The first thing I buy when I'm updating my wardrobe for a new season is my outerwear, and this Spring I was jonesing for, of all things, an updated anorak. I am eternally amused when designers take a boring, bastardly or otherwise maligned piece of clothing and resurrect it as something covetable and cool, which is precisely what Stella McCartney did months ago on the SSO8 runways with the anorak, and well, here we are today, seeing dozens of anorak offerings at every price point, in every store.
After this grand introduction, you'll probably find it amusing to see the jacket I actually purchased - it's the humble gray number on the right in the photo above. But God is in the details (trust me!) and this jacket, which I scored for $20 at H&M, has everything I could ever ask for and then some. Big pockets are perfect for stashing keys, doggie treats and plastic bags for my many daily walks with my Boxer pup. Or ya know, just for looking cool.
There's a hood, too, which is helpful considering I live in a part of the country that definitely sees plenty of Spring showers. To the untrained eye, it would appear my "revolutionary" new anorak is merely about function, but believe me when I say it has much more finesse. It's hard to explain. But I love this coat.
The closest thing I could find to it online is this Free People Nylon Hooded Jacket (above left) available at UrbanOutfitters.com for $168.00. Yeah, kinda steep. Urban has a bunch of similar styles coats, though, so definitely check them out if you love this trend as much as I do.
But wait, there's more...
Here are a few more budget-friendly anorak finds for your viewing pleasure. Try a bright color if you wear mostly neutral shades, and vice versa. I won't lie and say you'll look automagically chic, because wearing the unstructured anorak will require its wearer to do more careful styling in order to look put together and up-to-date. If you're having doubts, stick with a classic trench. But if you're ready to try something new to transition you into Spring, give the beloved anorak a go.
 Beige anorak at MangoShop.com (search for ref. 63015408) Orig. $99 Now $68.99
 Go International Twill Anorak at Target.com, $49.99
 Kenneth Cole Reaction City Anorak at Nordstrom.com, $98.00
 Bubble Sleeve Parka at ASOS.com, $121.06 NOW $61.63
 INC International Concepts Pullover Bubble-Sleeve Jacket at Macys.com, Orig. $69.00 Now $44.99