In recent years, I've come to appreciate the value of a summer coat. That's after years of fooling myself into thinking that once we're into June, outerwear becomes redundant... it doesn't. The reality of an Irish summer - even a good one - is that mornings and evenings can be chilly, and there will always be sporadic days that feel more like January than July.
A summer coat offers a protective layer that won't jar aesthetically with the rest of your outfit. Even on the worst of days (like today), reverting to your favourite grey wool coat isn't the answer. It will simply?look?cumbersome and drab. Summer, even an Irish one, requires a more nuanced approach to outerwear.?Here are a few suggestions?to inspire.
This Uterque leather overshirt is a great solution to summer outerwear. It offers everything you need from a coat (coverage, warmth, protection) but it looks lightweight and informal so it's perfect for spring/summer.
Navy leather overshirt, €329 at uterque.com
I'm a big fan of this earthy maize colour right now, so this Massimo Dutti coat is one of my favourites. The shade?adds depth to an outfit (especially in summer when I'm wearing lighter shades beneath it) and warmth to my complexion. The textured weave adds a real high fashion feel as does the stitch detailing on the sleeves. This is definitely worth the investment.
Textured weave cotton coat, €199 at Massimo Dutti
This Cos coat offers a really subtle way to incorporate a botanical feel into your'summer?wardrobe if you're not a floral kind of girl.?It looks like a leaf-print to me, but because the print is?abstract, it doesn't scream at you. The masculine cut also balances well with the leaf motif. This coat will add real punch to a simple outfit of jeans and a T-shirt.
Jacquard tailored coat, €150 at Cos
Although trench coats are always heralded as "wardrobe classics", I'm not a fan. I see a trench coat, I think Inspector Gadget. I am a big fan of parkas, however. I have a khaki version I bought in Topshop in London about 15 years ago and it's still going strong. I think most women probably fall on one side of the trench/parka divide. This navy parka-style coat from H&M, however, is the perfect hybrid of both I think. It offers the length and coverage of a trench but with the utilitarian detailing of a parka. I love it.
Oversized parka, €79.99 at H&M