Mother Nature can throw some harsh weather at us, especially at this time of year. On a windy, rainy day, it can be tough to keep dry and keep stylish, but with a little help, it’s far from impossible. With these three classic pieces of rainwear in your arsenal, there’s nothing Mother Nature can do to cramp your style.
The Trench Coat
Few pieces of outerwear are as iconic as the trench coat, and when it comes to rainwear, it is the undisputed king of coats, for both men and women. This is the coat to wear over a business suit or a similarly dressy outfit. Originally designed as a military coat, it was worn by British soldiers in the trenches during World War I, hence its name.
The modern trench coat varies little from the original and is replete with military details: epaulets, a rifle patch and a belt with metal d-rings, originally meant to carry grenades. The only real difference is that modern ones are made from a more water-repellent polyester/cotton fabric than the originals. Stay classic here and opt for a double-breasted one in khaki, with a length just below the knee. For an added dose of panache, wear the belt tied rather than buckled.
The Mackintosh, or simply “Mac,” is the toned-down cousin of the trench coat. Where the trench is a collection of buttons, buckles and details, the Mac is an exercise in restraint. Characterized by raglan sleeves, two front pockets, a shorter length and a single-breasted fly front, the Mac is more versatile than the trench. It’s at home with business clothes, but its simple lines make it a cinch to pair with more casual outfits as well. Once again, khaki is the most classic color, but black, navy, olive green or even Black Watch tartan are great choices as well.
The Waxed Cotton Jacket
The more rustic member of the group is the waxed cotton jacket, a staple of British farmers. These jackets are made of a thick cotton cloth impregnated with paraffin wax to make them waterproof. They age well, only getting better with wear. Don’t let them get too worn though, as you’ll need to recondition these with wax at least once a year.
Most commonly found in forest green with a brown corduroy collar, versions in navy and brown are also quite sharp. Knee-length pieces like the one in the photo are a bit of a rarity, the more common style being just longer than a sports coat. A natural choice with jeans and a sweater, a certain devil-may-care preppy look can be achieved by wearing one over a jacket and tie.
Of course, you’ll also need a couple of good umbrellas to keep as dry as possible. Instead of the cheap throw-away kind found in pharmacies, get good ones. They’ll handle the wind better, and because you got nice ones, you’ll be less likely to lose track of them. A black one with a long wooden handle is a must with dressy clothes, while a nice short one is perfect for throwing in your briefcase. Keep one in the trunk of your car for emergencies.
With great coats like this to wear, you’ll see a rainy fall day for the beautiful thing it is, rather than just a mess to be dealt with. Besides, a little rain never hurt anyone anyway.
Photo credits: An Affordable Wardrobe
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