Three essential spring coats
The outerwear options to take you from now until summer
Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free
As the days lengthen (albeit almost imperceptibly), thoughts turn from hot toddies to barbecues, from roast dinners to al fresco lunches. Your winter coat suddenly feels oppressive. You feel an urge to reveal a bit more skin. Spring might not quite have sprung, but you know it’s in the post.
The traditional British reaction to those first double-digit temperatures is to remove all your clothes, then shiver the second the sun drops below its zenith. “But you shouldn’t dress completely differently from winter, especially in the UK,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “The biggest thing is you have to be able to take layers off and still have a coherent outfit when you do.”
Looking good between seasons is tough, precisely because you need a look that works in layers. Whether you lose the coat or add a jumper, everything has to work in almost any combination. The weather’s unpredictable, but that’s no excuse for outfits that take you by surprise. The effort’s worth it, though. By tweaking your clothes, you shift yourself out of a winter mindset. Dress for sun, you brighten your mood. And we’ve got just the thing to put a spring in your step.
Sure, your winter suits still work in spring. But there’s an easy way to nod to brighter skies. “Mix it up with separates,” says Luke. “You can play with your jacket by going for a textured plaid.” There’s something quite subversive about a greyscale outfit in the run-up to spring, and it means that even if the weather does take a turn for the worse, you won’t look out of place. “Instead of going for casual trainers, we’ve gone with luxury leather trainers that brighten the outfit up but it still looks sporty.”
How to wear it
Luke explains that the flannel trousers and the black roll neck are still quite conservative, but a bit more fun and a bit more considered. And crucially, says Luke, “It’s still a really smart look if you get rid of the jacket.”
A raincoat is spring’s secret weapon. Sure, it plays a practical role. But it’s also a way to add something unexpected, to make even your most basic looks – like jeans and a hoodie – feel exciting. Lean into colour and, ironically enough, you’ll give your wardrobe an injection of sunshine. Notice how the shade of pink chosen is a muted one and not Pepto-Bismol. That, combined with the light-wash jeans, makes for something very approachable and almost delicate. As Luke says, “If that was a grey hoodie and those were dark jeans, this would be a very conservative look.”
How to wear it
Because the focal point of this outfit is the hoodie, it still works when you take the coat off. “Mid-blue jeans are a simple way of lightening up your clothes when the weather warms up,” says Luke. “As for the suede boots, they’re still boots, just more in tune with the season.” When temperatures rise, lighten things up even more with white trainers.
“Spring’s a great time to play with colour,” says Luke. “Mustard playing against the blue of the jacket and the green of the trousers is a terrific combination. Plus, a field jacket is the perfect spring jacket. It’s not really a rain jacket, and it’s not really a winter jacket. It’s kind of an all-rounder.”
How to wear it
Luke’s top tip for nailing smart-casual during this pre-spring weather? “Brighten up your knitwear, bust out some canvas trainers, and swap out your overcoat for a field jacket.” Light layers offer flexibility – you won’t sweat if it’s hot, or shiver if it’s cold. They’re also easy to roll up and shove in a bag if things get really unseasonable.
Words: Theresa Harold
Photography: Jon Cardwell
Styling: Luke McDonald