With spring showers beginning to sprinkle over the northern hemisphere, it’s more than likely you’ll be reaching for a raincoat sometime soon—or looking for a new one. And in 2013, there’s a dizzying array of options to choose from. But before you head out into the damp unknown in your finest waterproof jacketry, you should know what your choice in gear says about you.
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.
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.
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.
The Sierra Designs 60/40 parka has been kicking around the classic menswear scene for a while now, but it’s still one of the best pieces of warm-weather raingear out there. And since it’s also been more than a little hard to find over the years, we’re happy to find a place that actually has it in stock.
It’s the original version of all those synthetic shells you’ll find littering the Pacific Northwest. The padding is enough to see you through the Northern California equivalent of winter—which, for September, is about all you need. And if you’re looking for something with a slightly more international spin, Apolis’ khaki-clad version will be shipping in just two weeks.
As we’ve recently been reminded in New York, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t get soaked. And while wearing sockless plims might keep your feet rain-ready, you’ll need something to protect the rest of you.
This Monitaly parka is one of the better ones, able to protect you in case of sudden showers and blend in seamlessly at any clambakes that survive the storm.
Since it’s Monitaly, unusually perceptive menswear heads might notice a touch of Italian style—the non-madrasy blue or the hacking-style front pockets, for instance—alongside the classic preppidom. But in the meantime, we’ll settle for calling it handsome.
Now that trench coats are a Times-approved trend, we thought we’d dip back into the raingear scene for one of the more adventurous examples o the classic coat we’ve seen.
This Larke mac is the same treated cotton as the classic mac, but two twists push it forward into sci-fi territory. First is the obvious: it’s electric blue. It’s hard to think of a more trad-averse color. But even more importantly, it’s cut perilously close to the belt line, higher than half the blazers in our closet.
In short, it’s the rebel grandchild of the classic knee-length Mac. Next stop: the most Warhol-esque umbrella you can find.
As you may have noticed, the unstructured blazer gets a lot of love around these parts. Windbreakers…not so much. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn a few things.
This Arc’tyrex windshell takes its cues the latest crop of high buttoning, soft shouldered jackets. If it were in selvedge canvas instead of goretex, it could pass for Engineered Garments. Instead, it’s matte black raingear, ready to wick away whatever your umbrella doesn’t catch. And if you’re looking for something a little more modern than your Mackintosh (or a more rainproof version of your baker's jacket), it’s a pretty good choice.
Ladies and gentlemen, your rainy-day sneaker. Currently on sale at Tres Bien, this is the best example of the waterproofed sneaker we’ve come across so far—and probably your best bet the next time you’re dodging through puddles. It’s the classic snub-nosed Jack Purcell with one important difference: instead of the standard cotton canvas, they use Mackintosh’s own rubberized cotton, giving each of your feet its own raincoat. If you're lucky, you might even have a coat to match.