I attended a fundraiser last weekend for an activity that my niece participates in. Fun to get out, finally, and have an excuse to dress up a bit after so long!

I was pretty happy with my outfit (pictured) -- silk slip skirt with a pink paisley print, lightweight 3/4 sleeve pullover in ombre blue, metallic ballet flats.

My outerwear was kind of the weak link: a short gear puffer (north face thermoball, for puffer nerds out there). Definitely appropriate for my environmental norms in Seattle but I got to thinking that it might be nice to have a somewhat spiffier coat for spring.

But what, though? I know what I don't want: some kind of traditional trench. Waist belts, epaulettes, breast pockets all feel overwhelming on me. And beige is The Worst Color In The World, according to my complexion.

So what else is out there? Ideas about what I should look for? How have you cracked the spring dressy outerwear code? Grateful for any brainstorms and suggestions.

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