Chic Outerwear For April

We'd all like to lighten up on?layers now that spring has arrived,?but in reality April can feel like one of the chilliest months of the year, probably because we're all so eager to lighten up on those layers, prematurely. The easiest way to stay warm?is to invest in some April-appropriate outerwear. Here's five of the finest.

Duster coats are a really chic option for this time of year. They come in lightweight fabrics and have precisely the kind of fluid feel that'makes you look like you've loosened up your style?for spring, even though they are tailored where it counts. I used to think you?had to be 5'9" to pull off the flowing longline of a duster coat. In fact, you?just need to be sure that it fits neatly at the shoulders and cuffs. Length in the body of the coat is great, but if you're of average height, overlong sleeves and sloppy shoulders will simply make you look like you're playing dress-up. This grey check version will look great with a dress or denims. I love how it's been styled here with khaki pants and white trainers. Urban cool.

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Lightweight check duster coat, €110 at

Khaki is a terrific trans-seasonal fabric. It feels fresh but not girlish, and whether you choose something loosely tailored, or more utilitarian, it'll work with a multitude of outfits.?A khaki jacket is one of those pieces you'll never regret buying. I'd pair this Sandro jacket with a metallic skirt and a plain T-shirt.


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Mabel jacket, €325 at

Go bright for an instant seasonal update. There is more than one way of lightening up your look for spring. Switch your black trousers for navy or charcoal, then throw over a coat in a vibrant colour instead of last season's burgundy?hues. You'll feel instantly fresh. This mustard longline jacket has a richness to it that pastels don't provide, so is good for Irish skin tones that haven't seen the sun in at least a year.

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Coat with Peter Pan collar, €79.95 at Zara

Try a bomber jacket. The traditional padded types have been replaced by silk and satin versions, which are great for layering in spring without adding bulk. They also add a relaxed kind of polish to your look. Dressing for spring is in part about relaxing your tailoring. Stiff cuts and structured silhouettes feel better suited to winter. Spring requires a looser approach.

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?Varsity-style two-tone satin jacket, €195 at

Choosing knitwear as outwear is a great way to bridge the gap between early spring and summer. Textured knits can look softer than traditional coats, so you'll immediately look like you're easing into the new season without appearing to freeze while doing so (never a good look). Ponchos are a very cool, if slightly retro, choice. Again, they offer an elegant fluidity and can be worn in different ways, belted for smart wear, free-flowing for weekends.

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Check oversized poncho, Esprit, €21.83 at (on sale now)

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