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Spring jackets: from suede to bombers — the best lightweight layers for warmer weather

A trenchcoat is a chic yet practical choice for this time of year  (Imaxtree)
A trenchcoat is a chic yet practical choice for this time of year (Imaxtree)

It is officially spring and while the rain appears to be trickling on the cold is, gradually, dissipating. Which means we can finally think about packing away the puffer jackets along with our hats and scarves.

Now is the time for lighter outer layers, and this season there’s a breadth of spring jackets on offer that caters to every aesthetic and budget. A trench is a timeless investment that adds polish to any outfit and is also a practical choice for weather that seems to jump from sunshine to hail storms (this year’s best come in minimal, mannish styles).

A 90’s mood also reigns supreme. The cool kid coats of choice? Think distressed biker jackets and big bomber jackets. Look for oversized silhouettes in muted palettes of black, green, navy and brown for ultimate street style points. If badass biker isn’t your vibe, try a cropped Chanel-style boucle number or a cute suede shacket for an easy take on the Western trend.

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Read on for some of the key jacket styles we love for spring 2023 and beyond.

Super chic suede

Sezane camel shackets look great teamed with blue jeans (Sezane)
Sezane camel shackets look great teamed with blue jeans (Sezane)

Looking for a spring layer that gently oozes French girl chic? Look no further than a tan suede shirt, blazer or trench. They look great worn over shirts and mid-blue jeans with ballet pumps or cowboy boots (if you’re in a full rodeo kind of mood). The OG of French girl chic Sezane stocks several shacket styles or for something more formal try Remain’s belted suede trench. Yea haa, meet ooh la la.

 (Sezane)
(Sezane)

Sezane Will suede jacket, £225; shop now

 (MaxMara)
(MaxMara)

Weekend MaxMara suede jacket, £590; shop here

 (Remain)
(Remain)

Remain suede trench, £765; shop here

 (Stradivarius)
(Stradivarius)

Stradivarius suede blazer, £109; shop here

 (Jigsaw)
(Jigsaw)

Jigsaw fringed suede jacket, £450; shop here

Bomber jackets

Bomber jackets won’t be going anywhere for a while (Imaxtree)
Bomber jackets won’t be going anywhere for a while (Imaxtree)

A quick scroll of the street style pictures from the most recent fashion week and it is clear: bomber jackets are very much set to continue their reign for 2023. “Bomber jackets continue to dominate and we don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon,” says Heather Gramston, head of womenswear buying at Browns. “Frankie Shop’s interpretation of the classic style is an instant sell out and we have some really fun pieces launching from Andersson Bell, (di)vision and Burberry.”

From puffy satin styles to luxe leather, a great bomber jacket adds a nonchalant model-off-duty vibe to any outfit – just ask Hailey Beiber who’s been living in her vintage leather number of late. The department stores are awash with lovely luxury versions but the truth is you can pick up a really excellent bomber jacket on the high street, and still have change from £50.

 (H&M)
(H&M)

H&M padded bomber jacket, now £17; shop here

 (Browns Fashion)
(Browns Fashion)

The Frankie Shop Black Astra Oversized Bomber Jacket, £350; shop here

 (Zara)
(Zara)

Zara bomber jacket, £59.99; shop here

 (Me & Em)
(Me & Em)

Me & Em leather boyfriend bomber jacket, £595; shop here

 (Rotate)
(Rotate)

Rotate monogram PU leather bomber, £307; shop here

 (House of Sunny)
(House of Sunny)

House of Sunny bomber jacket, now £119; shop here

 (Anine Bing)
(Anine Bing)

Anine Bing shell jacket, £360; shop here

Cropped boucle jackets

 (Mango)
(Mango)

Perhaps it is a craving for polish post-pandemic or maybe it has something to do with the V&A’s major Chanel retrospective on the horizon for later this year, but Coco Chanel’s favourite cropped boucle jackets feel fresh for spring ’23. Pair with straight leg jeans and ballet pumps or baggy jeans and a pointy slingback heel for a super chic and easy desk-to-date look.

 (Ba&sh)
(Ba&sh)

Ba&sh Meredith jacket, £305; shop here

 (Mango)
(Mango)

Mango checked white jacket, £89.99; shop here

 (Me & Em)
(Me & Em)

Me & Em crochet trim boucle jacket, £250; shop here

Distressed leather jackets

For a leather jacket go vintage if you can (Imaxtree)
For a leather jacket go vintage if you can (Imaxtree)

A good quality (preferably quite heavy) leather jacket is one of those items in a wardrobe with super powers. Put it on and you instantly feel at once comforted and undoubtedly cooler, and just that little bit invincible.  Designers this season had a love-in with leather across the board, so really anything goes – from biker styles right through to chic pastel trenches. Among the style set, distressed leather is revving its engine – you are on the hunt here for styles that look like they’ve been around 50 years and possibly dipped in acid. Mango had an excellent one that sold out within a few weeks but Topshop stocks a similar vintage wash version that is guaranteed to add effortless edginess. If in doubt though, go vintage – distressed is so much cooler when it’s real.

 (Topshop)
(Topshop)

Topshop vintage wash real leather biker jacket, £280; shop here

 (Sandro)
(Sandro)

Sandro faded leather jacket, £659; shop here

 (Bershka)
(Bershka)

Bershka faded leather jacket, £109; shop here

The fuss-free trench

 (Arket)
(Arket)

A trench coat is a timeless spring layer that belongs in every woman’s wardrobe. “A trench is one of those foundational wardrobe staples that you can wear now and in 10 years to come,” says Gramston, “as its one of the only outerwear pieces that really transcends annual trends.” You can’t go wrong with a classic belted style, but some of the best on the shelves this season are even more minimal. Think short collar car coat styles – see Burberry or Cos – or chic cropped versions as seen in Zara and Massimo Dutti. Classic, cool and eternally in vogue, a well-made, simple trench in neutral tones is something you’ll have for decades.

 (COS)
(COS)

Cos twill trench coat, £105; shop here

 (Burberry)
(Burberry)

Burberry Camden heritage car coat, £1,490; shop here

 (Zara)
(Zara)

Zara cropped trench coat, £79.99; shop here

 (Uniqlo)
(Uniqlo)

Uniqlo single breasted trench coat, £99.90; shop here

 (Massimo Dutti)
(Massimo Dutti)

Massimo Dutti short buttoned trench coat, £129; shop here