One of the priorities I set for myself recently over the summer was to get my rainwear squared away. Slowly, I picked up each piece and finally consider that part of my wardrobe complete.
The obvious first step was a coat. I don’t think it particularly matters if you have a trench or “mack” overcoat, but keeping your chest and the upper half of your legs dry is pretty necessary on days when rain decides to be horizontal. I have two raincoats — a the blue trench you see above and another tan “mack”-styled one — that I actually bought dirt cheap at thrift stores. Both are vintage London Fog and from what I’ve read they’re from the era when production was still in the United States and the quality still quite good. You see a ton of these in thrift stores, so they’re not terribly hard to find if you search long enough.
Next up was footwear. I have a pair of L.L.Bean Boots, which are great, but they’re not very dressy. I found dieworkwear’s “rainy-day shoes” article helpful in finding an option within my budget. I got a pair of SWIMS overshoes during the spring Friends & Family sale at Brooks Brothers, knocking down the price from $100 to $75 for days when the rain was lighter. For heavier days, I picked up a pair of Charles Tyrwhitt military captoe boots on deep clearance, which feature Dainite soles. Both have worked out pretty well.
Finally, came the last piece: the umbrella. Again, dieworkwear’s article on umbrellas guided my decision on finding a quality one. I’d considered getting a plaid umbrella from Brooks Brothers, but after handing them in person, I thought it might be a better option to consider saving up for one with a solid-stick handle and shaft. For a while, I was planning on going with one of Howard Yount’s umbrellas, which had some great canopy selections, but then I got a really, really lucky break. I’d loved the Francesco Maglia umbrellas dieworkwear mentioned, but thought they were well beyond my budget. Then I found out that they were not only on sale at a local haberdashery (Shrine), but through a Rue La La “local deal” I could knock off another sizable chunk of the price — putting them on par with the umbrellas at HY. I’ll do a full review in the future, but let me just say that at a discounted price it’s well-worth it and the quality is immediately noticeable.
So, that’s my rainwear solution and I expect it to last quite some time.