Jackets for women come in very many different forms and designs. Some are perfectly functional items of female clothing, perhaps to keep the wind or rain out, but others are high fashion items which are worn with all sorts of other women's clothing. Womens jackets could, for example, be designed to coordinate with a matching pair of trousers, perhaps for a serious business suit. There again, a jacket might be styled to slip over the top of a dress and worn as part of a formal evening outfit. Because of the wide variety of women's jackets available on the market today, it is probably best to split them down into their two main categories: over jackets, designed for being worn outside, and women's jackets designed for fashion.
Many fashionable women's jackets are the equivalent of the male blazer in that they stand alone as an item of clothing, but jackets sold as part of a two piece suit are easy to find, too. They can be worn over blouses, shirts, dresses and even T-shirts whilst creating a slightly more formal look. In terms of their design, they tend to be of one predominant colour, but it is perfectly possible to find multi-coloured women's jackets and even ultra feminine floral designs. Fashionable women's jackets tend to be suited to both business wear and evening wear, however, so tend not to have overly busy patterns.
In terms of their cut, women's jackets are that bit smaller than men's but this is not the only difference. Firstly, jackets designed for women tend to flare out more dramatically at the hips, often accentuating the waist of the wearer. Therefore, they will often button up with just one or two buttons at the midriff, rather than across the chest as many men's ones do. Furthermore, women's jackets often sport less dramatic shoulder pads for a more feminine look. Some are designed to be done up but other, less formal women's jackets have no buttons at all and are supposed to remain permanently open at the front. At the sleeves, women's jackets often end in a cuff, but these can frequently be positioned higher up the arm than the wrist. Cuffs will usually have buttons, but these are just for show and rarely perform any function at all. Finally, a fashionable women's jacket will often have lapels which extend from the neck line down the front. Sometimes these fold over, doubling the fabric up, but in other cases womens jackets have lapels that are little more than a bit of piping which creates an elegant finish.
Like fashion jackets, outdoor ones are fairly conventional in their overall design, with a front opening and two sleeves. Whereas a coat might extend past the waist, jackets rarely do. At the front, the fastening of a women's jacket could be a zip, buttons or Velcro. This last material tends to be used to cover a zip, especially when the jacket's waterproof qualities are being considered. It is sometimes found at the cuff of a jacket, as well. Although most women's jackets do not have hoods, many rainproof ones have them concealed in the collar and they can be deployed at a moment's notice, when needed.
Women's jackets that are designed for outdoor use are not just limited to weatherproof ones. Some are designed to be worn outside but not in bad weather, such as the much-loved denim jacket which is available in women's sizes and in just about every colour that you might imagine, from pure white, to pink, red and blue. Leather jackets which are manufactured for women are also popular and usually dyed in either black or brown tones. Although female biker jackets offer protection from some rain and wind, more care is needed to look after suede women's jackets when out of doors.
Lighter than a coat, women's jackets are usually sported in the spring and summer months and are often conveniently put together so that they fold up neatly and can be put into a bag when not in use. Most external jackets for women are shower proof and will stand up to the occasional bit of rain. However, many are now fully waterproof and can handle the heaviest of downpours, as a result. These sorts of women's jackets are often marketed for a specific purpose, such as sailing or hiking, for example. However, waterproof cagoules, which are fairly unisex in their overall design, are often marketed specifically for female customers, by the use of pastel tones or small detailing to make them that little bit more attractive.