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Jacket vs. Jumper: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 6, 2023
A jacket is an outer garment with sleeves, open in front, while a jumper is a sweater or a sleeveless dress intended to go over a blouse or shirt.

Key Differences

A jacket is typically an outer garment that covers the torso and arms, offering protection against cold, wind, or rain. It is often designed with a front opening secured with zippers or buttons. Jackets come in various styles and materials, suited for different climates and occasions.
A jumper, in American English, refers to a sleeveless dress worn over a shirt or blouse. In British English, however, a jumper is what Americans would call a sweater, an over-the-head garment made of knitted or crocheted material, designed to keep the upper body warm.
Jackets are versatile garments that can be both functional and fashionable. They range from casual denim jackets and leather biker jackets to formal blazers and suit jackets. A jacket may also have multiple pockets, a collar, and sometimes a hood, and is often worn as part of an outdoor outfit.
Jumpers, as sweaters, are considered a staple in casual wear, perfect for chilly days. They can be pullovers or cardigans and do not usually have an opening at the front. As sleeveless dresses, jumpers provide a comfortable, layered look and are often worn in professional or educational settings.
While both are worn over the upper body, jackets serve as a protective layer and are often removed indoors, whereas jumpers, especially when meant as sweaters, typically remain on as part of an outfit indoors. Their materials and constructions differ to suit their purposes.

Comparison Chart


Outer garment with sleeves, front opening.
Sleeveless dress (US) or knitted garment (UK).


Provides protection, warmth, and style.
Offers warmth, comfort, or style as a layer.


Leather, denim, cotton, synthetics, etc.
Wool, cotton, synthetic fibers, etc.


Usually has a front opening with fasteners.
Typically without front opening; pulled over.

Cultural Variance

Meaning consistent internationally.
Meaning differs between US and UK.

Jacket and Jumper Definitions


A garment for the upper body, typically having sleeves.
He grabbed his leather jacket before heading out.


A sleeveless dress to wear over a blouse.
She paired her green jumper with a white turtleneck.


A cover to protect the surface of something.
The thermal jacket keeps the coffee pot hot for hours.


A knitted garment typically with long sleeves.
He put on a woolly jumper as the evening grew colder.


A protective outer covering.
The book came with a colorful dust jacket.


A short length of wire used to complete a circuit.
The technician used a jumper to bypass the faulty switch.


A part of a suit, typically worn for formal occasions.
He wore a tailored jacket to the interview.


A person who jumps, as in sports.
The athlete was a skilled long jumper.


An insulating outer layer.
Her waterproof jacket was perfect for the rainy hike.


A loose-fitting sweater or top.
She lounged at home in a comfy, oversized jumper.


A short coat usually extending to the hips.


One that jumps.


The skin of a potato.


A type of coasting sled.


A wire or cable used temporarily to complete a circuit or to bypass a break in a circuit.


Are jackets weather-resistant?

Some jackets are designed to be weather-resistant.

Do jumpers have zippers?

It's uncommon for sweaters to have zippers, but some styles may feature them.

Is a jacket suitable for extreme cold?

Certain jackets, like down jackets, are suitable for extreme cold.

Can a jumper have a hood?

Yes, some jumper styles, like hooded sweaters, may have a hood.

Are jumpers only for women?

No, jumpers (sweaters) are worn by people of all genders.

Is a blazer a type of jacket?

Yes, a blazer is a more formal type of jacket.

Are jackets considered formal wear?

Some jackets, like blazers and suit jackets, are formal.

Can men wear dress jumpers?

Yes, the term is less commonly used for men's attire.

Can a jumper have buttons?

Some cardigan-style jumpers have buttons.

Can jackets have hoods?

Many jackets, like windbreakers and parkas, have hoods.

Do jackets come with insulation?

Many jackets, such as parkas, come with insulation for warmth.

Are leather jackets durable?

Yes, leather jackets are known for their durability.

Do jumpers provide enough warmth?

Wool and knit jumpers provide significant warmth.

Do jumpers shrink easily?

Wool jumpers can shrink if not cared for properly.

Can jackets be waterproof?

Many outdoor and rain jackets are waterproof.

Are jumpers in fashion?

Yes, jumpers remain a fashionable and timeless piece.

Do all jumpers need to be layered?

Not all; some are designed to be worn alone.

What materials are jackets made of?

Jackets can be made of leather, denim, polyester, and more.

Is a jumper the same as a pullover?

In the UK, yes; in the US, a jumper refers to something different.

How do you clean a jacket?

It depends on the material, but many require dry cleaning.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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