rain coat collage

Rain or Shine Raincoats!

Now that winter is hopefully behind us it’s time to prepare for April showers and warmer weather. Now is the perfect time to put away your down jackets and pull out (or buy) lighter weight coats, like a trench – a classic piece and very on trend. It doesn’t have to rain to wear a trench – it’s a great piece to wear over a spring dress or a pair of jeans in the shoulder season between winter and summer.

I (Jo) live in Seattle and I’ve amassed a complete raincoat wardrobe that I wear year-round because we have warm rain, cold rain, hard rain, and spitting rain, all of which require a different solution. Shopping for rain gear can be overwhelming with the many types of materials out there (waterproof to water-repellant to water-resistant to wind-resistant to wind-proof). And then layer on whether we need a fashionable choice or something to ball up in a backpack. And wait there’s more…is it breathable??  It’s all enough to make you want to stay inside!

But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.  We’ve done our research and have recommendations for the right rainwear for fashion and for utility, and we’ve even thrown in a little education to help you on the hunt.

Material Selection: 

It’s important to know how much rain protection you need when you’re looking for rain gear so you can determine whether you need waterproof (the most waterproof), water-repellant (a little less waterproof), or water-resistant (less waterproof than water-repellant). For a fashion trench that’s worn on non-rainy days, water-resistant is fine.  If the fashion trench is for travel and walking around rainy London, however, you may want a waterproof coat.  And, if you are on a long backpacking trip you definitely want a coat that’s waterproof and doesn’t weigh too much… because ‘ounces make pounds’!!

Below is a glossary to help you choose wisely, listed in order of level of rain protection.

  • Waterproof: Keeps out driving rain. 
  • Waterproof/breathable: Keeps rain from getting through to your skin, while also moving sweat back through to the outside world. Good for sports.
  • Waterproof/non breathable: Think rain slicker or emergency poncho. If you simply need to keep the rain out while sitting or standing around, this gear does just fine—and costs very little money. Not good if you are going to exert yourself or if it’s too windy.
  • Water-repellant: Not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating. But not for a downpour as it’ll soak through eventually and get ‘damp’.
  • Water-resistant: Also breathable. Ok for light rain for a brief time—windbreakers and featherweight jackets, for example. Not good for heavy rain.
  • Windproof: Any waterproof jacket is also windproof. Windproof jackets are not all waterproof.
  • Wind-resistant: Essentially the same as a water-resistant jacket, made for short trips but won’t weather a storm.

And now for the FabList!!

Fashion Forward:

Trench Coats: A staple in every wardrobe and a perfect lightweight coat to wear even when it’s not raining.  We love this one from Toteme, water-resistant, double breasted, and so chic. $1050. And if you want to go extra classic try this one from the newly invigorated Burberry – reversible and water-repellant with the house check on the bias. $3650.  One of these investment pieces will last you for the rest of your lifetime.

Max Mara Double Breasted Water Resistant Short Swing Trench Coat $1295: Water-resistant cotton twill with a little swing! This shorter trench is perfect over a spring dress or a pair of jeans.

Herno $885: Love this coat!  Lightweight, made from raw cotton gabardine. It’s sporty, with an inverted pleat in the back, and big buckles on the sleeves. Water-repellant. I’d love this coat for travel and to wear with slacks.

Sandro Belted Wool Blend Trench Coat $715: Back pleats elevate this raincoat and make it a winner! Water-resistant. This would be a good one for a little dressier option and a navy raincoat is hard to find!

Stutterheim Moseback Raincoat $325: Premier Swedish rainwear! This A-lined raincoat is waterproof, has under-arm eyelets and a drawstring hood, and it’s available in 16 fun colors. This skews utilitarian but it’s all over the fashion rags this spring!

Rains String Jacket $155: Waterproof. String W Parka takes cues from the iconic fishtail parka with a waist-sculpting silhouette. Again, a utilitarian feel but the waist-cinching and other details elevate this look.

Mackage Windproof Metallic Rain Jacket $690: Jump on the metallic bandwagon with this super chic performance-driven jacket in stand-out style.  It features water-resistant zippers, back rain shedder, and a secure two-way zippered top closure. This would be so cute over work out clothes, jeans, or flowy black pants.

 

 

Utilitarian:

 

Rains Long Jacket $125:  Waterproof. Available in 13 colors, this is a stalwart for your closet.  Also available in a shorter length $110. Perfect for a trip to the mall or a walk around town.

Hellie Hanson Long Belfast $160: Great thigh length for extra coverage.  Waterproof, windproof, and breathable.  Need I say more? I’d wear this for outdoor exercise or out and about in the rain running errands.

Stio Exploit Hooded Jacket $349:  An ultralight layer built with Gore-Tex so it’s waterproof, lightweight, breathable, and the best for backpacking, weighing in at 7.4 ounces. Ounces make pounds! This is a great backpacking rain coat.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket $179: Consistently rated amongst the best raincoats for the money. The H2No Performance Standard shell is waterproof and breathable, durable and quick drying, and the microfleece-lined neck adds warmth and is so cozy!  This is 12.4 oz. so a bit heavier than the Stio mentioned above but a good choice for everyday use.

North Face Daybreak Jacket $180Water-repellent longline jacket that is breathable, lightweight, and a drawstring toggle waist for a little shape. Great for shorter walks in the rain or running errands.

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Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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