Where winter jackets need to accomplish one thing – keeping wearers warm – spring jackets have to be light (but not too light), rugged (but not too bulky), and stylish (but not too formal). Creating an effective warm-weather shell is no easy matter, but designers are succeeding by pushing classic shapes to their logical extremes and doubling down on details.
The Softer Sailor's Shell
It's easy to forgive anyone who mistakes Odin New York's Bower Jacket for an extremely thick sweater. The shawl collar and soft wash, coupled with the rounded pockets, make it seems – at first anyway – less tough than it actually is. But the big-buttoned cotton coat is thick and rigid enough to take one a stiff ocean breeze and its nautical styling means that it looks fantastic with a beanie, khakis, and boat shoes. Don't want to look like anyone's first mate? Throw it over a denim jacket for a downtown-goes-hiking look that's hard to beat. [$319; odinnewyork.com]