Spring fashion can be so confusing, especially if you live in a place that truly experiences all four seasons. In the daytime it’s pushing 70 degrees, but once the sun sets, it’s chilly again. Every day seems to be a question of “What do I wear?” Our answer to that question: a lightweight jacket.
Celebrity stylist Erin Noël deals with the same dilemma. She lives in southern California where the weather fluctuates, so what does she do? “My three go-tos are a trench, a denim jacket and a lightweight puffer,” she explains. “If I am going to a business meeting or to dinner, I always layer with a cool jacket or oversized blazer.”
She tells us that bomber and utility-style jackets are a major trend right now for the fellas, along with shackets (meaning a shirt-and-jacket combination) and classic trench coats for both men and women. But if you’re looking to move beyond those trending styles, Noël says that fit is most important. Your pick should be flattering (which, of course, means something different for everyone), easy to move in, versatile in your wardrobe and in a good color. “Fabric is also a great indicator of how often you will wear a jacket. In southern California we don’t get a lot of rain, but if you live in New York City you may want a water-resistant or -repellant option,” advises Noël.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a selection of top-rated and stylist-recommended lightweight jackets you’ll thank yourself for buying this spring.
Lightweight jackets for women
Sanctuary Faux Leather Belted Shirt Jacket ($99; nordstrom.com)
There’s something unmatched about a faux leather, belted moment, and the soft sage hue gives the piece a modern touch you shouldn’t pass up — especially because it’s recommended by our fashion insider.
Everlane The Cotton Quilted Jacket ($98; everlane.com)
Think of this jacket as your golden opportunity to wear your favorite quilt outside of the house without judgment. Better yet: It’s made of a breathable cotton fabric that won’t wear you down or make you overheat.
Skims Velour Hoodie ($78; skims.com)
Luckily, the Skims Velour Hoodie is as soft as it looks. For lazy days around the house to running errands around town, this slightly cropped hoodie gives your loungewear collection an instant upgrade.
H&M Oversized Shirt Jacket ($39.99; hm.com)
If you hop on any trend, make it the oversized shirt jacket that Noël says will be big this spring. Pro tip: Depending on the fit, you might be able to sport it as a dress.
Eloquii Cinched Hem Jacket ($99.95; eloquii.com)
A cinched hem jacket like this one by Eloquii will pair well with practically any outfit, whether you opt for the pristine cream or sage shades.
Free People Off Duty Oversized Poncho ($128; freepeople.com)
Free People’s Off Duty Oversized Poncho is the perfect middle ground between minimalism and maximalism. The slouchy draping is a bit dramatic, but the sleek design and color options reel it in for an ultra-comfy, sophisticated jacket.
H&M Lightweight Trench Coat ($49.99; hm.com)
This piece from H&M breaks the mold of the traditional design by only featuring a waist tie — no buttons. It’s a modern, relaxed twist we know we’ll consistently reach for.
Eloquii Faux Leather Moto Jacket ($149.95; eloquii.com)
Leather jackets remain in style season after season, so you’ll probably want to get your hands on this one in every color.
UO Yogi Fleece Cropped Hoodie Sweatshirt ($69; urbanoutfitters.com)
You probably need a new WFH hoodie. Reviewers love the adorable colors this comes in and the soft, comfy fit.
Anthropologie Charley Cozy Shirt Jacket ($79.95, originally $138; anthropologie.com)
The Anthropologie Charley Cozy Shirt Jacket just gives off the vibe that though you definitely look cute, you didn’t try too hard. This is known to be surprisingly warm and versatile too, according to reviewers.
Levi’s New Heritage Trucker ($100; revolve.com)
We’re convinced that denim jackets will never go out of style, and what better brand to shop for one than the denim legacy brand Levi’s? The oversized fit of the New Heritage Trucker will pair well with the “Canadian tuxedo” style you’ve been hoping to try, or just draped over your shoulders.
H&M Textured-Weave Jacket ($29.99, originally $49.99; hm.com)
This textured-weave jacket gives the same effect as the elegant twill blazer you pull out for your fanciest occasions. Imagine how great it’ll look styled with other wardrobe favorites.
Lululemon Define Jacket ($118; lululemon.com)
Whether you’ve been consistent with your workouts or you’re looking to start again, you’ll need a quality jacket to get active in. The Lululemon Define Jacket is made from a super-soft, breathable fabric that you’ll need to properly transition into warmer temps.
J.Crew The Downtown Field Jacket ($148; jcrew.com)
J.Crew’s Downtown Field Jacket just screams sophistication. Not that it matters, but this number is sure to impress anyone who sees you wearing it.
Anthropologie Pilcro Denim Kimono Jacket ($148; anthropologie.com)
If you’re looking for a jacket with a more unique fit, opt for a kimono jacket like this one at Anthropologie. Pair it with a matching monochromatic ribbed set for a look that’s laid-back yet sophisticated.
Lightweight jackets for men
Nordstrom Ripstop Shirt Jacket ($99.50; nordstrom.com)
This shirt jacket, recommended by Noël, is clean, lightweight and wrinkle-resistant. Better yet, the satisfying creamy gray hue will layer well with other neutrals in your closet.
H&M Faux Suede Biker Jacket ($79.99; hm.com)
If you, like Noël, are loving the resurgence of ’70s influence, grab yourself a biker jacket in suede that can make any look feel cool.
Everlane The Bomber Jacket ($88; everlane.com)
Act fast: Bomber jackets are the trend to hop on (again) this spring, according to Noël. We love that this one by Everlane is available in five versatile colors, features a two-way zipper and is made from a recycled, water-resistant polyester blend.
J.Crew Sussex Quilted Jacket With PrimaLoft ($148; jcrew.com)
If you’d prefer a jacket that will never go out of style, you’re gonna want to check out J.Crew’s Sussex Quilted Jacket. Reviewers rave that this piece of outerwear impresses the wearer and onlookers alike.
Topman Harrington Gingham Check Cotton Jacket ($85; nordstrom.com)
A gingham print is a subtle way to add a hint of pattern to any outfit. Layer this jacket on top of your favorite T-shirt and jeans for an effortlessly cool look.
Carhartt Gilliam Jacket (starting at $79.94; amazon.com)
Carhartt is easily one of our favorite outerwear brands, especially for men’s pieces, so it’s no surprise we’re big fans of this rainy day-friendly jacket.
Native Youth Washed Cotton Overshirt ($80; nordstrom.com)
This khaki overshirt with contrasting black detailing is a favorite of Noël’s for men. Grab this as a quintessential lightweight layering piece.
Everlane The Filled Canvas Jacket ($98; everlane.com)
Everlane’s The Filled Canvas Jacket won’t ever go out of style. Reviewers note that it’s a midweight jacket, meaning it might serve you best in early spring or in places with a cooler temperature.
UO Big Corduroy Work Shirt ($69; urbanoutfitters.com)
Wearing some texture, like corduroy, is a simple way to add a bit of dimension to an otherwise mundane outfit, per our stylist. According to reviewers, this work shirt is relatively thick, making it great for barely warm weather.
H&M Short Jacket ($59.99; hm.com)
H&M’s Short Jacket is made complete with a zipper closure, differentiating it from other lightweight favorites we’ve found.
Nike Flex Full-Zip Training Jacket ($85; nike.com)
We can always count on Nike for a high-performance training jacket, like this Nike Flex in black or dark gray, to sport for a casual look or an exhausting workout.
Uniqlo U Single-Breasted Trench Coat ($99.90, originally $149.90; uniqlo.com)
A trench coat is a great way for men to change up the silhouette of the jackets they wear. The longline look is refined and handsome, perfect for a more formal occasion.
Topman Square Quilted Jacket ($85; nordstrom.com)
One of our stylist’s picks, the Topman Square Quilted Jacket is both sporty and clean cut, which makes it great to throw on for everyday wear.
H&M Denim Jacket ($49.99; hm.com)
It’s officially time to swap out that extra-old denim jacket and add this one into your daily rotation.
Gap Upcycled Lightweight Puffer Jacket (starting at $54, originally $120; gap.com)
Puffers certainly aren’t exclusive to colder temps. If that style is your preference, you’re going to want this lightweight one at Gap that’s made with 100% recycled fill, shell and lining.