Today’s Woman: A brolly good show as Kate’s in the trenches

Miss Selfridge contrast cotton parka, �58 (www.missselfridge.com).  Picture credit: PA Photo/Miss Selfridge.
Miss Selfridge contrast cotton parka, �58 (www.missselfridge.com). Picture credit: PA Photo/Miss Selfridge.
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Ditch the heavy overcoat and embrace the new season with a spring-friendly jacket.

Ditch the heavy overcoat and embrace the new season with a spring-friendly jacket.

Blue hooded jacket, �65; striped top, �22 and denim shorts, �20. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Next.

Blue hooded jacket, �65; striped top, �22 and denim shorts, �20. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Next.

With weeks to go before her wedding dress is revealed to the world, Kate Middleton’s dress-sense is already causing a sensation.

The ‘Middleton effect’ is taking hold. One of the future princess’s recent ensembles for a Royal visit was a £650 Burberry trench coat.

She wore it accessorised with her trademark black boots and buttoned it from top to buttom, without so much as a glimpse of her outfit underneath.

It spawned a flood of copy-Kates; the top British design house were delighted to discover that the coat had sold out within a day of being seen on William’s wife-to-be.

Summer mac, �249; white trilby, �25 and bag, �279, Elegance (0844 557 5507/www.elegance.co.uk). Picture: PA Photo/Elegance.

Summer mac, �249; white trilby, �25 and bag, �279, Elegance (0844 557 5507/www.elegance.co.uk). Picture: PA Photo/Elegance.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a real Burberry, though, it’s likely you’ll be on the hunt for a new spring cover-up.... Something that takes you stylishly through to days when it’s warm enough to go without - and cuts a dash in the process. This season has seen an influx of rainbow bright macs, bold print trenches and light spring jackets in on-trend silhouettes on the high street.

So make like Kate and let your outerwear do all the talking.

THE CLASSIC

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

BHS purple single breasted mac, �35 (www.bhs.co.uk).  Picture: PA Photo/BHS.

BHS purple single breasted mac, �35 (www.bhs.co.uk). Picture: PA Photo/BHS.

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.

Though this classic can easily do versatility., as Burberry proved when it showcased a mac attack on the catwalk with every variation of the trench imaginable, from snake print to studded sleeve versions.

TREND TIP: Try adding a block cork heel or wedge to give your mac a Seventies Love Story vibe.

BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

Tipped yellow coat, �110; sassy silk dress, �95; plaited belt, �29; strappy wedges, �75 and slouchy buckle bag, �149, all from Boden (0845 677 5000/www.boden.co.uk). Picture: PA Photo/Boden.

Tipped yellow coat, �110; sassy silk dress, �95; plaited belt, �29; strappy wedges, �75 and slouchy buckle bag, �149, all from Boden (0845 677 5000/www.boden.co.uk). Picture: PA Photo/Boden.

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.

But uless 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.

Principles by Ben de Lisi stripe mac, �65 at Debenhams (08445 616161/www.debenhams.com). Picture: PA Photo/Handout.

Principles by Ben de Lisi stripe mac, �65 at Debenhams (08445 616161/www.debenhams.com). Picture: PA Photo/Handout.

If you love brights, Topshop have a canary yellow shiny hooded mac (£45) that would make any Cornish fisherman green with envy. And Barbour fans will love Miss Selfridges’s khaki wax Parka tribute (£58). 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 off-duty one. And this season it’s the biker jacket.

Banish visions of winter’s shearlings and harsh black leathers with hardwear zips, though. This season’s shapes come in soft pastel shades like cornflower blue, pebble grey and soft peach.

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

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