Enjoy a spring in your step in the trenches

Blue hooded jacket, �65; striped top, �22 and denim shorts, �20, all from Next
Blue hooded jacket, �65; striped top, �22 and denim shorts, �20, all from Next

MIXED showers and sunshine are nothing new on the coast, but while it’s not t-shirt weather yet, it’s time to ditch the heavy overcoat and embrace the new season with a spring-friendly jacket.

All eyes might be on Kate Middleton’s impending wedding dress but, while we wait for April 29, her choice of outerwear is keeping us fashionably entertained.

Summer mac, �249; white trilby, �25 and bag, �279, Elegance

Summer mac, �249; white trilby, �25 and bag, �279, Elegance

One of the future princess’s most recent royal visit ensembles, a £650 Burberry trench coat, sold out within a day due to copycat demand - dubbed the ‘Middleton effect’.

Worn accessorised with her trademark black boots, she deemed her coat stylish enough to be worn solo - buttoned right through without so much as a glimpse of her outfit underneath.

Until it’s warm enough to go sans le jacket in high summer, your spring cover-up is just as important as your winter coat in being the first thing that anyone sees.

And without the need for warmth insulation, spring jackets offer even more room for experimentation with on-trend silhouettes and dramatic shades. This season has seen an influx of rainbow bright macs and bold print trenches on the high street.

Classic navy trench, �85 and shift spot dress, �65, Long Tall Sally

Classic navy trench, �85 and shift spot dress, �65, Long Tall Sally

With jackets this good, make like Kate and let your outerwear do all the talking.

The classic

Meet the trench, the transitional wonder that will never fade out of fashion.

King of coats Burberry showcased a mac attack catwalk with every variation of the trench imaginable, from snake print to studded sleeves, proving this is one classic with versatility if you want to stray away from the norm.

If your hands are tied to the tried-and-tested model, keep your trench to a neutral tone and you’ll have a spring coat that will complement just about any seasonal trend or colour - it looks just as fresh with party dresses as casual denims.

Trend tip: Try adding a block cork heel or wedge to adopt a Seventies Love Story vibe.

Bright and beautiful

There’s only one way to stand out from the crowds this spring: get a talking point coat.

Whether it’s an uber-bright shade or a punchy print, jackets have had a wallpaper-style makeover.

Think deckchair-inspired stripes, floral explosions and contrast colours if you dare. While Tommy Hilfiger opted for a tangerine trench, Kenzo’s collection bloomed with a chrysanthemum print coat.

Unless you want to try the niche trend for clashing prints or bright colours, keep your outfit muted to make your busy jacket the main focus.

Trend tip: Update a tired neutral jacket by adding a splash of colour with a bright belt.

All-weather warrior

With festival season and April showers fast approaching, the high street has gone all practical with an array of weatherproof jackets.

More Glastonbury Festival than Fashion Week, you can adapt just about any trend to your favourite rain beater.

If you love brights, Topshop have a canary yellow shiny hooded mac that would make any Cornish fisherman green with envy, or Barbour fans will love Miss Selfridges’s khaki wax Parka tribute.

It may not be intended as an everyday purchase but with the turbulent British climate, you’re sure to get plenty of wear.

Trend tip: Practical outerwear means you can go wild underneath - team with pretty dresses for a complete contrast.

Off duty chic

Sometimes you need a staple that separates your work wardrobe from your fun time fashion and this season it’s the biker jacket.

Banish visions of harsh black leather and hardwear zips - this season’s shapes come in soft putty shades like cornflower blue, pebble grey and soft peach.

Opt for butter-soft leather or suede in keeping with the casual chic as seen at Alexander Wang. He created a contemporary look by teaming slightly oversized bikers worn open with loose-knit sweaters and boyish cropped pants.

Trend tip: Need sparkle? Adopt some tough luxe with a smattering of multicoloured stud detailing.