The Best Transition Jackets for Women: Go From Winter to Spring

March 15, 2024

One of the biggest style challenges women have is how to transition their wardrobe from winter to spring. The key? Finding the best transition jackets that can take you from gray mornings to blossoming spring days. 

Walk with us through this guide on all things transitional jackets. We’ll show you what they are, why you need them, and what to look for. Plus, we’ll even include style and product recommendations from our expert stylists.

What is a Transitional Jacket?

A transitional jacket is versatile enough to complement and complete outfits from late winter to spring. The right jacket is one you can easily create countless outfits with. Whether you’re wearing it over a cozy turtleneck or a cotton tee, you’re comfortable and ready to go.

At NLW, we love transitional jackets because they fit into our capsule wardrobe philosophy (AKA, the Next Level Wardrobe Style System). We encourage our clients to prioritize clothing they can use in countless outfits and that they can wear for multiple seasons. 

That way they avoid having over-cluttered closets filled with clothes they’ve only worn once. Less stress, less mess, more great style.

What Type of Transition Jacket is Best for Spring?

The ideal spring transition jacket, perfect for transitioning from winter, boasts a relaxed fit, lightweight feel, and neutral hue.

It should effortlessly complement your outfits and work with your lifestyle. You should find one or two transitional jackets that fit all of your needs for this time of year. You don’t need 50!

The definition of the “perfect” spring jacket may vary depending on your needs. But there are three key areas you should pay attention to:

  1. Material
  2. Fit 
  3. Color

Let’s look more closely at each of these factors.

1. Material

NLW Founder, Cassandra Sethi

We always tell our clients to prioritize high-quality materials. But what does this mean specifically for a transitional jacket? 

Well, seek out medium to lightweight jackets. That way they can keep you warm enough in late winter without overheating in the spring. 

  • Natural fibers such as cotton and wool are both great options. They’re breathable and easy to find in a variety of weights. 
  • Synthetic materials such as nylon, and other technical fabrics are lightweight and sometimes wind and rain-resistant. 

No matter which material you choose, make sure you’re seeking out quality brands. You want to know that your jacket will stand the test of time.

2. Fit 

NLW Stylist, Maggie Martens

One thing you might notice about spring-to-winter jackets is that they tend to have a looser, more relaxed fit. 

This is intentional and definitely, something you should be on the lookout for. The loose fit gives you flexibility for layering. You want something that fits over a cable knit, but that isn’t too oversized over a fitted tank.

To find your ideal fit, it’s important to try on lots of different silhouettes. 

Block out a day where you can go to a store and try on as many different styles as possible. That way you know what fit makes sense for your body and your wardrobe.

3. Color

NLW Client in her ‘after’ outfits 

Let’s talk color.

Don’t worry, we’re not about to try to sell you on color theory or “getting your colors done.” The NLW approach to color is much more simple:

  1. Core colors
    Make the majority of your closet core colors. These are black, white, grey, and navy. Why? Because they go with everything and fit just about any occasion and season.
  2. Tonal colors
    The second biggest portion of your closet should be tonal colors. These are variations on core colors. Think beiges, creams, olives, etc. These add visual interest to your wardrobe while still being extremely versatile.
  1. Accent colors and patterns
    Save the smallest third of your wardrobe for accent colors and patterns. These are those bright or bold pops that tie into seasonal trends.

Since a transitional jacket is a piece that you want to combine with multiple outfits, purchase one in a core color or another neutral. That way you can just buy one or two jackets and you’re covered for all scenarios. 

The 3 Best Spring Jackets for Women

Ready to find the best spring jackets for women? Here are our stylist-approved recommendations for the layering pieces that can take you from winter to spring in a snap.

1. A Belted Transitional Coat

Product by Mackage, shop here.

If you’re on the hunt for women’s transitional coats, we suggest trying a belted option. It’s a great way to define your silhouette even while bundled up.

We love this option from Mackage because it’s a modern take on a traditional coat. The olive color is versatile enough to go with neutrals and accent colors without feeling too dark or stuffy.

If you prefer more coverage around your legs for windy days, opt for a traditional long-length trench in khaki.

Winterize this look with black ponte trousers, a matching turtleneck, and ankle boots.

Or turn it into a spring sensation with wide-leg, light-hued trousers, loafers, and a casual tee.

2. A Bomber Transitional Jacket

Product by Cinq à Sept, shop here.

Even in spring, you’re bound to have chilly days.

One of the best transitional jackets out there is a bomber. Find one with a quilted texture for those colder days and you’re good to go. 

We love this navy blue jacket from Cinq à Sept for just that reason. The cotton exterior with a denim-like heathering looks sophisticated and modern while the poly lining keeps you toasty.

On top of that, the darker color makes transitioning your look from day to evening a breeze.

During the winter, partner this with a midi-length ribbed-knit dress and knee-high boots. For spring, create a cool combination with bootcut jeans, ballet flats, and a blouse.

3.  A Transitional Tweed Jacket

Product by Sandro Vali, shop here.

Texture is one of the most style-savvy ways to upgrade your look. It adds visual variety to an outfit without feeling as in-your-face as bold patterns. 

Plus, during the colder times of the year, it gives your outfit an extra cozy vibe.

For this, we recommend a tweed jacket. Tweed has a long history as a wool-patterned fabric from Scotland. It originated in the nineteenth century in the highlands and is a staple of heritage style to this day.

Incorporate this tradition into your closet with this cropped style from Sandro Vali. The shorter length defines your waist and adds a feminine flare to this sturdy fabric.

This one in particular is great for any dress code. You can dress it up with a pair of heels and a sleek pair of dress pants and jewelry. Or, go for a casual or power casual look with flats and black jeans.

Which Transitional Jacket Works Best With Your Personal Style?

Finding the best transitional jacket is an important building block to having great style. If you’re ready to work with a professional to achieve the full wardrobe of your dreams, NLW has your back. 
Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s Women’s Styling Services. Our expert team will elevate your style, closet, and shopping habits with an easy, proven approach to personal styling.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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