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Lined vs Unlined Jackets – Should A Jacket Have A Lining & Which Is Best

Fashion, Men's Style Guides
Monday, 11th November, 2019

lined vs unlined jackets - should a jacket have a lining

Have you wondered which is better, a lined jacket or an unlined jacket?

In fact, what is a lining and should all jackets have a lining?

If you’ve ever wondered about jackets and their lining, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Here I’ll talk a little bit about the lining of jackets, and share some basic and essential information when it comes to the inner of a jacket you own, or are looking to buy.

What Is Jacket Lining?

If you’ve ever shopped online and read a description of a smart jacket, you’ll often read that it’s lined, or unlined. But what does that actually mean?

It’s not hard to know that it has some kind of lining, but what does it actually mean?

A lined jacket has two layers of fabric. This is the outer layer, which you see on the outside and feel, and is the DNA of the jacket. A lining is the second layer of fabric, which is stitched to the outer.

This is typically a polyester viscose and rayon material, which are synthetic, and used in a wide range of jackets. Other materials which could be used are silk, cotton and satin.

Which Kind Of Jackets Have Lining?

When you’re looking for a jacket, you’re likely to encounter the lined vs unlined question in smarter, or formal wear. This is not just in suits, blazers and sports jackets, but also in smarter winter coats too.

Overcoats and pea coats will also come in lined and unlined options.

You can learn which is best of all these below.

Different Types Of Lined Jackets

There’s a couple of different types of lined jackets. They are quite self explanatory, and they are:

  • Fully Lined – The whole jacket is lined, the back, side sections and sleeves.
  • Half Lined – Most of the jacket will be lined, apart from the bottom section of the jacket.
  • Part Lined – Small parts, such as the shoulders or sleeves sections will be lined.

Which is better – Lined Vs Unlined Jackets

There is a small debate around which jacket is better, lined vs unlined. The answer is not quite straightforward, as both types have their advantages.

Let’s look at each one.

The Interior construction of a lined jacket

My 100% wool suit jacket from Jaeger. It has a full lining.

Advantages Of A Jacket Lining

The most obvious is that there’s an extra layer, which adds some protection to the jacket. If the worst happens, and there’s an additional layer of protection.

If the lining is damaged in some way, it can be fixed without needing to fix the exterior of the jacket.

They are more durable.

As you can see in the example above, the lining is black, stitched to the rest of the jacket which is grey.

Another big benefit is the warmth. A lining provides an extra layer of warmth, and while it may appear to not be very much, it does provide a noticeable difference.

The added weight which the lining provides can also be a plus factor, which can give the jacket a more substantial feel, and even possibly a better fit.

The added warmth and weight can actually be turned into disadvantages, depending on whether or not you need this additional warmth and weight (as you may not in the hotter months).

The interior construction of an unlined jacket

This is my unlined linen jacket. It is actually part lined, with the sleeves and shoulders having partial lining.

Advantages Of An Unlined Jacket

An unlined jacket only has one layer, so it will be cooler. This is something to consider when buying a jacket in the summer months.

You may think a blazer or jacket is too much in the heat, however I can say that my unlined linen jacket keeps me fairly cool in the British summers.

It will also be lighter in weight, another good plus point if you’re picking out a jacket for summer.

As you can see in the example above, the interior of the unlined jacket is the same material as the external. There’s no lining, it’s one piece of fabric.

If you pay very close attention to this particular jacket, you’ll see that it actually is partly lined, if you look at the very top – However this is very minimal.

The main body construction is one layer of fabric, and unlined.

They say that a good unlined jacket will be finished better than a lined one, as they are more complex to create.

This is because the interior of a lined jacket has the lining which can hide any imperfections, whereas an unlined jacket is exposed, and has to be done with skill and perfection.

Types Of Jackets Which Are Lined Or Unlined

The lined vs unlined jacket is not only limited to suits and blazers, but also smart winter coats too. You’ll see unlined and lined variants for smart jackets such as pea coats and over coats too.

For the reasons given above, it’s probably better to go for a lined option when you’re looking to get a pea coat or overcoat for the Winter. It will be a more durable option, feel nicer, be warmer and should have a bit of additional weight to it.

Related Reading: Learn the difference between a Blazer, Suit Jacket and Sports Jacket.


And that’s everything you need to know about lined vs unlined jackets. Both are acceptable, and it comes down to personal choice, as well as occasion for picking out which style of interior you’re looking for in a jacket.

For a light summer blazer or suit jacket, you may want to go for unlined. When it comes to other situations, you may want to opt for lined.

If you like this feel free to read the men’s style guide which has a lot more information on how to dress as a modern man today.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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