Nothing beats down a spirit like a rainy day. But not for me. Some of my favorite clothing is built for the rain.
An easy way to “stand out from the crowd” on the streets: check the daily weather forecast in the morning, be prepared and have a good piece of rainwear. On a wet day, average Joe Dresser is usually uncomfortable, cold, and looking miserable in a soaked, heavy fleece jacket or wool peacoat.
A big part of being “stylish” is dressing appropriate for the situation, and the weather.
Here, five looks to help you stay dry in style, for five different occasions.
Ruberized yellow rain slicker from Army/Navy surplus store (size S, $25). Micro check hidden-button shirt by Steven Alan (size M). Navy cardigan by Uniqlo (size M). Jeans by JBrand (34). Low-top bean boats by L.L. Bean. Wool socks by Land’s End. Watch by Montblanc. Watchband by Corvus.
Yellow has been a go-to color for rainwear for as long as I can remember. I think it may be due to a subconscious yearning for sunshine. Regardless of its origin, it just works.
The problem is, I think alot of men prematurely out-grow wearing the classic yellow parka. On the street there seem to be alot of children wearing them, but rarely an adult – which makes it so refreshing to see a man in a bright, rubberized slicker.
It’s a great, “safe” way to wear a bold color in an off-summer casual outfit. Not to mention that a rubberized cotton is completely impermeable.
I did another casual rainwear post back in Spring/Summer, see here.
2. Business Casual
If you’re only going to add one thing to your wardrobe this year, make it a tailored trench coat – in a neutral color like khaki or navy blue.
It goes with just about everything and because they are usually cut a little bigger (to fit over a suit), they are a perfect last layer to throw over anything from a blazer to a down vest to a denim jacket. (Post on trench layering coming soon!).
Not only will you look more appropriate (and slightly bad-ass) and be more comfortable when it rains, a good trench will also dramatically increase the life of your outerwear that is not meant to get wet.
Daily reader from way back here. You have so much footwear, what would you say is your favorite pair? Just curious. Keep up the blog, your readers are loving it!
Hey there. Glad you are enjoying the site.
It would be difficult to choose one pair as a favorite, but these corset-inspired two-tone brogue lace-up boots by Alexander McQueen (r.i.p.) are definitely near the top. Thanks for reading.
Trench by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece (size 2). Grey donegal pants (part of 3-piece suit) by MAB (bespoke, my own design). Boots by Alexander McQueen. Leather unlined gloves by Saks Fifth Avenue (size S). Umbrella by Davek.
The advantage of a single breasted rain coat (like this navy mac)? It’s easier to throw on and keep open – meaning you don’t have to cover up your outfit.
The simplicity and straight-forwardness of this outfit is complimented nicely by a piece of outerwear with similar characteristics.
Navy mac rain coat by APC (size M). Navy gingham shirt and grey sharskin trousers by MAB (bespoke, my own designs). Flannel tie by Thom Browne. Silver tie bar by Tiffany & Co. Cordovan tassel loafers (with rubber soles) by Alden. Wool socks by Land’s End. Umbrella by Davek.
Yes, I wear leather shoes (with rubber soles) in the rain. I have a fairly large shoe collection, so the way I see it, getting them wet once in a while won’t kill them. Besides, I like my leather uppers with a little beat-in texture and character to them.
If you are really adverse to wearing your “nice” shoes in the rain, you can invest in some rubber covers or “swims”. I wear these once in a while (over my favorite shoes) but usually end up forgetting/losing them. With swims, go black over black shoes, brown over brown shoes, and every once in a while try a bright yellow or red for an unexpected pop.
Another strategy used by some of my friends in the corporate world is wearing rain-appropriate footwear (Bean or Hunter boots, for example) during their commute to the office and carrying “work” shoes in their bags/briefcases. In my opinion, this is a pain in the ass (an even bigger pain in the ass than inserting and removing swims). I also don’t like to carry a bag in the rain if I don’t have to. Keep in mind, however, that I am a stylist, so there is rarely a situation when I must wear a suit in the rain.
If you’re like me and don’t care to cover them or carry them, invest in some cordovan shoes with rubber soles (they are significantly more durable than other hides) and just get them shined for $3 if you get caught in the heavy stuff.
4. Business Formal
My view on umbrellas is similar to my view on footwear:
You can buy them cheap three times a year and never be quite satisfied (these products are short lived and get worse with time), or you can buy quality and enjoy a well-made product for years (pieces that often get better with age).
The irony is, on top of the benefits of looking and feeling better, you usually end up saving money when you buy quality.
For example: three $20 umbrellas/year for 3 years = $180. One well-made made umbrella that can last 5 years+ (provided you don’t lose it): $150. Savings = $30.
Same goes for shoes. For example: 3 pairs of $120 mass-produced “dress” shoes per year, for 3 years = $1,080. One hand-made pair of shoes that, with resolling, can last 3 years or more = $895 (+ two $40 resollings) = $975. Savings = $105.
Someone should really do a longterm case study on the benefits of purchasing quality products. Maybe that could have been my dissertation at Columbia – damn, a little late.
This is one of those pieces that I can realistically see myself wearing well into my sixties. It doesn’t get much more classic than a double breasted, belted khaki trench coat.
It’s the perfect rainwear to go over a business suit, and if you get it cut to 3-6 inches above the knee, it also looks great with jeans and a layered casual look.
In the chance that you have to step out to a formal event on a rainy day/night, go with a simple, above the knee length, black treated cotton topcoat.
As always with formal attire, make sure the fit is slim, sharp and well tailored.
Black cotton topcoat by Theory (size 40). Hidden placket shirt, white satin suspenders, black bowtie and midnight navy tuxedo (as featured here and here) all by MAB (bespoke, my own designs). Shoes by Bally. Watch by Montblanc. Umbrella by Davek.
Thanks for reading. Stay dry.
Yours in style,