When the first few days of real spring—not when the calendar says it’s spring even though it’s snowing outside, but honest-to-goodness, thermostat-hitting-the-high-50s, you-can-finally-pack-up-your-parka spring—hit, it feels like summer has arrived. If the same weather was happening in late August, you’d be wearing a puffy vest over a sweater over an undershirt, clutching your shoulders and complaining about the cold; but now, this is an opportunity to break out some new-season clothes. Forget about practicality—bring on the slip dresses!
So you leave the house cheerfully wearing one layer, the sunshine on your back, until suddenly the clouds shift and you’re in the shade. The temperature drops about 10 degrees. Goose pimples cover your arms. You start to shiver. A girl with a choppy Alexa Chung haircut walks by, unaffected, thanks to the cute mac she’s thrown over her floaty shift. The decision to bare your arms without a backup plan suddenly feels like a very silly move. That’s why you need one of 25 transitional coats and jackets I’ve highlighted in the slideshow above. With options ranging from trenches to bombers to anoraks and more, you’ll find that my picks work well with spring outfits, but still have enough substance to survive March and April’s weird, in-between, Katy Perry song conditions. Click through to find one (or a few—it’s nice to have options in the morning!) you love now.