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Men's spring jacketsView larger picture

Spring jackets. Enlarge for details

This time of year can really try one’s patience, temperature-wise. And thus, the importance of a lightweight spring jacket cannot be overstated. Actually, that’s not true: “Without a lightweight spring jacket, life is meaningless” would be an overstatement. But still it’s good to have one. During a routine rifle through my wardrobe, I had come across a cropped pea coat that I’d forgotten all about. It’s cotton and perfect for the prevailing conditions. I whipped it out and popped it on, delighted with both myself – and the jacket. A mere four hours later it was soaked through with salmon water.

Picture the scene: it is 9pm on a Friday night. A former T4 presenter (me) is in the car park of a major supermarket (Morrisons). He is wearing a lovely APC jacket. It is obvious that he likes this garment. For reasons that don’t warrant exploration, in his car boot of his car (a Y-reg Toyota Yaris) he has an enormous fresh salmon. It has been slumped in there for approximately 10 hours. Unbeknownst to our hero (still me), it was originally packed in ice. So when he heaves the 5ft polystyrene box out of the boot, he’s drenched in a tidal wave of salmon-infused water. The jacket bore the brunt of the fishy gush.

This feels to me like a modern enactment of one of Aesop’s Fables: there is a crude morality lesson in there somewhere. About pride in a jacket coming before the near-ruination of said jacket. Anyway, the dry cleaners are now dealing with the consequences as best they can. In the meantime, I am scouting around for a new lightweight coat. Which I will not wear smugly, no matter how lovely it may be.

I have been enthusiastically embracing the current double-breasted trend, but in a spring coat, it can be a bit too formal. So it’s worth looking for “unstructured” examples. I’m still not 100% clear what “unstructured” means in the context of clothing, but it definitely works. And can always be dressed up, should you wish.

Percival has a nice array of light jackets – my favourite being the Spy Jacket. Which is not only (salmon-) waterproof, but also has a pleasing contrast collar. And I’m not above finding the idea of wearing a “spy” anything quite thrilling.

On a different tack entirely, it’s useful to have a casual blazer. Sling it over any outfit and you’re immediately ready for an April evening out. You can’t go far wrong with Our Legacy’s soft grey blazer that can be worn as a two- or three-button. Which means it’s effectively two blazers in one. Which means it’s actually half the price. That’s right, isn’t it?

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Lightweight coats for men: Rick Edwards