly effective for waterproof shells, says Barnes, because unlike embroidery, it doesn’t penetrate the garment.

“Definitely for any waterproof jackets or anything like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer. It doesn’t penetrate the seam seal,” she says. “But we can also go over zippers and over seams with laser decoration, which is cool, too. If you want to do a wrap over your hip or even if you have a jacket and you want to do it across the seam across the chest, we can get a lot more creative with that as well.”

Check out these jackets for your next branded outerwear project:

  navy blue fabric bomber jacket

The Holloway Flight Bomber Jacket, made of ribbed polyester fabric, offers protection from the elements with a quilted storm flap and a taffeta lining for warmth. Classic style elements include a zippered pocket with pen holders on the sleeve, in addition to two front snap pockets and an inner zippered valuables pocket. Available in four colors (navy shown) and sizes XS-3X.

Augusta Sportswear Brands / PPAI 187246, S5 /

man wearing brown leather bomber jacket

For a leather option, consider this Buffed Bomber with a heavy-duty brass zipper, outside storm flap, inside breast pocket, two side pockets and two front cargo pockets with flap. The nylon lining features a printed map pattern for added aviator flair. Available in brown (shown) or black, sizes S-5X.

Nucom/Burk’s Bay / PPAI 110826, S5 /

woman wearing gray varsity letterman jacket with white sleeves and black cuffs

This gender-neutral Rideau Jacket in the classic varsity style is crafted in Canada with poly/cotton brushed fleece for ultimate comfort. Four-needle flat-lock stitching provides increased durability throughout, including the ribbed cuffs, neckband and waistband. Available in gray body with white sleeves (shown) or black body with gray sleeves, sizes XS-3X.

Redwood Classics Apparel / PPAI 696010, IS /

  man wearing dark khaki canvas shacket shirt jacket

Shackets abound, and the Boulder Shirt Jacket, available in men’s and women’s cuts, provides a versatile, rugged and modern shell with style. Made of 100% cotton canvas with plaid flannel lining for warmth, chest flap patch pockets for storage and snap-front closure. Available in gray, navy and taupe green (shown), sizes S-5X.

Vantage Apparel / PPAI 113235, S10 /

man wearing slim fit denim blue jean jacket

Go for another workwear-inspired classic with the Threadfast Apparel Unisex Denim Jacket in sizes XS-3X. Made of 99% combed ringspun cotton with 1% spandex for stretch and ease of movement, this unisex jean jacket also contributes to the “Plant with Threadfast” program to plant trees worldwide. The company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative to support more sustainable cotton farming.

alphabroder|Prime Line / PPAI 156993, S16 /

woman wearing black The North Face trench coat with hood

Brand names are still big sellers, like this The North Face Ladies City Trench Coat, designed to transition between polished and casual style. With a longer hem for added coverage, the jacket is waterproof, seam-sealed and windproof with a recycled polyester lining. Includes a stowable hood and adjustable side tabs at the waist for a more flattering fit. Black only, sizes S-2X.

SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 /

gray sherpa fleece full zip jacket

Fleece is always a winner for layering. Made from eco-friendly 30% recycled polyester sherpa fleece, the Kahuzi Eco Full Zip Sherpaavailable in men’s and women’s cuts, is an ultra-soft and cozy jacket for everyday comfort. Contrast details on the outer collar, zipper piping and welt pockets add flair. Available in gray (shown), khaki or black and sizes S-3X.

PCNA / PPAI 113079, S15 /