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Few phrases in the English language are as inherently strange as “jumbo shrimp.” (Really, any oxymoron. But jumbo shrimp is a particularly fun one.) It is at once eerily beautiful and unendingly amusing that we could pair two contradictory words and end up with a phrase that acknowledges reality more elegantly than a longer sentence ever could. There are really large versions of typically tiny things. (Jumbo shrimp.) Sometimes two people can feel incredibly lonely, even when they’re technically with someone else. (Alone together.) Sometimes the absence of words can feel louder than the presence of them. (Deafening silence.) And sometimes you need warm outerwear during the calendar’s hottest season. (Summer coats.)
The latter, of course, seems trivial compared to some of the phrases I’ve lumped it with. Summer coats aren’t nearly as haunting as the image of a couple embroiled in emotional isolation—or a silence so quiet it almost hurts. But in many ways, the phrase serves the same purpose: It acknowledges a truth so counterintuitive it can only be expressed by pairing two opposing terms.
As anyone reading this article likely knows well, summer isn’t coat shopping season. Far from it. During fall and winter, coats abound. And even during the spring, one might score a trench or puffer at a discount. But during the summer, we’re neither in the on-season nor the off-season. Coats are, quite simply, not on the mind. Except that they’re absolutely around. Summer coats are on offer in many go-to retailers, and they crop up in “it” girl Instagrams here and there. Because while summer is supposed to be all heat and humidity, sometimes it’s not. Evenings can get pretty breezy—days at the beach can, too. (Not to mention, office air conditioning can prove even more frigid than a snowy winter day.) In times like these—when even a knit cardigan seems too hot—nothing fits the bill like a lightweight trench, easily tossed over your favorite tee and jeans (or even more realistically, your favorite tee and shorts) combo.
A classic trench, rendered in an oh-so summery palette.
All the form of your favorite trench coat, none of the strict structure.
Because summer animal prints are absolutely a thing.
Proof raincoats don’t have to ruin your outfit.
Lightweight in textile, palette and form.
Drapey coats are sure to catch the breeze every time it comes your way.
Stealing this outfit in its entirety.
A check trench, crafted with summer in mind.
A summery take on leather? Yes, please.
All kinds of delightful.
A classic spring/summer must-have.
A trench that acts like a cardigan? We’ll take 11.
More summer animal prints, please.
So vibrant it drips with summery appeal.
Even quilted summery options are on offer.
Another lightweight, breezy trench—because you deserve options.
Basically a robe that’s socially acceptable to wear outdoors.
A summer coat worth wearing well into fall.
Because when summer metallics are on offer, you can’t not shop them, right?
Simultaneously vibrant and neutral. (What is this sartorial sorcery?!)
The snake print trend is still going strong.
Part coat, part jacket, part blazer—all cute.
The oversized-blazer-as-coat trend is too low-key chic to pass up.
Silky coats are the perfect answer to sunny, breezy days.
Another option to consider adding to your repertoire.
A surprising silhouette, rendered in a classic palette.
Sure to play well with everything you own.
The pops of vibrant plaid are too cute to pass up.
A fuzzy coat, done the summer way.
Flowy, lightweight and sure to complement anything you pair it with.
A khaki option, fit for the camel-averse.
For the fan of all-black-everything who wants something that feels a little summery.
A no-fail silhouette during any season.
A windbreaker that acts like a trench coat? We can hardly resist.
It’s hot pink. And sleek. And fit for the season. What more do you need to know?
Edgy enough to make a statement every time you slip it on.
Yet another silky robe to add to your collection.
Statement-making in every way imaginable.
Perfect for the office.
A not-so-basic trench coat coat fit for summer wear.
Because plaid isn’t an autumn exclusive.
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