With spring around the corner, you might find yourself in need of some casual spring jackets. Even if the window of need for these types of pieces are small where you live, having them is still important for those days where a coat is just too heavy but a lightweight cardigan or blazer isn’t enough. Speaking from personal experience, I know what a lacking not having these types of jackets on hand can be. A few years ago I didn’t realize I was without one until I was leaving to go to breakfast with my husband and layered myself up like the Michelin Man with a sweater, cardigan and a scarf. I was still cold, plus I looked ridiculous. It would have been so much easier if I had a jacket that I could have grabbed. Since then I have stocked up on a few different styles. Lesson learned.
If you are on the hunt for some casual spring jackets, below are some styles and outfits to check out, along with some tips on how to put them to great use in a stylish manner.
Lightweight Casual Spring Jackets and How to Style Them
Jacket #1- A denim jacket
We have to start with the most popular casual spring jacket style, the denim jacket. I love mine. It’s crisp looking, can be dressed up and down and goes with everything I own. While I think most women can benefit from owning a denim jacket, I do think having it alone as a spring jacket isn’t enough. Yes, denim on denim is popular and acceptable right now, but it doesn’t always work and can sometimes come across as a bit “Chuck Norris”. If you wear a lot of jeans you may want to have another jacket in your closet to wear with them.
For the times that you aren’t wearing a pair of jeans, a denim jacket, like this one from J. Crew, is a great choice because it matches whatever colors you are wearing. Take the outfit above, for example. I styled it with a pair of navy cropped pants from Boden and a novelty ivory sweatshirt from Anthrpologie. With this neutral base of navy, ivory and denim, I am free to accessorize with any colors. Seeing that orange and pink was popular on the runways for spring, I decided to play with that combination and used this pink scarf from Nordstrom, a pair of orange Lucky Brand flats, orange teardrop earrings from Max & Chloe and finished the outfit with a cognac bag from Fossil.
Jacket #2- A neutral colored jacket
If you are looking to get more use out of one jacket, consider having a neutral colored one on hand. Colors like khaki, camel and olive are great to consider because they work with everything, from color to denim, as well as black, grey and shades of brown. I remember having an olive spring jacket years ago, similar in tone to the one I am featuring above from Madewell, and it went with everything. I eventually gave it to a friend who also wound up wearing it with everything she owned.
As you can see in the photo above, the olive works beautifully with these boyfriend jeans from the Gap. It can also be colorfully styled. There really aren’t any colors that aren’t gorgeous with olive. In the outfit above, I added a teal Modcloth top, a purple, pink and orange scarf from Nordstrom, a pair of pink casual flats from Frye, a purple handbag from The Sak and a lavender pair of stud earrings from Kate Spade. If olive isn’t your color, try a casual spring jacket in khaki or even grey to get the same versatility.
Jacket #3- A moto jacket
If your style is sleeker and more modern, a sharp, black moto style jacket may be the way to go. While black may seem versatile, be careful before you purchase it as it does have some limitations. A black jacket will work great with jeans and black or grey pants, but won’t necessarily work well with brown or navy bottoms. Look at the the colors of your skirts and pants before you purchase a black jacket to make sure you will get the most out of it. The same is true for a chocolate brown jacket. It may seem versatile, but won’t work as well if you have a lot of black bottoms in your closet.
In the outfit above, I styled this quilted black knit moto jacket from the Gap with a pair of J. Crew zipper leggings, a blouse/sweater combo top from T. Tahari, pair of grey converse sneakers, Nine West handbag, black beanie from Topshop and cuff earrings from Sam Edelman.
Jacket #4- A suede jacket
Suede, real or faux, is a fantastic lightweight casual jacket material. It’s perfect for transitional weather. If you want to pick up a style in brown, consider purchasing cognac over chocolate, it will just be more useable. You can wear the color with black, grey, brown, olive, khaki, navy, and more, whereas chocolate may not give you as much flexibility.
In this outfit I styled the the look using a cognac suede jacket from Mango with a denim skirt from Boden. With it I added a v-neck sweater in olive from MICHAEL Michael Kors, and finished the look with a pair of cognac boots from Modcloth, a statement necklace from Bauble Bar, soft camel and grey scarf, also from Modcloth, and Vince Camuto handbag in warm grey.
Jacket #5- A colorful jacket
I find that a lot of women are gun shy about buying coats in bright colors. In their minds they think they will wear them less because they won’t go with everything. While this theory might have some validity, it’s also why the average woman there is a sea of black coats in her closet. Conversely, what I have always found is that women who do own colorful coats and jackets tend to love them and thoroughly enjoy wearing them, while also getting a lot more use out of them than they realized they would. No, I don’t think a colorful spring jacket should be your only one, but I do think having one in the mix is something to consider.
Choosing which color to buy can be a bit daunting, which is why women also usually settle on black. When deciding, you, obviously, want to choose a color that is flattering against your skin. Next, look at your wardrobe on a whole, particularly the colors of your pants and skirts. This may help you narrow down your choices because you want to make sure the jacket you choose works with them. However, it’s probable that most of your bottoms are neutral, which means that the color of the jacket really doesn’t matter. So the next time you’re shopping for a casual spring jacket, consider a bold red, a rich teal, a bright green or a vibrant purple. You might be surprised how much you use it.
In the outfit above I am using a coat from Boden in a bright red. Not only would it work great with black or denim, but red works well with a lot of neutral shades, like camel, khaki, grey and navy. It also looks really pretty with olive, as I styled it above with these skinny cargo pants from J. Crew. With this look I added a grey cashmere sweater from Athleta and colorful scarf from Nordstrom that introduces yellow into the outfit. Finishing the look, I used a pair of taupe flats from Boden, a beige bag from Ann Taylor, a pair of silver earrings from Talbot’s and a yellow leather bracelet from Banana Republic.
Whatever casual spring jackets you decide to add to your wardrobe, be sure to take an overview of the clothing you currently own to make sure that you are buying the right styles and colors for your needs. Also remember to think about scarves which are great to add to your jackets for extra warmth and a pop of color.
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You’re right about brightly colored jackets (okay, you’re always right!). I have a short coat in hot pink and I always get a ton of compliments when I wear it.
Haha, you’re sweet, Patricia, thanks! I think you are so right. I am reminded about a coat my sister bought back in 2003, I actually blogged about it a few years ago (https://bridgetteraes.com/2011/11/07/real-life-fashion-the-cost-per-wear-equation-in-action/). It was from J. Crew and the amount she spent on it was a lot of money. However, when she put it on she loved herself in it and bought it. Well now it is 2015 and she STILL wears it and loves it. It is a bright orangey-red and gets as much as use a coat in black would get. I think we would all be much happier if we had at least one coat in a color that makes us, and the people around us, smile. Enjoy your hot pink coat.
Bridgette, these ensembles are so cute!! Thank you for thinking of your fans that dress in a casual style daily. I have a short lightweight, teal green-blue jacket that my oldest daughter coves every time she sees it. It’s perfect for spring and fall Just wish I could figure out how to get some use out if it during summer months. Any ideas?
Hi Pat, first, I hope your son in law is okay! As far as your jacket for the summer. Is it really possible for it to work if the weather is hot? Do you really want to wear a jacket?
This is the biggest hole in my wardrobe! I wear a lot of fit and flare dresses (I’m an hourglass) and have difficulty finding a good jacket to wear with them in spring. Most of my jackets are hip length, which does not flatter the silhouette. A few of your choices are shorter – waist length. I think this might work better? I think I’ll give that a try.
I am thrilled to hear you might have found some jackets that will work!!
The purple jacket in the shopping section is amazing