Spring jackets are tricky business. How do you find one that's not too thick, but will still protect you during those breezy evenings? Are you more of a trench coat or light leather jacket type of gal? We picked the brains of some of our favorite outerwear designers (Veda, Confezioni Crosby, Gryphon and more) to bring you some tips on how to find and wear the perfect spring jacket for you--and came up with a handy little guide to find the best ones.
So what does make the perfect spring jacket?
Benedetta Antonelli, designer of Confezioni Crosby, which is sold at stores like Opening Ceremony describes says this: "The perfect spring jacket is easy and light, preferably water resistant, versatile and could be used as a fun accessory to give your outfit an extra styling piece." As a styling trick, she suggests mixing categories: "A classic jacket can bring a casual look to the next level, so if your wardrobe tends to be on the casual side why not spring for a really smart mac? Similarly, why not pop a sleek, elegant wardrobe with a cool leather jacket."
We've scoured the market to find the best in five iconic spring jacket styles: the trench, the leather jacket, the denim jacket, the utility jacket, and the rain jacket (we already covered bombers, fyi).
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The Trench Trench genius Aimee Cho of Gryphon told us this particular iconic style of jacket works on everyone. "It really pulls together any look and is flattering on varying body types and ages and on men and women." Kate Ciepluch of Laveer concurs. "A trench transcends all, it is appropriate for all age groups and is forever classic."
"It's versatile and works well from morning to evening and is nicely worn over casual or dressier outfits," says Confezioni Crosby designer, Benedetta Antonelli.
Wear it to work or with "jeans and a tee," advises Cho. Laveer designer Kate Ciepluch suggests finding one in a coated twill, making it wearable 12 months/year.
The Leather Jacket "A leather jacket is a good transition piece because it still has some weight to it but isn’t as wintery feeling as a wool or puffer," says Gryphon's Cho. "Everyone should own a killer black leather motorcycle jacket," declares Ciepluch. Antonelli advises against pairing one with a leather skirt and we concur. Too much.
The Denim Jacket
The denim jacket, one of my personal faves, is great for layering. "I love a denim jacket as a layering piece under a trench or leather jacket," suggests Cho. "I am an advocate of denim on denim, so it works with jeans too."
Nikolaj Nielsen of Won Hundred declares denim jackets "the spring 2013 wardrobe essential." Currently, he's favoring an oversized silhouette, which we're pretty into, too. "If you dare, wear the the denim jacket with a pair of matching jeans, or long tight denim shorts for a complete denim look."
The grungy utility/army/surplus/whatever jacket has been a staple for a few seasons now and shows no signs of going back to the '90s ('70s?) where it came from. It "adds that effortless tomboy cool to something feminine," says Ciepluch. Confezioni Crosby is known for its "feminine take on workwear inspired utility jackets," so Antonelli knows her stuff when it comes to this style. "A good utility jacket adds a cute boyish flare to any girls outfit and is not only practical in transitioning seasons but also adds a cool, stylish element."
We're including macs, anoraks and proper rain coats in this category. "A nice mac works for many body types and can transform a casual look into a very chic one," says Antonelli. "It's more of a daytime outerwear piece that adds a classy touch when paired with cigarette pants and a french stripe top." Agreed!