Khelan Style: Time to Spring for New Outerwear

by March 11, 2011 at 6:00 am 2,533 1 Comment

Khelan Bhatia discusses spring jackes for D.C.

Khelan Bhatia: The basics of buying a trench coat or jacket for spring weather in D.C.

From Khelan Bhatia. You can follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB. He lives in the U Street area and writes about style for Borderstan.

Hey there, Borderstanis. Hope you’re having a lovely week. I don’t know about you, but I am completely over winter. The only things getting me through these last few miserable weeks are visions of beach weekends, short-sleeve button-downs, denim shorts and Havianas.

Of course, before we even get to that point, we have to endure eight or so weeks of the awkward period I like to call “Springtime in the District.” Not warm enough for t-shirts and short-sleeves; not nearly cold enough for wool sweaters, top coats and heavy parkas. It’s basically the Twilight Zone of seasons. With rain. Copious amounts of rain. And tourists… ugh.

Dealing with people who’ve never used public transportation (or, apparently, walked on a sidewalk for that matter) in their lives is a chore. Finding outerwear for spring shouldn’t be. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

If you don’t have a raincoat, now would be the time to invest in one. If you’ve got the resources to spare, go all out and get a Burberry trench. They ain’t cheap, but they’ll last forever. If you’re on a budget (like me), I’d check out Zara or H&M for a more affordable version.

And if you have a weekend to spare, head up to NYC and check out Uniqlo in SoHo. The last time I went there (about a month ago) they had a lovely and relatively inexpensive trench coat.

For those who’re hunting for a more casual raincoat, I highly, highly recommend the Holborn trench from J.Crew. It looks great with jeans and, as I discovered last Sunday, did an awesome job of protecting me from the elements. For around $200, it’s not a bad deal.

If you’re seeking a more compact jacket, the Baracuta is timeless and stylish. It was made famous by the celebrity set in the 60’s; like most articles from that decade, it looks great now as it did back then. As style icons go, you can’t lose by emulating Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen in their heydays.

My friends know that I’m a bit of a denim addict. And it’s not just limited to jeans and shorts. I absolutely adore denim jackets; they’re fantastic for spring. You really can’t go wrong with a classic like the trucker jacket by Levi’s. Of course, the trick to wearing them is to avoid looking like you’re wearing a Canadian tuxedo.

The easiest way to do this is by wearing khakis or cords, if you’re wearing a blue denim jacket, or conversely, wearing a corduroy or canvas jacket with jeans. You can do denim-on-denim, but just be sure there’s considerable contrast between the two washes. For example, if you’re wearing medium or light blue wash jeans, go for an indigo or black jacket.

Last, but certainly not least, I totally endorse the military jacket for the season. Rugby by Ralph Lauren has a terrific, if slightly expensive, version. Uniqlo has a much more affordable one ($60 vs. $230 at Rugby). Since you’re planning on heading to NYC for that trench coat anyway, you may as well get their military jacket while you’re up there.

BTW, the weather report looks crisp and sunny this weekend. Take your new outerwear out for a spin.

That’s it for me this week, folks. See you next Friday.


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