Though we’re not ready to admit it yet, the end of summer is nigh; with a breeze in the air come evening, layering season has arrived – now’s the perfect time to start stocking up on your lightweight jackets in time for autumn. When it comes to outerwear, it’s always a good idea to go for something that has a day-to-night versatility. Avoid overly-fussy details and choose a piece that’s got a city-chic appeal; neutral or pastel hues work particularly well at this time of year too. So, throw on one of these lightweight wonders that work for any occasion.
Since the bomber jacket made a luxe comeback a few years ago, every street stylist worth their salt has been spotted in a high-fash version of this sports classic. For a feminine finish, choose an embroidered bomber jacket cut from a silky satin fabric. With Eastern touches, it’s the perfect piece for fans of eclectic fashion.
For the everyday, wear your bomber jacket with a pair of ankle-grazing skinny jeans and flat ballet pumps; when night falls, throw it nonchalantly over a decadent cami dress and don your fiercest stilettos.
When Thomas Burberry first designed the fashion house’s eponymous trench coat in 1912, it became the go-to cover-up for military officers in the British Army. It wasn’t until after World War Two that the trench would become standard fare for civilians; Hollywood’s proclivity for the Burberry trench turned it into one of the earliest must-haves for the fashion-conscious. Today, Burberry remains as the leading producer of trench coats, and it’s iconic beige version has become synonymous with classic style. Luckily, there are high street versions everywhere, so getting your hands on a lastingly elegant lookalike won’t cost you your monthly salary.
Whether you wear it open over a dainty floral midi dress for lazy Sunday lunches or belted over your workwear for the commute on chilly mornings, a beige trench is ideal for those tricky trans-seasonal months.
The Denim Jacket
Whether slung over the shoulders of a Hollywood rebel or adopted as a hip-hop staple, pop-culture has made an icon out of the denim jacket. Its precursor – the ‘working blouse’ – made its first appearance in the late 1800s, and is credited to the King of denim himself, Levi Strauss. Thanks to its durability on the dust trails of the American West, the design proved popular with cowboys. By the 20th century, the denim jacket had been seen on everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Tupac (how’s that for versatility?).
Give the classic blue jean jacket a contemporary spin by opting for a colourful alternative; an off-white or soft sorbet shade has the kind of retro charm that denim jackets were built on – pair with your favourite Breton stripes and slogan tees to complete the look.
When it comes to power dressing, no look is complete without a blazer. The term ‘blazer’ can be traced back to the very British history of this – now universally adored – garment; worn by rowers at Oxford and Cambridge, the name refers to the flame-like red colour of these first blazer jackets. In the 1920s, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel brought women’s tailoring to the fore; preferring a masculine silhouette, she reinvented the suited look and brought with it a sense of understated elegance – women’s blazers have the same appeal to this day.
Choose a softer pastel shade for this season and pair with a coordinating tailored trouser (ice-cream coloured co-ords were all over the spring/summer catwalks). Come autumn, style it with warmer ivory tones. When cocktail hour calls, accessorise with silver metallic court heels or an envelope clutch.
The Sleeveless Duster Coat
Ultra-lightweight and just as easy-to-wear, duster coats have become a womenswear must-have for this time of year. They’re usually a little more free-flowing than blazers (though still tailored), and cut from a finer fabric than trench coats (though belted styles are available). Basically, they’re a modern marrying of two classic styles. In fact, duster coats today bear little resemblance to their forerunners. Once ankle-length and cut from canvas or linen, they served a practical purpose; worn by horsemen to protect their clothing from trail dust, they were more frumpy than fashionable (sorry guys). Luckily, somewhere along the line the fashion gods saw the need for a lightweight, trans-seasonal ‘coat-that’s-not-quite-a-coat’ and the modern duster coat was born. They went one step further with the sleeveless duster, which is ideal for layering at the tail end of summer – and later in the year too.
Opt for a sleeveless duster coat in a classic hue like black, navy, khaki or grey. Blurring the lines between workwear and street-wear, it’ll become your new go-to for the 9-5 and beyond.