There was a time, a mere generation or so ago, when spring meant a new go-to-meeting blue coat and a straw hat trimmed with flowers. Then came the era of dressing down, when the closest thing most women had to a spring coat was an all-purpose poplin raincoat, worn with a scarf tied around the head in bad weather.
This year a spring coat could be a lightweight wool gabardine coat, an elongated jacket or a capelike flannel coat. It could also, of course, be a raincoat, but the raincoat now takes many guises.
It may be short and swingy, in a shiny cire fabric or a water-repellent gabardine. It may be a long, quilted cardigan of microfiber. Or it may be a variation on the classic trench coat.