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Weathering a Hurricane in Style

  • Najib Benouar

A superstorm... the Frankenstorm... Sandy.

Whatever you’re calling the hurricane headed toward the Northeast this weekend, things are promising to get very wet, very quickly. So to weather this storm—and the ever-looming danger of torrential downpour this time of year—we’ve come up with a few integral upgrades to your rain gear that should keep you stylishly dry without looking like a rain-slicker-wrapped Gorton’s Fisherman (though not a bad last-minute Halloween costume idea). Even if that means braving a few errant drops or an oversized puddle—and taking it all in stride.

Upping your rain gear in five easy steps, courtesy of Kempt.»

Getting Caught in the Rain

  • Najib Benouar

We’re heading into a mistier time of year.

Making this poncho that’s just landed in SF men’s shop Unionmade right on time (Postalco is calling it a “rain cape,” but we know a poncho when we see one). It’s less bulk than a trench—which should come in handy while it’s still a bit warm out—and will fold neatly into a briefcase or desk drawer, in case you’re ever umbrellaless. Not to mention it’s the sort of thing that’ll get you street styled in NYC or Tokyo.

Just remember to feign disinterest while staring blankly off-camera.

Rainy Season Style


It’s hard to look good when it’s pouring, but the latest Market Week offered a fresh solution: the stylish poncho.

We’re thinking of Sifr in particular, who combined the classic functional item with the Rick-Owens-in-Tokyo look for a surprisingly sharp item. Gone are the drooping shoulders and the baggy silhouette, replaced by a more tailored shoulder. Think of it as Jedi rain gear.

And for anyone interested in the military equivalent (and willing to compromise on the trim fit), there are a surprising number of Swiss camo versions kicking around the Web, most coming in under $30.

Spring showers: do your worst.

The Return of the Poncho


Now that the dust has settled on Fashion Week, we thought we’d take a quick inventory of a few of the more practical lessons we picked up amid the blur of shows and after-parties. First on the docket: the return of the poncho.

This item comes from Thom Browne’s latest crop of Black Fleece gear for Brooks Brothers, and along with the classic trench, it’s his only protection against inclement weather. The fabric is a weather-proofed synthetic, but it still looks pretty dapper when dropped over a black-tie getup. Not bad for an item we were most accustomed to seeing on the shoulders of state troopers.

And if your poncho-lust is so strong that it can’t be held in check until this item hits stores in February, you might want to look into vintage British army capes—just to get you through the rainy season.

Poncho Weather


The poncho is seen as a lost cause by most of the fashion world, but apparently Oliver Spencer’s a true believer. It’s good news, since we’re bound to see a few nasty rainstorms over the next couple months and it’s just about the perfect item for facing them down.

This newly arrived Quay jacket has all the wood-and-leather hardware you’d expect from Mr. Spencer, but the thirsty waxed cotton and the grade-school coloring put it miles ahead of the plastic competition—and it’ll still keep your head drier than even the largest umbrella in your broom closet. All told, a pretty good piece to have in your closet once fall rolls around.

And naturally, if it gets worn down in a few years time, we’ve got some ideas on how to fix it up.

Take Twelve


A Continuous Lean clued us in to this early instance of Sartorialist-style fashion photography. Photographer T. Hayashida took a tour of the Ivy League circa 1968, snapping pictures for posterity. Given that preppy style of that era is a touchstone for everyone from J. Crew to Shipley & Halmos, there’s more than a few pointers to pick up if you’re watching closely.

More pics from the bygone era»