As the weather shifts to the temperamental early Spring, we here in Southeastern, PA are subjected to quite a bit of windy brisk mornings followed by gloomy wet afternoons. Men need to know how to dress appropriately for the climate while staying appropriate for whatever occasion they are heading to. It’s also important to know how to protect those fine custom clothes from the precipitation. In the past, we have gone over other coats like in our guide to men’s overcoat series. In today’s blog, we will be presenting you with a guide to raincoats.
The Mac is the traditional raincoat. We have Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh to thank for the original design back in 1823. Macintosh began adding a layer of liquid rubber between two pieces of fabric to create a water-resistant garment that stayed flexible and wearable no matter the conditions.
The Mac was originally designed to go over men’s suits and uniforms hence its more robe-like qualities. It has had countless iterations and designs through its nearly 200-year history, but it is identifiable for its traditional spread shirt collar, large buttons, and seat length. The Mac can be added to almost any professional ensemble and look the part. You can add it to a suit for those brisk commutes and not drop an ounce of style while keeping the rain out.
You can find off-the-rack Macs as well as custom options for the classic design. It is important to note what type of fabric your Mac is made out of. While the rubber-lined jackets are no longer the norm and most designs involve an insulated polyester blend, it is important to know that natural fibers like wool and cotton will take in water and weigh you down in the rain. Mac’s look amazing in classic neutral colors like tan, grey, black, or blue. This neutral pallete will be more ogivingwhen trying to coordinate with your outfit underneath.
This classic staple of men’s fashion was invented by Thomas Burberry (yes, that Burberry) for soldiers in World War I, hence the “trench”. Since then it has stayed in the popular fashion zeitgeist. The trench coat is an all-encompassing classic look. Its massive lapels, knee-length drape, and unique belt tend to swallow whatever outfit is under. The major consideration with a trench coat is to remain cognizant of your trouser and shoe color as they will be the only things visible.
The trench coat is a more effective rain deterrent as it will cover protect more of your trousers, but it is a slightly less formal option than the Mac.
While the trench coat can come in a variety of color it is mostly seen in a classic tan shade. Being a nice neutral color we can pair the trench coat with virtually anything. The only warning would to be avoid a tan trench coat on top of a tan suit. Being to ‘matchy matchy’ can be a bit boring and uninspired look. A custom trench coat can ensure a proper fit and we can avoid looking like we are wearing our older brothers coat.
Modern Athletic Raincoats
The modern rain jacket combines water resistant synthetic fiber like polyester with the construction of a sweatshirt or down jacket. They offer protection that many natural fiber-based coats cannot rival. While these are desirable qualities for your next backpacking trip the Pacific Northwest it is advisable to avoid the activewear over a suit. Our image speaks for us and it doesn’t take a break for weather.
If we are going to reach for a more modern option be cognizant of the fabric types. Many companies offer a sleek matte option that can flow better with the natural fibers and color palette of a suit. Worst comes to worst try to pick a raincoat that will compliment the primary color your suit or sport jacket.
If it is truly raining cats and dogs then time to go back to the basics. The concept of the poncho has been around for about as long as the wheel but its modern equivalent is still very prevalent. Many ponchos are plastic making them Waterproof. That means no water in or out no matter how much it pours. Great to have in the closet for emergencies, but you might want to keep it to emergencies. There are many options for a raincoat but few are as ubiquitous as the classic poncho.