This article is part of Spring Fashion Month, where we’re breaking down your must-have fashion pieces for the next few months. From denim jackets to comfy sandals, we’re asking editors, influencers and experts about the go-to pieces they wear through spring and beyond.
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
If you're a fan of traditional yet untraditional pieces, this olive suede trench gives a textured and colorful take to a classic silhouette.
We’re convinced that denim jackets will never go out of style. The boyfriend fit of this Pilcro Jacket will pair well with the Canadian tuxedo style you’ve been hoping to try, or just help pull together some of your favorite basics.
Blazers and leather are two fashion pieces that will always be in style, so why not have them together? A slightly boxy and oversized fit, this jacket is sure to be a staple for your fall, winter and spring wardrobes.
Free People’s In Flight 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.
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.
An Underscored-editor favorite, this fleece jacket is cozy enough to help you stay warm on windy days but can also be paired perfectly with a tank top come early summer. It's available in so many cute colors too.
Moto jackets are an easy way to look effortlessly cool. This one from Urban Outfitters is elevated with striped accents, zippers and a straight-cut slim fit for a more modern look.
Coming in at under $50, this quilted bomber jacket doesn't just look way more expensive than it actually is, but it's available in springy colors like cream and hot pink.
Springtime also means spring showers. Be prepped for oncoming wind and rain with this J.Crew lightweight jacket, which comes with a longer hemline to keep the elements out.
If you hop on any trend, make it the oversized shirt jacket that Noël says will be big this spring.
You probably need a new WFH hoodie. This one from Everlane comes in seven colors and is made of lightweight organic cotton for a breathable and super-soft fit.
This hooded kimono cut jacket is perfect for keeping cozy at home or for a comfy, casual on-the-go look. Opt for a bold look in colors like Kelly Green or Hot Pink or go for more muted neutrals like Sand, Black and Tobacco.
Fancy florals for spring? This cream cotton jacket with navy and yellow flowers can be paired with jeans and a T-shirt or layered with bold colors for a more vivid look.
This piece from H&M holds true to traditional design with buttons, lapels and a waist tie. This modern take and relaxed fit makes for a piece we know we’ll consistently reach for.
Think of this jacket as your golden opportunity to wear your favorite quilt outside of the house without judgment.
If you sport a crop year-round, check out this snap-front jacket from Open Edit. Add it to your favorite pair of high-waisted pants for a streamlined and chic look.
Lightweight jackets for men
We asked male Underscored staffers about their favorite spring fashion essentials, and one item kept on coming up: Levi's denim jackets. This staple can take you from fall to spring and summer, and is available in seven different washes. One for every day of the week, basically.
A favorite of Underscored operations and strategy lead Roy Lee, this versatile hoodie features a higher neck and brushed fleece interior that's super cozy to wrap around you if it gets a little windy this spring.
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.
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.
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.
Another favorite of Lee's, this overshirt would layer perfectly under a denim jacket, or over a T-shirt in even warmer weather.
If you don't already have a reliable rain jacket, spring is an excellent time to snag one. This REI jacket with hood was our favorite cheap-but-still-pretty-good pick in our rain jackets testing.
Sporty and stylish, this water-repellent, lightly padded jacket is perfect for dewy spring mornings and helping to keep you dry from surprise showers.
Layer this oversized jacket with other shirts and outerwear in your collection or with just a simple tee once it's warm enough to strip back the layers.
Made of vegan suede, this Banana Republic jacket is an upgraded bomber that is perfect for casual office wear or a polished fit for a night out.
With a zippered front and corduroy shell, this cotton jacket from Katin can add some texture and color to your look.
This Bonobos Quilted Barn Jacket is both sporty and clean cut, which makes it great to throw on for everyday wear.
Love a more rugged workwear look? With a fold-down collar, pockets throughout, zip- and snap-up front and a cozy inner lining, this jacket looks great paired with jeans or your favorite sweatsuit.
Still feeling some of the winter chills? This wool workwear style jacket will keep you warm until the temperatures rise. Plus, it's an easy piece to dress up or keep casual.