How to wear... summer jackets
In unpredictable Irish weather, a lightweight cover-up is just what you need, writes Meadhbh McGrath
You may have stowed away your winter coat and banished the opaque tights, but we can't do away with jackets altogether just yet. When it comes to our early summer wardrobes, we tend to only think about nailing the great sun-ready look, and end up tossing an old pashmina or shapeless cardigan on top, in the hope it can be quickly abandoned.
The right cover-up can really add to your outfit, bringing a burst of colour, unexpected texture or a flattering silhouette. But forget the cardis and waterfall jackets - here are our picks of the best styles for this season.
We can thank Meghan Markle for making the blazer the cover-up of choice for summer 2018. While we wouldn't advise trying her 'shoulder-robing' trick at home, a black jacket can bring a simple boldness to your look, and a single-breasted style can complement more visually interesting layers underneath. If black seems too harsh, try this season's pastels - a structured blazer will offset the sugary hues. If you go double-breasted, streamline the rest of your outfit.
This season's silky, draped versions are ideal for sultry evening looks - you can wear it alone as a dress, or layer over a pair of tailored trousers. Give it an extra hit of glamour by swapping out the belt for a jewelled or metallic one. For day, try a heritage check with a hint of sunshine yellow. Steer clear of the trendy oversized silhouettes from the catwalks, and opt for a flattering mid-calf length.
The duster coat
A more laidback style than the trench, the duster coat has made a quiet comeback, another trend attributed to Meghan Markle and her engagement photos. It can be worn loose or belted, day or night, and the mid-calf length adds sophistication to any outfit. A dusty rose shade will give an easy, romantic feel to everything from jeans and a t-shirt to a frothy gown, or try bright white - it feels particularly fresh this summer, and the lightweight design means it won't come off looking like a lab coat. See Felicity Huffman for inspiration.
Tread carefully with this one - Irish women love a bolero, but it can be terribly ageing. Make sure to choose a lightweight style that hits just above the waist to elongate the legs, and opt for a slim fit and crisp block colours rather than fussy patterns and embroidery. Pair with waist-cinching dresses, jumpsuits, skirts and trousers, and stay away from empire or dropped waist styles which will ruin the line and silhouette.
The utility jacket
You want to make sure this one reads 'easy, effortless style' rather than 'Coachella reject', so keep it simple with a lightweight, khaki cotton jacket, free of fuss and embellishment. Once you've got the right one, it's a failsafe cover-up, and perfect for those who find summer occasionwear too girly - Alexa Chung has made an art of using hers to neutralise delicate dresses. COS' version is beautifully simple, while & Other Stories offers a belted version to help define the waist.