Whether you think it comes too soon or it doesn’t come soon enough, fall will come just like it does every year — before you have a chance to pack away your summer clothes and pull out your winter ones. As wonderful as fall can be, it is an awkward time of year in regard to your wardrobe. On some days, summer clothes are perfectly acceptable. The next day could be 20 degrees cooler and have you digging through your closet for your winter sweaters and pants.
Yet there are some days that are a little bit of both. You may have sunny skies, but there’s a chill in the air every time the wind blows. For those days, you really need some go-to lightweight jackets at the ready when you’re headed out the door. But you can also look beyond jackets to any other toppers that keep you warm and looking good. Here is our list of the best lightweight “jackets” to keep on hand for the fall weather.
Hoodies are great for casual days, and there are so many different kinds to choose from. There are long ones and cropped ones. There are zippered ones and there are pullovers. There are hoodies with kangaroo pockets, and there are hoodies with side pockets. You get the point. No matter how they look, there’s one thing they have in common — comfort.
Having a comfy hoodie that you can hang on the coat rack by the door is a pro move. Grab it when you’re taking the dog out, getting the mail, running errand, or any other time you want to have something handy to warm this fall. Keep the material in mind, too. A fleece inner lining will make it warmer and heavier. Consider a hoodie that’s simply made of cotton thick enough to keep the chill at bay but thin enough to prevent you from overheating.
They don’t call it sweater weather for nothing. By the time the first leaves fall and the Halloween decorations are up, fall fans look forward to wearing their favorite sweaters or making an excuse to buy some more. They’re not just for wearing inside either; a long, comfy cardigan easily doubles as a lightweight jacket that’s perfect for fall days. They’re great because if they’re loose enough, they allow for ventilation so you won’t get too warm. A bonus is if your long cardigan has pockets for you to easily slip in your hands or hold your keys and cellphone.
In most places, you can’t talk about fall without addressing the possibility of rain. It’s not a bad thing though — after all, it isn’t snow. Before the mercury drops to below zero, you’ll want to enjoy whatever conditions fall throws at you, even if it they are a bit wet. And because you can’t predict those random showers, a lightweight raincoat is something you’ll want to keep handy. There are so many different styles of raincoats to choose from, so start by considering which type best suits your lifestyle. If you’re active and will be wearing it for walks or runs, find one with ventilation and make sure it isn’t too loose, since you’ll want to be able to move easily. In contrast, if you work in a professional environment, a trench jacket looks very polished and sharp.
It’s very common in autumn to set out on an adventure wearing something completely different than what you come back in. For example, if you’re going on an early morning hike, you’ll likely want a jacket on when you head out the door before the temperature has a chance to rise. When you come home, you may find that it’s 15 or even 20 degrees warmer than it was when you left the house. Packable jackets are great for this purpose, as you can simply fold one up and pack it away into your backpack or purse when not in use. There are lots of different styles from full length to shorter barn coats. Some women's packable jackets are made with down as well, providing an extra layer of warmth while still being slim enough to pack itself up into its own pocket.
If style is just as important as warmth for you, a poncho is a quintessential fall favorite. They’re not restricting in any way, and they come in so many different varieties and patterns. Some have pockets and hoods as well for when you want something lightweight yet functional. Wear a simple women’s T-shirt underneath with some jeans and ankle boots, and you’ll feel warm and look stylish, too.
If you keep any of these stylish lightweight jacket solutions ready and hanging by the door, you’re sure to be ready for fall and whatever weather it throws at you.