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 Upgraded Raincoat
Penfield, a Massachusetts based company that has been pumping out some of America's best outerwear since it exploded onto the scene in the seventies, has a masterpiece on its hands with the Vasson Jacket. The raincoat-but-not-really-a-raincoat, is constructed from Hudson waxcloth, which looks better and better as it gets worn in and decked out in big pockets ideal for holding everything from fishing flies to your coach's whistle to the ballcap you throw on after work. The coat is hooded, but still looks handsome with a tie and is also machine washable, meaning you'll wear it again and again until you have to admit it's too hot out to justify the extra layer. [$180; jcrew.com]