10 best spring jackets for women that will see you through to summer

We all know the weather is unpredictable, but you can be prepared with one of these lightweight options

Emily Dawes
Thursday 01 April 2021 11:35
<p>Thicker than a shirt or cardigan, but less bulky than a coat or jumper, it can easily become one of the most versatile pieces in your arsenal</p>

Thicker than a shirt or cardigan, but less bulky than a coat or jumper, it can easily become one of the most versatile pieces in your arsenal

With the start of spring upon us, it’s totally normal to start looking forward to brighter and warmer days (at least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves).

It’s a very British thing to start wanting to shed those heavy layers at the first sight of a daffodil, and even if it is still a little chilly, we wouldn’t blame you at all for getting excited for the new season ahead.

The first obvious step in adjusting to your spring/summer wardrobe is, of course, to lose the coat. Whether you invested in a cosy puffa, wrap-around wool or checked number for winter, you’ll hopefully be needing this a lot less in the weeks to come, and in place of it, those lighter spring jackets can happily emerge from hibernation.

The perfect transitional piece for this strange in-between season, the spring jacket is an essential in any capsule wardrobe. Thicker than a shirt or cardigan, but less bulky than a coat or jumper, it can easily become one of the most versatile pieces in your arsenal if you manage to find a great one.

We all know how unpredictable the weather at this time of year can be, so in our opinion the best spring jackets need to be easy and layerable. Room for a thin knit underneath to wear now, and light enough to wear with a simple vest or T-shirt later in the season too.

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You want to be able to throw it on half way out the door, maybe fit it in a rucksack or around your waist in a blast of sunshine and throw it over your shoulders quickly in an April shower.

So, if you don’t already own one or are simply after a refresh, we’ve scoured the high street and found 10 of the best, most versatile jackets on offer this year. Plus, we’ve already gone through the process of trying and testing them so you don’t have to. Keep scrolling to see which ones made it onto our list.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

John Lewis & Partners easy mac

John Lewis & Partner’s easy mac is, well, just that: easy to wear, easy to style, easy to take on the great British weather with. Coming in a chic neutral beige, it’s classic enough to last beyond just one season and guaranteed to go with everything in your wardrobe. The shape though, with a slight Sixties swing to it, still feels stylish enough to make a statement – think trench coat vibes but without the fussiness.

We also liked that it’s shower resistant and made with moisture repelling fabric “designed with the British weather in mind” (so the label tells us), but looks equally appropriate on a sunny day. Our tester found it so easy and light to throw over jumpers, T-shirts, jeans, dresses, joggers, the lot. And all for under £100 – there’s not much here to fault.

Zara reversible quilted jacket

If you were a big fan of the quilted coat trend that was everywhere this winter, Zara’s khaki short jacket is bound to appeal to you. We found it to be super lightweight and definitely roomy enough to fit jumpers underneath (you might even want to size down if you prefer a less oversized look).

Despite being so thin, the fabric is made with thermo-insulation which keeps you warm while still being breathable. It’s also water-repellent, so perfect for when those April showers roll around. Did we mention it’s reversible? So that’s two coats in one, making it a pretty good value investment. Mostly, we liked the nice balance between it being fashionable and practical.

Hush verna trench coat

The trench coat has a well known reputation for being the perfect spring coat, and for good reason. It’s light, usually weather resistant and perfect for layering. There are obviously hundreds on the market but this cotton version from Hush comes in such a fresh springy colour, we think it would be the perfect addition to any new season wardrobe.

The unusual hue is balanced out by the classic shape, with storm flaps, belt and everything, so minimalists needn’t feel instantly scared off. The quality of Hush products is clear, and this trench is no exception. Coming in a heavyweight lyocell that means it’s warm but still flowy, and a lot less restrictive than the classic gabardine alternatives. We particularly loved it with just a white tee, blue denim and trainers – such an easy, wear everywhere look.

Asos design faux leather jacket with sleeve drama

The name of this spring jacket says it all really, doesn’t it? The puff sleeves do certainly bring the drama if you’re looking for something a little more out of the ordinary. But the classic “putty” colour keeps this jacket wearable, and the butter-soft faux leather adds a luxe element that means it works well with both casual and smarter looks.

We found it to be extra versatile as you can choose to leave it open for a boxy fit or tie at the waist for a cinched in peplum look, depending on your outfit and mood. We’d particularly recommend this style for petites, as the shorter length means it doesn’t overwhelm, and could even appear a little cropped if you’re on the taller side.

M&S tweed relaxed jacket

There’s certainly a hint of Chanel’s famous boucle blazers about this M&S jacket, and we’re not complaining. In a dream world we’d own the real thing, but this cropped tweed version will absolutely do until we win the lottery. We found the cotton-mix fabric lovely and soft to the touch, and it’s certainly warmer than some of the lighter “shackets” on this list.

Despite at first appearing quite formal, with vintage feel buttons and that classic tweed, the relaxed fit and raw edge detail does keep it casual, and it would be perfect even just paired with denim. It’s such a timeless design so you can be confident it will last you for many years to come.

Warehouse faux leather western jacket

It’s not just the lemon yellow shade of this jacket that makes it ideal for spring. With a boxy, ever so slightly cropped shape that reminded us of our favourite denim jacket, it’s easy to wear for one. It pairs particularly well with floral dresses and we can imagine wearing this again and again to the park or pub garden (hopefully soon), when there’s still a chill in the air.

The sizing is on the smaller side so in case you prefer a more relaxed, oversized look, we’d recommend taking the size up. The buttery faux-leather finish (which could definitely pass for the real thing) elevates this jacket from your standard western style and would breathe a breath of fresh air into any spring capsule.

Next khaki belted utility jacket

Of all the jackets our reviewer tried, this was actually the one they turned to most when leaving the house during testing. For that reason it comes in a very close second to our best buy, and could even take the top spot if it was more all-weather appropriate. Despite not being waterproof though, a classic khaki utility jacket like this one is one of the most timeless spring throw-ons and goes with, well, anything.

At £35 this belted cotton version is an absolute steal, especially considering Next’s reputation for good quality, long-lasting basics. This particular version is also available in petite and tall versions so you’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit for you.

Boden pocket detail jacket

Boden’s update on the classic French “chore” jacket (i.e. a worker’s jacket but make it chic), is a great light option for spring. Not least because it’s practical while still being feminine – the puff shoulder detail, oversized buttons and rounded peter pan collar add a nice retro feel that sets this style apart from the rest. As with most Boden pieces, the quality is there but it comes with a price point that reflects that. Yes, there’s probably more budget “chore jacket” options, like H&M’s denim version in this list for example, but we thought this deserved a mention for its lovely rich mustard colour (which makes it feel a bit more dressed up), premium cut and ageless appeal – this would look great on anyone, from 17-70+.

H&M oversized denim jacket

They’re not lying when they say this denim jacket is oversized, but if you take a size down, you’ll find yourself with a relaxed style that could see you through many a spring. Plus, it means there’s plenty of room for more layers underneath if needed.

Coming in a light denim, this is one of the more casual styles we tried but the double front pockets and longline shape (as opposed to the classic cropped western shape) means this does the reliable job of a denim jacket but with added style. Part of the high street hero’s “conscious” line, you can also feel good about your purchase, made from recycled cotton fibres from post consumer textile waste.

& Other Stories quilted banana sleeve coat

We don’t know why we’re so drawn to yellow jackets this spring – maybe because it reminds us of daffodils and chicks, maybe because it’s one of the main colour trends for the season thanks to many appearances on the recent catwalks. Either way, the appeal of this banana yellow number is undeniable.

Again, this is one for the fans of quilted and puffa coats – here you’ll find a much lighter fresher version for the new season. The longer length made it warmer than most, so this would be the perfect style to wear now if you want to feel springy without compromising on body heat. Plus, with it looking like so many of our social activities set to be outside for a while, it might not be a bad idea to err on the side of warmth this spring.

The verdict: Spring jackets

John Lewis & Partner’s easy mac definitely stood out as ticking the most boxes all round. Weatherproof, light, stylish and easy to throw on and instantly look polished. Next’s utility jacket comes in as a close runner up, however, given how useful a style like that is and, of course, for the great price.

Add one of these women’s white T-shirts to your capsule wardrobe and have timeless style for every occasion

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