A group of men and women wearing different lightweight jackets.

A guide to buying a lightweight jacket: finding the perfect jacket for spring and autumn

What is a lightweight jacket?

When the weather is too warm for a thick winter coat, but also not warm enough to go out without a coat it is recommended to get a lightweight jacket. Lightweight coats and jackets are the perfect choice for the transitional period between the seasons. They are often made out of light fabrics, which makes them ideal for mild to slightly cooler temperatures and also windy weather. Lightweight jackets are very practical as they are lighter than thick winter coats so they need less space, which means you can also pop them into a bag or your backpack.

How to find the perfect fit

These types of jackets are great to wear either on a sunny spring day or on a rainy autumn day. There is a lightweight coat or jacket to suit all tastes, whether you are wearing it to look fashionable or you simply would like to wear one as they are so fantastically practical.

Trench coats are great as transitional jackets: a woman wearing a trench coat.

Trench coats: fashionable lightweight coats

Are you looking for a lightweight coat with a bit of style that will go well with a smart dress or a suit? This fashionable jacket is an undisputed fashion classic and it can be beautifully combined with a smart business look or elegant evening wear. Trench coats are timeless and they go with almost anything, which makes them a popular choice. Get a more casual or sporty look by wearing the jacket open, but if you prefer a smarter look you can simply button up the jacket and tie the waist belt around the jacket.

Fashionable trench coats
Bomber jackets are a good choice for a lightweight jacket: a woman wearing a bomber jacket.

Bomber jackets and varsity jackets

Bomber jackets are hip-length with cuffs on the end of the sleeves and the bottom part of the jacket has a similar cut to a blouse. You can wear varsity jackets and bomber jackets at different times of the year and they also suit a wide range of fashion styles. A bomber jacket in a light colour with a quirky pattern is a great choice, which can be combined with dresses and jumpsuits, whereas a varsity jacket has a more sporty look.

Lightweight bomber jackets
Wearing a denim jacket as a transitional jacket: a woman wearing a classic denim jacket.

Denim jackets: casual lightweight jackets

It's hard to imagine a street style without denim jackets. There is a wide range of denim jackets to choose from such as short cut, blazer style or oversized. Combine a denim jacket with a T-shirt or a light blouse for a great spring outfit or combine it with a jumper or a hoodie for a great autumn outfit. Lined models with faux fur, lambskin or teddy fleece are also fantastic for colder days.

Casual denim jackets
Wearing a leather jacket as a transitional jacket: a man wearing a leather jacket.

Leather jackets: lightweight jackets for any style

Hardly any lightweight jacket can be combined as well as a timeless leather jacket. You can go for a classic biker style, which will give your outfit a cool and rocky look. An oversized style will look particularly sporty, while a leather bomber jacket is fashionable and light. Leather jackets can be worn with almost any outfit such as with blue jeans, a jumper or a chic cocktail dress. Leather jackets are long lasting provided you take care of them, which makes them a great lightweight jacket that you can wear year in, year out.

Stylish leather jackets
Lightweight quilted jackets as a warmer option: a man wearing a lightweight quilted jacket.

Lightweight quilted jackets

Are you looking for a jacket that will keep you warm at the beginning of winter or on cool spring evenings? Getting a thicker lightweight jacket is a good idea to help keep you warm when it is still not cold enough to wear a thick winter coat. Lightweight quilted jackets or lined denim or leather jackets will help to keep you warm during the cooler months without making you feel too hot and sweaty.

Lightweight quilted jackets
A showerproof lightweight jacket: a woman wearing a softshell jacket.

Softshell jackets for outdoor activities

Softshell jackets are great for autumn and spring as they will help to keep you warm and dry on wet and windy days. Softshell jackets usually have a showerproof coating. Compared to other waterproof hardshell jackets they offer better thermal regulation and breathability. These showerproof lightweight jackets are perfect for enthusiastic outdoor athletes, but their chic design also makes them suitable for everyday use.

Softshell jackets for wet and windy days
Shackets are a fabulous option as a transitional jacket: a man wearing a shacket.

Shackets: a great style to suit anyone

A shirt which looks like a jacket is also called a shacket. This jacket is known for its light oversize shape and traditional and great designs. It can be combined with almost any outfit as it looks casual and it suits both men and women. These types of lightweight jackets will help you to stay warm on the first couple and last couple of days of winter thanks to the cosy flannel material and velvety corduroy. These materials are great as they aren’t too thick, but they will keep you warm.

Shackets will help to keep you warm on cool days
Find the perfect lightweight jacket

What is the best time of year to wear lightweight jackets?

Lightweight jackets are the perfect companion for moderate temperatures. It is therefore usually recommended to wear them on days where the temperatures are around 10 °C to 16 °C. Thanks to their lightweight but weatherproof material they will keep you warm as they are best suited to changeable weather. However, not all lightweight jackets are waterproof such as denim jackets. They will keep you warm on a windy day but they aren’t waterproof so it is recommended not to wear one on a rainy day.

Depending on where you live and your own perception of the cold will determine when you should start wearing a lightweight jacket. You could also wear layers of clothing, which are lighter and made out of breathable materials and then combine them with a lightweight jacket as this will help to keep you warm.

What features should you look out for when choosing a lightweight jacket?

To ensure that you can brave any weather conditions with your new lightweight jacket there are a couple of things you should be mindful of when choosing a new jacket. Choosing the right lightweight coat or jacket to suit your personal needs depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Below you will find some tips on what you should look out for when buying a transitional jacket:

Waterproof lightweight jackets

If you are out and about in the wind and rain then your lightweight jacket should be ideally windproof and waterproof so that you stay warm and don't get wet. Keep in mind that most lightweight jackets are showerproof, but not all of them are completely waterproof. In heavy rain you will still need an umbrella, rain poncho or a raincoat.

Breathable lightweight jackets

It’s best to go for a lightweight jacket that is made out of a breathable material if you are planning on wearing it for a long time or you would like to wear it whilst playing lots of sports. Clothing made out of breathable materials are comfortable and they help to keep moisture away from the body, which will prevent you from getting cold after sweating.

A woman wearing a breathable lightweight jacket.

Lightweight jackets with a stand up collar and/or a hood

Lightweight jackets with a stand-up collar will protect your neck from the wind and cold even without wearing a scarf. In addition or as an alternative, some lightweight jackets have a (detachable) hood that you can wear instead of a cap. This is a great option to keep you warm and dry in cooler temperatures. Ideally, the hood should be adjustable with drawstrings so that you can adjust it perfectly to fit your head.

A man wearing a lightweight jacket with pockets.

A lightweight jacket with pockets

A lightweight jacket with chest or hip pockets is ideal as you can put your small items such as your mobile phone and wallet in the pockets and you will therefore not need to carry a handbag or backpack around with you. The pockets are also practical for keeping your hands warm on cool days in autumn and spring.

What are the best materials to go for when buying a lightweight jacket?

Stylish and practical lightweight jackets can be made out of different materials. The most important thing to look out for is a lightweight yet robust design as this is suited to spring and autumn weather. The jacket should also be breathable, windproof and waterproof or showerproof. The exact properties of the different materials will vary, therefore, make sure to choose a lightweight jacket that goes with your lifestyle as well as your clothing style.

Cotton or blended fabrics - light, breathable and crease-resistant

Jackets made out of cotton or blended fabrics are particularly lightweight, breathable and they do not become creased easily. They're great if you're looking for something practical that you could wear almost every day and something that can be worn on cool sunny days as well as on an overcast day. However, lightweight cotton jackets will not keep you dry in a downpour. Therefore, you should always make sure to have an umbrella with you.

A close-up of an item of clothing made out of cotton.

Leather or faux leather – warm, weatherproof and long lasting

A leather jacket is also a great choice when it comes to lightweight jackets as the natural properties of leather or faux leather will not only keep you warm on windy days, but will also keep you feeling dry on a damp day. However, make sure to use a leather waterproofing spray before wearing it for the first time and also remove any traces of rain and snow with a microfibre cloth. If necessary make sure to use special leather care products as this will ensure that your jacket will be long lasting.

A close-up of a leather jacket.

Wool – warm, smart and breathable

Lightweight coats and jackets made out of wool are perfect for autumn or for the last couple days of winter. They will also keep you warm on the first couple of cold days in winter. Wollen coats and jackets can be made out of pure new wool, merino or cashmere or have a synthetic fibre content that supports the breathable and weatherproof properties of the natural material.

A close-up of an item of clothing made out of wool.

Synthetic fibres - weatherproof, lightweight and suitable for outdoor use

Outdoor or softshell jackets are usually made out of synthetic fibres such as polyester or nylon. Careful processing and a protective coating (e.g. BIONIC-FINISH®ECO) ensure that jackets are weatherproof, but at the same time remain breathable and pleasantly light to wear. Jackets made out of synthetic materials are not only a good choice for athletes and people who enjoy being outdoors, but they are also a practical option for a sporty urban style that keeps you dry even in bad weather.

A close-up of an item of clothing made out of synthetic fibres.

What is the best way to wash and take care of a lightweight jacket?

A lightweight jacket in a simple and timeless design can last you several years if you take good care of it. Most of the time it is enough just to air out your jacket if you have only worn it for a short period of time. However, if you have worn it whilst playing sports or if you have got some dirt on it then it is time to put your jacket into the wash.

To ensure that you enjoy your jacket regardless of the material for a longer time, there are a few basic washing tips that you can follow:

  • Fasten all the buttons and do up any zips before putting the item of clothing into the washing machine.

  • Turn your jacket inside out and/or put it in a wash bag.

  • Choose a gentle wash programme and wash on a low temperature.

Make sure to double check the care label on your lightweight jacket and also the materials it is made out of before washing it:

Washing a lightweight jacket made out of cotton

Such jackets are usually easy to clean and take care of. Make sure to use a colour detergent for dark jackets and a bio washing detergent for light jackets. For the best cleaning performance of light-coloured cotton jackets use a detergent that contains bleach.

  • Wash at 40 °C

  • Bio washing detergent or a colour washing detergent

  • Cotton wash programme

Washing a lightweight jacket made out of synthetic fibres or blended fabrics

You can pop these types of jackets into the washing machine without any hesitation, but make sure to put them on a gentle cycle. By using a low spin cycle, you can prevent your jacket from becoming creased. You can often save on ironing by hanging it up and leaving it to dry afterwards.

  • Wash at 30°C or at a maximum of 40 °C

  • Delicate detergent or a colour detergent

  • Choose a delicate wash cycle or a specific wash programme for synthetics

Wash a lightweight jacket made out of wool or blended fabrics containing wool

Items of clothing made out of wool need special care to ensure that they are long lasting. Fabric softener is generally not recommended for wool as it can damage the soft natural fibres. As a result, the jacket could lose its natural shape. After washing your woollen jacket wrap it in a large towel and wait until the towel has absorbed the excess moisture. After this, carefully pull your woollen jacket back into shape and then leave it to dry lying down.

  • Wash at 20°C or at a maximum of 30 °C

  • Delicate laundry detergent or a wool laundry detergent

  • Handwash or wash on a special wool programme

Washing tips for lightweight jackets made out of delicate materials

Lightweight jackets which have a showerproof coating will need to be cleaned and washed in a certain way to ensure that the properties of the material do not become damaged:

  • It is best to use a sports laundry detergent.

  • Wash your showerproof or softshell jacket at a maximum temperature of 30°C.

  • Avoid using fabric softeners and bleach as these can damage the showerproof fibres.

  • Do not put these types of jackets into the tumble dryer as the high temperatures can damage the fibres. Also avoid direct sunlight when hanging your jacket up on the washing line outside to dry to prevent the material from becoming porous.


If your lightweight jacket is made out of a mix of wool and synthetic materials, you should always focus on the more sensitive material.

Find your perfect lightweight jacket for spring and autumn!

Trench coats, lightweight quilted jackets, showerproof softshell jackets or a good all-rounder, find your perfect jacket for spring or autumn now.