Fashion & Beauty

On the Lighter Side: Stylish Spring Jackets

By Janet Kelly

SEVERAL years ago My Little Bird’s Nancy McKeon and I were in NYC on what had to have been the coldest day that winter. We took a break from work on a fashion shoot to walk several frigid blocks to a sample sale of designer Dennis Basso, known for his glamorous outerwear and luxe accessories. Nancy scored a gorgeous wallet and insisted, nay, bullied me into purchasing a cream-colored, buttah-soft leather jacket. So happy she did. I’ve been it wearing it every spring since. And on many fall days as well.

Of course, no jacket covers you for every occasion. If you’re thinking of spending on a spanking new one, consider your lifestyle and which will give you the most wear and bang for your buck.

Thanks to a designer named Nanushka, in addition to leather jackets, there are now an abundance of faux-leather jackets on the market from mass market chains Mango and H&M to niche labels like Alice + Olivia. For spring and summer, lightweight bomber styles look especially appealing in pale colors. Anoraks in treated or weatherproof fabric from Rains, Banana Republic and Anthropologie withstand the wind and keep you dry. And they’re breathable when the weather turns warm and soggy.

Whether you’ve got a laundry list of tasks to finish—clean closets, clear the garden—and/or lots of places to go, chore jackets from Everlane and J. Crew get you through the day looking good. For more posh and polish, there are Parisian-chic choices from Iro. Fashion-forward? A cropped trench coat from Free People to a limited-edition satin bomber from Rodarte.

But see for yourself. Here are our picks below:


LEFT: Clean-lined Scandinavian style and function meet in this coated, waterproof Rains jacket ($110, Shopbop). A drawstring hood keeps those raindrops from falling on your hair.

RIGHT: Montreal brand Lamarque specializes in high-quality leather jackets. The studded embellishments on this one ($675, Anthropologie) give it plenty of personality. Pair with a floaty spring dress.


LEFT: Iro’s Jengo Jacket ($645, Shopbop) updates the look of a classic Chanel tweed with a cropped bomber style. The pink and white threading adds a pretty pop of color to light blue or white jeans.

RIGHT: A Relaxed Barn Jacket in lightweight cotton canvas ($158, J. Crew) sports military details—oversized pockets and tabs—but the fit is straighter and the length longer. Think things like walking the dog and easy hikes. It’s available in four other yummy pastels—lilac, flamingo, cypress and pale chambray. Take 25 percent off the full price with code FLASH.

LEFT: Bad mood? Rain or shine, brighten your outlook in this Venus Neon Windbreaker Jacket from Anthropologie. It’s $168.

RIGHT: In the hands of the Los Angeles-based Mulleavy sisters, Kate and Laura, clothing blurs the line between art and fashion. The Satin Rose Embroidered Bomber Jacket ($1,380) from their Rodarte label is a bit of both.

LEFT: I’ve had my eye on Gap’s Denim Jacket ($128) for a while. It looks so darn comfortable, and the quilting is so au courant. Plus, Gap is always having a sale.

RIGHT: Nanushka, who ignited the faux leather trend in 2020, sells her vegan leather bomber for $775.  For the same cool, casual look without the hefty price tag, opt for this one from Mango for $99.

LEFT: I think of Free People as a brand for twenty-somethings, but every now and then I notice something oh-so chic for all ages like this Brenda Aviator Trench Coat ($148).

RIGHT: It’s the color on this Banana Republic Water-Resistant Jacket (reduced from $149 to $74 Banana Republic) that grabbed our attention. It’s made from a light cotton twill that’s treated to repel the rain.

LEFT: More coat than jacket, Cos Stores’ parka ($190) has got you covered when spring storms and drenching downpours come along. And when it’s wet and sodden, you’ll be glad it’s so lightweight. A chill coming? It’s oversized so you can layer up, throw on and go.

RIGHT: True to its name, Everlane’s cotton canvas Chore Jacket is up to the task(s). We’d reserve the cream color for lighter errands and the blue for more down-to-earth duties. They’re both on sale; the former reduced to $46 and the latter to $39, both for a limited time.


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2 thoughts on “On the Lighter Side: Stylish Spring Jackets

  1. Pat Byrne says:

    Bought the Gap jacket. It’s great for cool late spring mornings. If you get lucky they might still have a discount code on the web site.

  2. Carol says:

    Oooh which one!?! The quilted denim from Gap is at the top of my list although the barn jacket from J. Crew is a close second… Looks like spring temps going to hang around a while so will be needed.

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