What is A Bolero Jacket? And the Types of Bolero Jackets.

Have you ever visited a wedding and noticed the bride wearing a simple yet elegant short jacket that pairs wonderfully with her dress and wondered what sort of jacket this is? It is a Bolero jacket. These short-shrug jackets are standard for women and can go with almost any outfit. Bolero jackets are versatile and can be worn in many ways, as there are different types. In this article, we will discuss these jackets further. 

What is a Bolero Jacket, Exactly? 

Bolero jackets are short-cropped jackets with long or medium-length sleeves. Bolero jackets are made of various kinds of fabrics and in different styles. They are used to dressing up or down any form of outfit. Usually, bolero jackets are light and have an open front.

Bolero Jacket

Many of them fasten up at the front with a short zipper or buttons, or some styles also have long fabric pieces which can be tied. These jackets have been around for quite some time, but it is most common in the western side of the world. From formal attire and eveningwear to pairing it with t-shirts, bolero jackets can pull off any look when styled nicely. 

What is a Bolero Jacket Made of? 

Bolero jackets are versatile and made up of various garment materials. There are different types of them to pair up with various kinds of clothing, so the material also varies. Usually, bolero jackets are made of velvet, silk or satin and have been designed, as brides mostly wear them to match their gowns.

Bolero Jacket

Fur or lace are excellent fabrics for bolero jackets as they give them an elegant touch. Some of these jackets are also made of denim and chiffon, perfect for pairing with t-shirts, jeans and short casual dresses. Whichever the material is, bolero jackets are always lightweight and comfortable to wear. 

History of Bolero Jackets. 

Bolero Jackets were invented in 1850 to 1860s for the Torero in the bullfighting arena as he needed a lightweight jacket which would not hinder him during the show. Then, the society ladies observed that it was a convenient piece of clothing with a great fashion sense and took over.

History of Bolero Jackets

In the 20th century, the bolero appeared again to be paired perfectly with swinging petticoats and light summer dresses. Then in the 1980s, Yves Saint Laurent designed bolero jackets, but they quickly went out of fashion. Again, in the early 2000s, it made a comeback to secure a permanent place for being an item of versatile clothing in the women's fashion industry. 

The Different Types of Bolero Jackets 

Bolero Jackets come in different forms and can be styled in many ways and with different outfits. Let us take a look at the various types of Bolero jackets that exist. 

The Different Types of Bolero Jackets 

  1. Contrasting Bolero Jackets – These jackets contrast with the base fabric of the dress and are primarily for ethnic wear. Contrasting printed jackets with longline suits or maxi dresses are in style now. The jackets can be sleeveless, have full sleeves or have 3/4th sleeves. 
  2. Reversible Bolero Jacket – Reversible jackets usually wear both sides, and the designs differ. It is like having a jacket in two different styles, and you can fashion it any way you want. 
  3. Cropped Bolero Jacket – Pairing these jackets with a slip or tube dress will give you an elegant look. The jackets come in short, long or puffed sleeves and give you a sleek look. 
  4. Vest-style Bolero Jacket – Jackets that look like vests can be worn as a shrug, vest or jacket. They usually have patterns and look best when worn with plain or simple clothing. 
  5. Embellished Bolero Jacket – Wearing bolero to parties? These are the perfect option. The fabric is embellished and has heavyweight work all over it. Wear a gown or suit that contrasts with the jacket's colour, and you will turn heads at parties!
  6. Tie-Up Bolero Jackets – Adding tie-ups is a way to go for a bohemian look. Tie-ups are fashionable and can be closed when you want them to. The tie-ups can be string-like, with tassels or in a lace structure.
  7. Sheer or Lace Bolero Jacket – It is best to wear these jackets during summertime as they are lightweight but also look good on a sunny day. They look good with sunny dresses or kurtas, and you do not have to layer up in thick layers when you can just put this on. 
  8. Front-Open Bolero Jacket – Another fantastic addition to summer outfits is the front-open jacket which is easily removable and can be of any length, full or cropped, depending on the look you are going for. 

Key Features of Bolero Jackets. 


Depends on the fabric; overall, average durability


Not much stiff but the ones with heavy work might feel stiffer


Most of them are lightweight and has good breathability

Wash Fastness

Good; Only machine wash recommended but embellished ones should be dry cleaned


Varies on the style, fabric and brand of the jacket.


Average; varies on the fabric.

Tensile Strength

It will form wear and tears if extreme force is applied and washed in an unsuitable way.


Depends on the clothing brand.


Very comfortable, but the embellished or embroidered ones might feel heavy.


Varies on the fabric and style of the jacket

Water Resistant Abilities

Not much as they are made of cotton mostly.

Heat Retention Abilities

Depends on the material of the fabric.

Washing Temperatures

None; average temperature of water is suitable.


Advantages of Bolero Jackets. 

  1. Versatile and can be easily styled. 
  2. Easy to wear and maintain. 
  3. Many choices and types to choose from.
  4. It Can be worn as party wear and also casual. 
  5. It Provides a sleek and elegant look. 

Disadvantages of Bolero Jackets. 

  1. The embellished bolero jackets are tough to take care of as they should not be put in the washing machine.
  2. Bolero jackets are primarily for party looks, for which the cost might be higher than other jackets.
  3. Some people want their jackets to close up at the front, but most bolero jackets have their fronts opened. 
  4. The bolero jackets with heavy embroidery or designs are bulky, so they may feel uncomfortable to wear for a long duration. 
  5. Lightweight ones are comfortable to wear but can quickly form tears if they are stretched while putting them on. 

FAQs on Bolero Jackets

1. Are bolero jackets expensive to purchase? 

A: Cost of bolero jackets depends on the material, design and brand. The ones for weddings or parties will cost more than the casual jackets as they have heavy and intricate designs. 

2. Can I wear bolero jackets in the winter? 

A: Bolero jackets can be worn during any time of the year, but they are best for summertime as the jackets are short and comfortable. If the material is bulky and can keep you warm, you can wear it in the winter. 

3. Can babies wear bolero jackets? 

A: The best part of bolero jackets is that they can be worn by babies and come in all sizes and styles. You will find bolero jackets of various designs and colours for babies, and at parties, the jackets will look good paired with long flowy dresses for baby girls.

4. Are there a lot of sizes to choose from for bolero jackets?

A: As these are short jackets and most have short sleeves, bolero jackets are more or less free-sized. But some of the brands offer various sizes as not all the materials can stretch. 

5. Can men wear bolero jackets? 

A: Most bolero jackets are for women, but some men can also wear them if it goes with their style and if they want to. 

Final Words: 

Bolero jackets are a fun, versatile piece of clothing to wear. They have been around for some time and earned a respectable position in the fashion industry. There are a lot of styles to choose from and various sleeve options. Style them with dresses, gowns, kurtas, t-shirts or jeans, and you can never look bad wearing one.

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