There comes a moment in the year when the heavens open up and a torrential downpour will affect us. Getting drenched at the start of the day is no fun. Luckily raincoats have become more fashionable and appealing to pair with wardrobe staples. Long gone are the days of the raincoat or anorak being seen as a malign outerwear piece, associated with less than appealing fashion standings, but now seen as a go-to item easily paired with a smart or relaxed wardrobe. Worn to keep the business suit crisp and dry, or keeping a contemporary edge with clean lines, while even lending to a more sporty aesthetic.
Raincoats have traditionally been made for practicality, evolving in style and function over the years, with military influences the most telling factor toward getting where we are today – with iconic looks and shapes that have been imbedded in our contemporary psyche. The classic trench coat, brought to us by Thomas Burberry who kitted out the British Army, are endearing examples of how much we still use those classic pieces as reference.
Having a classic and understate raincoat is must-have for any gentleman’s wardrobe. This A.P.C. Boston Double Faced Raincoat ticks all the boxes, made from waterproof double-faced cotton-gabardine with taped seams.
A.P.C. Boston Double Faced Raincoat, £525 at MR PORTER
Shorter version coats have becoming more fashionable and with the rise of active wear, with technical fabrications, the crossover of overcoat and jacket has seen more choices come available. With notable specialist brands such as GORE-TEX producing fabric for a host of brands are a stamp of approval for waterproofing. Loro Piana have their very own Storm System technology that bonds natural fabric with a waterproof coating. A prime example of their exquisite attention to detail can be found in the Storm System Shell Jacket.
Loro Piana Storm System Shell Jacket, £2280 at MR PORTER
Mackintosh blue cotton single breasted coat, £961 at FARFETCH
Traditional shapes still exist, with the likes of Mackintosh’s self-titled coat and Burberry’s trench coat that have been adopted in style with design elements becoming the backone of other brands’ coats. Still using bonded cotton to this day, the coats continue to perform in the practical manner as they have done so for generations. Understanding the importance of timeless appeal, A.P.C. have waterproof coats in double-faced cotton-gabardine with effective details of ventilation eyelets and taped seams. With other stalwarts of style such as Ralph Lauren and Oliver Spencer having their own variations of trench coat and car coat respectively.
Oliver Spencer Cotton-Blend Canvas Car Coat, £345 at MR PORTER
Oliver Spencer’s Car Coat is particularly useful in changing weather and has the effortless nature to wear equally well with tailoring or jeans. Mackintosh’s Slim Fit Belted Bonded-Cotton Raincoat keeps with tradition and models this streamlined silhouette on their classic shape. This coat offers a more refined look that will enhance any outfit.
Mackintosh Slim-Fit Belted Bonded-Cotton Raincoat, £725 at MR PORTER
Using their own highly technical eco-fabric, Norwegian Rain blend form and function with a contemporary aesthetic moulded around Scandinavian design philosophies peppered with Japanese influences. Designed by bespoke tailor T-Michael, you can see the sharp lines and details best applied to traditional tailoring, whereas here you get a tailored garment that is completely waterproof. Their Double Breasted model is a contemporary take on a trench coat with a higher collar modelled on a shirt collar, while the customisable hood gives you that extra protection.
Norwegian Rain Double Breasted Technical Military Coat, £700 MATCHESFASHION.COM
Canadian brand Arc’teryx have a more ‘outer-door activity’ feel about their garments, but focus on the more technical aspect of their fabric combined performance styling. However, they have a subdivision called Arc’teryx Veilance that offers a more contemporary feel with lightweight, water-resistant layers to go over stylish outfits. The Sphere Gore-tex Coat has a minimalist aesthetic while offering a bit of class.
Arc’teryx Veilance Sphere GORE-TEX® Coat, £680 at MR PORTER
Mackintosh Classic Waterproof Bonded-Cotton Raincoat, £775 at MR PORTER
Now it’s fine to wear sports gear under your overcoat – whether you actually are going or coming from a sporting activity. But comfortable is what counts. So don’t be afraid to pair a smarter Mac or Trench coat with relaxed outfits. The versatility now of mixing smarter outerwear with casual outfits is right on trend. However, casual coats with smart attire still doesn’t quite cut the mustard.