Dappered Classics: How to look good in the Rain

Dappered Classics:  How to look good in the Rain

From the Mailbag: Wet Weather Wardrobe Essentials

Originally Puglished 3/30/11  Above Photo Credit:  Bernt Rostad

Lately it’s been dumping rain where I live, and I’ve realized my wardrobe isn’t equipped for the weather.  My job requires me to wear slacks a shirt and tie and I also have to commute for a bit on foot.  My shoes have been getting destroyed and I don’t really have good outerwear for the rain.  Got any thoughts on how to dress for the rain while still looking decent?

- Billy

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Remember in elementary school when rainy days meant recess was indoors and you were doomed to countless mind numbing rounds of heads up seven up? (*cough* the cheat: sneak a peak at the tops of the person’s shoes, then match when it’s heads up time)  Now you’re an adult and a rainy day means laying low, maybe a good bowl of soup, or better yet a dark beer.  Stormy weather also allows you to flex some of your style muscle.  Here’s how to look your best without getting all wet:
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The Coat:  A Slim Fit, Water Resistant, mid thigh to knee length Double Breasted Trench

All of these will actually repell water.

From Left:  B.R. Water Resistant trench (discontinued), B.R. Monogram Nylon Trench, Calibrate Trench

For the shape and length:  Double breasted just looks better on past-the-waist outerwear.  And feel free to lose the belt.  Skip the traditional London Foggish mid shin length coats that cut you off.  Opt for a mid-thigh/above the knee that abides by the rule of thirds.  You’ll look more athletic and less like a ready to flash pervert.

For the fabric:  most trenches and macs are all-cotton and won’t actively shed water.  If you want protection against a steady rain, you need one with a water resistant coating or one made of a cotton/nylon mix.  Bad news is they’re rare and expensive.  Good news is you can wear them almost all year and they travel much easier than a heavy wool coat.
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The Umbrella:  Tote’s Gentleman’s Umbrella – $16.00

Marry Poppins approved.

An umbrella you’ll actually want to carry.  Just as important as the coat, because your look is shot if you’re wearing a great trench, yet carrying a turquoise pocket umbrella. Insanely cheap, good and sturdy (although I haven’t tried to use it in 40mph winds or anything) and incredibly sophisticated.
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The Shoes:  Florsheim Waterproof Ashland Boot – $112icon w/code LINK20 (reg. $140)

Rain Rain... get lost.

One of the very (very) few semi decent looking waterproof boots.  Could pull these off with some chinos and a button up, or jeans and a blazer.  Not suit worthy.  They’re better looking than duck boots and gigantic galoshes.  Carry your sleek laceups and extra socks to the office and change once you arrive.
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The Water Resistant Bag:  J&M 1850 Dowel Rod – $300 ($400) | Marc N.Y. Rivington – $140

Should keep your stuff dry.

Both of these come equipped with water resistant waxed canvas.  The Marc New York has that current urban tactical look to it, while the Johnston & Murphy is a well executed throwback.  The J&M should have plenty of room for your wear-once-you-get-there work shoes inside.
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The Rubber Strap Watch:  Victorinox – $316icon w/ MARCH FF ($395) | Lacoste – $195

Behold the power of nonabsorbent rubber.

Besides sounding like a terrible hair band, Wet Leather isn’t a feeling you want on your wrist.  But come to think of it, Wet Rubber sounds like they could open for the boys in Wet Leather who in turn would open for Cinderella during their 25th anniversary tour this year.  There’s always the more traditional stainless steel dive watches.

Got a go-to trench or other wet weather gear?  Leave it all in the comments section below…