Ah, spring: the time when even possessing a degree in meteorology fails to make weather prediction easy (if forecasts are anything to go by...).
Choosing what to wear, therefore, becomes a combination of art and science, but one thing’s for certain - it’s time to swap winter coats for lighter outerwear options.
Stock up on a jacket (or three) now and you won’t regret it - you’ll be layering these cover-ups over everything from knits to sundresses, from now until September.
Shopping lists at the ready, these are the jackets to slip into this season...
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
In a departure from her usual ‘all things bright and flesh-baring’ mantra, Donatella Versace sent out a parade of boxy safari jackets in muddy colours at the start of her SS16 show, and now we’re seeing lots of copycats on the high street.
These muted, multi-pocket jackets, in suede or linen, look great over a denim shirt, dungarees, or one of this season’s many other denim incarnations.
Autograph Pure Linen 4 Pocket Belted Jacket, £79; Twiggy Ikat Print Blouse, £35; Twiggy Abstract Print Straight Leg Trousers, £35; Autograph Leather Across Body Bag, £69, all Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com)
Collection L Linen Look Jacket, currently reduced to £23.99 from £39.99, WITT International (www.witt-international.co.uk)
THE SOFT SELL
Every wardrobe needs a crisp, gabardine double-breasted trench, but come spring, there’s a lot to be said for the classic coat’s softer sister.
An unstructured trench can be worn unbuttoned, letting your outfit underneath have more of the limelight, and if you choose a pretty pastel rather than traditional stone, it’ll be dressy enough to wear over wedding outfits, too.
Nick Verreos Yellow Waterfall Mac, £63, QVC (www.qvcuk.com)
Anthropologie Rose Trench, £128 (in store May; www.anthropologie.com)
Inspired by the sporty stylings of the stand-out Chloe SS16 collection, and with the Rio Olympics not far away, hoodies, track tops and all manner of zip-ups suddenly seem way more appealing.
But this isn’t about wearing your gym kit all day; it’s about unexpected combinations - make like the Chloe models and pair your athletics-inspired jacket with a floaty gypsy skirt or a lacy slip dress.
Alba Hoodie, £155; Lorena Trousers, £125, Related Apparel (www.relatedapparel.com)
Mademoiselle R Green Leather Bomber Jacket, £149, La Redoute (www.laredoute.co.uk)
TAKE THE TROPHY
Some coats you want to blend in with just about any outfit. Others, you want to hold their own, and that’s where the ‘trophy’ jacket comes in.
Saturated with embroidery, beading, embellishment, or all of the above, this is about as conspicuous as a cover-up gets - so it can be on the pricey side, but the simple shape and classic floral motifs ensure you’ll be wearing yours for years to come.
Essentiel Embroidered Trophy Jacket, £285, Anthropologie (in store June; www.anthropologie.com)
V by Very Embroidered Trophy Jacket, currently reduced to £50 from £79 (www.very.co.uk)
FLIGHTS OF FANCY
Fast overtaking the biker as the cool-girl coat of choice, the flight jacket goes into overdrive this season, with embroidery, patches and all kinds of jazzy prints.
We’re also detecting a definite nod to Grease’s Pink Ladies, so shoulder-robing is a must if you’re plumping for a rose-toned bomber - arm holes are SO last year.
Miss Selfridge Black Bomber Jacket, £49 (in store at end of May; www.missselfridge.com)
Topshop Parrot Print MA1 Bomber Jacket, £60 (www.topshop.com)