You would think as we live in a rainy country we would be really good at wet weather gear of all sorts. But we are not, we are fucking hopeless.
Sure, if you are going fell walking, dog walking or if you are one of the 8 people in the UK who looks terrific in a trench coat, you’re sorted.
But what if you aren’t fell walking or dog walking and simply look like man in a trench coat (or, if you tie the belt up, a stripper)? What then? I can’t stand trench coats.
I wanted a simple navy thigh-length single-breasted coat, which would repel water. Nothing with a hood or toggles or giant pockets. Nothing with huge lapels or a fucking belt or giant buttons or epaulettes. Just a normal coat that happens to be waterproof. Is this too much to ask?
I searched for years for a chic navy raincoat and was astonished that you could only buy one at Burberry for an absolute fortune. My dad has one, which he bought 40 years ago and it still looks terrific, but sorry I simply cannot justify spending £750 on a raincoat even if it will still be going when I am 70.
Sorry, my mistake – the one I was looking at is actually over £1k, here. I mean WTAF.
Actual Mackintosh, who invented the bloody Mackintosh have gone very high fashion and are doing such unutterably bogus and vile and stupid things with their current collection that I’m minded to write and complain to my MP about it.
Anyway last year I tracked down a good one from APC and they are doing something similar this year – not cheap, but APC isn’t cheap, but I love mine and has solved all sorts of problems for me:
The closest thing I can find for a more reasonable price is something from Uniqlo, available in black or camel, like this:
Or there is this, which looks very promising, from Arket.
Obviously you will not wear it like this, like you are the Stasi coming to interrogate you or like a … sorry, like a… sorry I can’t really think of any other social stereotype that this model represents without getting loads of outraged comments. Why the hell do certain stores style their clothes like this? We don’t all want to look like ******** ** year-old *****-player.
You will wear it with the collar turned resolutely up, possibly also with the sleeves pushed up if it isn’t actually hammering down.
Please, if anyone has found a chic raincoat that IS NOT A trench, is not a dog-walking coat or from Rains or Stutterheim, please leave a handy comment in the box below.
***** Here is a link to a coat suggested in a comment below that I’ve had a look at and it looks absolutely just the ticket: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Community-Clothing-Navy-Womens-Raincoat-/182252616752 *******
Not particularly chic but my favourite rain jacket is from Rapha, the cycling brand. They don’t have the same one anymore, but this is similar https://www.rapha.cc/it/en/shop/women%27s-core-rain-jacket/product/WCR01XX
They squish up really small so you can put them in a bag if it’s one of those cool but muggy days.
That one from rains is truly disgusting!! And the model isn’t helping it!
Caroline Adamthwaite says
Ilse Jacobsen does lovely flattering lightweight raincoats which you can also zip up and not end up looking like a sausage, which is a bonus.
Also from Uniqlo, but I’ve just bought this one: https://www.uniqlo.com/uk/en/product/women-blocktech-hooded-rain-coat-186996COL69SMA002000.html?LGWCODE=186996COL69SMA002000;136477;6475&utm_source=Google&utm_term=&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjw_8jNBRB-EiwA96Yp1pzvK3B8MgVYbqOFoqm_Ub5v4gizupkOFgwu0GejIJ35Mdmp4t_gDBoCsBMQAvD_BwE which is great and doesn’t make you sweaty like raincoats often do. My Mum liked it so much, she bought it too. Hmmm.
I have one of these too. They’re brilliant, but definitely erring towards the dog-walking side of things. See also arc’teryx – totally water-repellent sand weigh almost nothing, but again a tab more outdoorsy than city chic!
I know this one!! Protected Species https://www.protected-species.com/our-products/waterproof-parka/
Except there’s no stock at the min. Yes there is something other worldy about fashion styling these days, poor sad beautiful people looking forlorn.
Claire Rowlands says
I really like the look of these but haven’t seen them in real life https://www.instagram.com/protectedspecies/
Protected Species? I have their parka which is jolly good and not really parka-ish at all. I’m not sure I’m their target market being short, round and a bit old though.
I bought the Uniqlo one in navy last year and it’s quite good but not really raincoaty in the sense that one can’t wear it in the rain because it gets wet. Which is not ideal.
I’m going to try one from Community Clothing. They make their clothes in England, in the off-season when the high end factories aren’t producing, and of British fabrics, supplied by the same factories who supply Burberry et al. Their navy raincoat is just the thing.
I have a classic Burberry trench which I bought years ago but which I look shit in. That’s why its lasted so long, because I never wear it!
Thanks Nicole! That’s very disappointing that the Uniqlo raincoat isn’t waterproof 🙁
Its such a shame because its exactly the style I like.
Here’s the link to Community Clothing. Patrick Grant of Norton & Sons, E. Tautz (and the BBC sewing bee) owns it.
sorry that was meant for someone else!! but I replied to you instead and now didn’t know how to delete it. FML 🙁
Have just scrolled down through CC in search of coat and ALL their things look super. Thank you Nicole! I had never heard of them before.
You’re welcome. Mine is now in the post. I shall report back.
[Whispers] I’ve got the Mac which is trench like but sometimes looking Stasi like is quite helpful.
I KNOW it says ‘trench’ (sorry) and I know it’s Superdry but I wear this without the belt and I love it. Great quality fabric and details and it’s on sale.
I’ll let you off this time
I was looking at this today & am tempted to buy. Is yours true to size? I’m a 10 but feel like I need to buy a large for anything in Superdry to feel comfortable!
Hi Paula, I’m a 10-12 and yes I went for Large. SuperDry sizes are tiny. It’s a real favourite jacket and lovely quality. Looks good with jeans or smarter stuff.
I once bought one I thought was nice from Hobbs, but felt like a district nurse whenever I wore it.
Elaine W says
I love my Seasalt raincoat (plain navy of course, not one of their scary prints!) Big pockets and a proper hood – essentials when you have small children
Louisa Booth says
I have one from Henry Holland – when he wasn’t being a mad bastard aimed at 22 year olds …about 4 years ago
I realise this doesn’t help but maybe look at what the mad bastards are doing when they aren’t being mad
I bought a beige one last year and my husband said I looked like Harold Wilson! He was right. I hate trench coats with belts – if I tie the belt I look well like an ostrich! What wih that and my chest…. … Weeps.
IGNORE YOUR IDIOT HUSBAND
I have a bold coloured one with the most INSANELY fun lining, I can’t tell you. It is so lighthearted. You know how rainy days can be a bit dull? Well this coat really cheers them up! It really does!!! The antidote to a gloomy sky, I carry my own “bright spots” right inside my hood!!!!! (it’s too late for me on this, but save yourselves….)
Cindy I have really missed you
Becky McCarey says
Why the aversion to a hood? I love coats with hoods as you can’t hold an umbrella when you’re pushing a pram or trying to stop a toddler running into the road. But trying to find a smart coat with a hood is impossible.
Well that’s what I mean, Becky. I also have a huge raincoat with a hood and big pockets for just this situation – but I ALSO want a smart raincoat for non-child related events when it is raining and I can hold a brolly.
You are such an enabler Esther! I now own the Oasis chinos, Hush boyfriend jeans, am on a hunt for a khaki “shacket” and have just bought the Uniqlo raincoat. Want/need some Toolally earrings.
I also have a vintage Aquascutum trench which sadly makes me look like an 80’s flasher….
I love this
Oh no, oh nononono – you will not like my coats, Esther. I have *two* trench coats, one beige and one blush pink. I do feel a bit like Inspector Gadget in the beige one, but I’m still attached to it. *gogo gadget arms*
My wet-weather-which-is-every-frickin-day-in-Scotland coats are this one (same as Zoe’s, very water repellent indeed):
and this fakey Barbour, which is actually very warm and waterproof.
yes but I’m sure YOU look nice in them. I don’t mind them on other people
I don’t think the last link worked, but it’s the Sussex jacket from Fat Face.
But what happens to your head if it’s pissing it down and you’re holding a child in one hand and a clutch of book bags and shopping in the other so can’t use an umbrella? Surely you need a hood??
yes for that you need a dog walking coat – link at bottom of piece. but I am talking about a raincoat for non-emergency situations
Oh my god, thank god you’re back. The internet is so much duller without you.
Raincoats are so tricky because you don’t really need one. You just think you do. And you think you need a much more complex one that you should actually use. It doesn’t rain that often and London / south east England rain isn’t that wet* but you’re afraid. So you buy a big coat. Well, this summer I cracked it. I’ve got a super light weight rain coat in a little packet from a hardcore hiking shop. It is smaller than my hand & fits in my handbag amongst the debris of half open tampons and scrunched up nappies. And I sail out of the house without and umbrella and a light jacket. It’s amazing.
You might need a winter coat for November 25- February 3rd but that doesn’t need to be a raincoat. It just needs to keep the cold out. And that needs a different post.
I have one of those scrunched up hiking coats as well and they are a GODSEND for unpredictable weather, cause you don’t have to bother lugging around a giant jacket but when it does start to rain you look brilliantly prepared while everyone is getting soaked (when all you did is just put it in your bag a long time ago and almost forgot about it).
Sadly even though mine is a nice cut and not bad looking, it wouldn’t do too well at a nicer event…
Elena I like how much you have thought about this
*you do need a whole lot of wet weather gear in Scotland.
Can highly recommend the Protected Species raincoat – v waterproof, lots of good details and pretty warm too (helpful in Arctic Scotland). I initially bought in a mid blue but was told by family I looked “like Hayley from Coronation Street” so changed it for black and it’s been going strong for 2 years. Still looks brand new.
Question/ conundrum: I take your point about turning the collar up but I feel a right Wally doing it. I mean, I’m a 90s era idie kid at heart so looking like you’ve Made An Effort is massively uncool. Doesnt the whole collar up thing scream Sloany Pony?!
Give it a whirl and see what you think
Doesn’t seem to come in navy, unfortunately, but this one’s awesome https://www.arcteryx.com/gb/en/shop/womens/nila-trench-coat
Can I be boring and recommend that if you have a coat that you like but has lost its waterproofing through age, or it just isn’t waterproof, just spray it with a shitload of Nikswax. I also do this to top up the kids’ coats and most of my shoes.
This is not a boring thing to say at all
to be honest (and a bit contrarian), I much prefer what you call ‘dog walking coats’ and genuinely might buy the one you linked at the end of the post…
I have one too – and they are very useful
Jacky Kitching says
If you’re disappointed that the Uniqlo coat isn’t waterproof – let me tell you I bought a VERY similar style (in black) many years ago from Benetton – it wasn’t waterproof either but I got SO MUCH wear out of it. In fact we were a bit of a double act for a while, but was such a simple & straight cut and just went with everything. Everyone asked me where I got it. When it got a bit worn I changed the plastic buttons to some vintage ones from the Button Queen in Marylebone and it looked FABULOUS. Sadly it wore out eventually but I’m heading down to Uniqlo tomorrow!!
Jacky I had forgotten Benetton even existed!!! Stealth!
I have to admit I quite like the look of the Stutterheim coat… I would probably look a bit like a mushroom in it, though. The styling on the stone blue colourway is a bit racy, and at the same time, grumpy.
Stutterheims are very good
No hood? In that case – I think I need you to do a piece on ‘school run coats’. They need a hood because I have to take in 3 children, 3 water bottles and about 25 different bags, so no hand free for an umbrella. They need to be lightweight due to said children and baggage warning me up/making me flustered. It’s for rainy days rather than cold days. Any tips? Other than getting them to carry their own stuff…?
School run coat is same as dog walking coat – see link at bottom of piece. Seasalt is your go-to x
This one from Peak Performance is fantastic, a bit eye-wateringly expensive I know, but is really good and doesn’t scream ‘hill-walking in the Lake District’.
Last year I chose this Helly Hansen coat for Christmas and it is ace- very waterproof and cosy but also light to wear and not bulky. 3 pockets too. It looks fairly tidyish too compared to some raincoats, well I hope so anyway!
Pat Harrison says
Liked the raincoats but how do we cover our heads elegantly? My hair is a mess of frizz after rain and an umbrella doesn’t deal with humidity. Any ideas please?
I love this site. Although reading your comments and sniggering to myself in the organic-y coffee shop I have found myself in has led to several women in activewear – no raincoats to be seen here – angling themselves away from me. Still… how waterproof is Sweaty Betty? I shall have the last laugh!!
Vidhu Skulpt says
Good one!I think many will be using Raincoat.But what will it be different from yours?
The Uniqlo towncoat is on offer £89 at the moment. Another pressie for me for Chrimblemas 😁
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