There are dozens of reasons to be excited that spring is finally here—daylight hours spent outside the office, not having to deal with salt stains on your boots, the imminent arrival of outdoor-drinking weather—but one of our favorites is the fact that it is finally jacket season. Leather, denim, bombers, blazers, you name it—the return of lightweight outerwear opens up a whole new realm of possibilities when getting dressed every day.
This spring, there’s even more reason to be excited than usual, since designers’ offerings extend way past tried-and-true motorcycle jackets (although, don’t fret, there are plenty of those, too) to silky toppers inspired by midcentury Japanese styles, throwback varsity jackets covered with updated patches and pins, and printed blazers that put a spin on the office-friendly silhouette.
Read on for our guide to the best jackets of spring 2016.
Worn alone or with matching trousers, this printed style isn't anything like the boardroom staple you've known in the past. The all-over florals are a nod to this season's maximalism trend, but the toned-down colors and small-scale print keep things from going overboard.
J.Crew Campbell Blazer, $228; at J.Crew
Mango Floral Print Silk Blazer, $119; at Mango
Gucci Floral Print Linen Blazer, $2,300; at MyTheresa
Diane von Furstenberg Silk Floral Blazer, $405; at StyleBop
Patches, Badges, and Buttons
Clearly, designers want us to channel our inner kids again this season, with jackets covered with smatterings of patches, buttons, and pins. Marc Jacobs's varsity version is so good even he himself bought one—but if you're not quite at that investment level, there are also plenty of more affordable options. (And, of course, you can always customize one of your own with the witty pins and iron-on patches that have been seeing a fashion resurgence as of late.)
Marc Jacobs Oversized Felt Varsity Jacket, $1,600; at Marc Jacobs
Zara Faux Leather Badge Jacket, $129; at Zara
Topshop Moto Badge Oversized Jacket, $95; at Topshop
Rachel Antonoff Alfie Jacket with Patches, $318; at Shopbop
ASOS Bomber Jacket with Badges, $51; at ASOS
Easy Belted Coats
More relaxed than the classic double-breasted trench but more structured than the kimono, one of the season's most elegant silhouettes is also one of the easiest to wear. The look seems especially modern in denim—traditionally given more of a grunge staple in outerwear—but pale pink and neutral silks are a foolproof bet as well.
Wilfred Free Montero Jacket, $125; at Aritzia
Reiss Manhattan Fluid Trench Coat, $465; at Reiss
Street style's favorite outerwear trend is making a bid for the mainstream at retailers this spring—and even if you don't have a crowd of photographers following you around, you can be sure a jacket like this will be a conversation starter. (And, naturally, make for some solid Instagrams.)
High Heels Suicide Love Me Denim Jacket, $140; at NYLON Shop
Style Nanda Satiny Text Accent Jacket, $67; at Style Nanda
US by Understated Leather Denim Slogan Trucker Jacket, $239; at Urban Outfitters
The weekend piece you're going to wear to death looks just as good paired with flouncy sundresses as it does with your vintage Levi's. Bombers have been dominating both ends of the market since fall, which means there are options at every price point—and in just about every color you can think of. We like the OG style, the MA-1 flight jacket—but have been equally wooed by updated versions in slate and steely gray.
All Saints Wells Leather Bomber Jacket, $505; at All Saints
Carhartt W' Dab Jacket, $238; at Carhartt
Identifiable by their embroidery, these silk bombers have their origins in post-WWII Japan, where American soldiers commissioned them as souvenirs of their time stationed abroad. You can find the real deal on eBay, but thanks to designers like Chloé, Gucci, and Stella McCartney riffing on the style and streetwear icons embracing the trend, they're white-hot right now, which means you may want to stick to pieces that aren't going to skyrocket in price at the last minute.
Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Jersey Embroidered Bomber Jacket, $217; at Harrod's
Helen Lee Rabbit Embroidery Appliqué Silk Bomber Jacket, $630; at Lane Crawford
Mango Embroidered Velvet Bomber Jacket, $149.99; at Mango
Chloé Reversible Bomber Jacket with Appliqué, $2850; at MyTheresa
Opening Ceremony Yokai Embroidered Silk Varsity Bomber, $525; at FRWRD