Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rainwear Options

Besides Guinness and people with freckles, the other thing common to Ireland is rain. Seattle doesn’t have shit on this place. And so while at home it’s still sweltering hot, eventually it’s going to rain again at some point. At least I hope, otherwise I’m never coming back. Here’s a rudimentary breakdown of your rainwears in preparation for that time: 
First, you have the trench coat. Born out of Burberry in WWI, it’s still the iconic go-to brand for a trench coat (in my opinion). However, these do tend to be pricey, and there are other more affordable options available. Trench coats are made from gabardine, which is made from/with/of cotton, so it’s still breathable in foul weather. 

Burberry Trench-$1,038

Then there’s the mac (mackintosh actually). Typically cut in a more simple styling (think no epaulets or waist belt), macs are made with a rubber layer to fight the rain. However, that rubber layer does less to allow free airflow, and from what I hear these things typically run hot (as in, you’ll be sweating so much in one that getting soaked by rain is actually a better option). Can’t speak to this personally as I’ve never owned one, but something to consider. 

J.Crew's $800 option

or $200-Banana Republic

Also, while you should always be trying things on before you actually buy (suck it up and get over that fear of asking the person for a fitting room. They want the commission anyways.), a mac or a trench is a bit more on the formal side of your rainwear options, so bear in mind that you’ll likely be wearing it over a suit jacket. Don’t get something so slim that it limits your ability to actually wear it. 
For our next option, there’s waxed cotton (which is a woven mix of cotton and paraffin wax). The advantages of waxed cotton are its breathability and the variety of styles you can find. Any coat option can probably be found in a waxed cotton version. I own a waxed cotton jacket from Original Penguin that’s lasted well for a few years. My only issue is a question of water-repellancy (not a word I know). My jacket is definitely water-resistant, which means it’s good for a light drizzle. But if it’s pouring rain, I get just as soaked as if I were ass-naked. However, I’ve come across options online that claim true water-repellance. If anyone has any experience, feel free to let me know how it worked in the comments.

British Millerain waxed cotton field jacket

Michael Bastian Distressed Field Jacket-not waxed cotton but I like the styling so fuck it
Finally, you have your various options in modern materials (nylon/polyester/etc.). These too come in a variety of styles, from zip-fronts to popover anoraks. They’re great because they’re lightweight (making for easy travel), and can do a good job of protecting you from rain without suffocating you. Again, in my opinion these are the least stylish of choices, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good looking options available. A waxed cotton field jacket is just more my taste, but hey, this isn’t about me.

Brookrs Brothers Ripstop Popover- loving the bright orange, but I could see myself looking like a big traffic cone.

Good luck with the heat,


  1. I was very pleased to find this site. I definitely enjoyed reading every little bit of it and I have it bookmarked to check out new stuff posted regularly.

  2. Thanks so much. I love hearing from readers and am glad you enjoyed it/will keep enjoying it. I aim to please.