Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Rain Is a Pain When It Falls On My Mane

(I know I use this photo too much, but it’s a classic in my book.)

It’s raining here in Richmond, VA. I’m all for rain. I like the way that the world smells after a good rain, clean, maybe even a little greener regardless of the season. What I don’t like about rain is my lack of a brilliant raincoat. I have a serviceable, if ancient, full cut trench coat, a “pinks and greens” gabardine Army trench that is very warm, a Barbour Bedale and a reversible tweed and cotton gab RL number with raglan sleeves. What I don’t have is a slimmer cut (read: SB), lighter weight raincoat that will go over a suit or sport coat and keep my trousers dry whilst not weighing me down.

And then there’s the issue of colour. I’ve never been in favour of black or navy raincoats. Sage isn’t a flattering colour on me. That leaves tan. And all the above adds up to:

… about $900 of English bonded rubber and cotton Mackintosh.

The thing that you must be careful of when wearing a raincoat is to make sure that it is not too snug. Today’s slimmer fashions can be flattering, but, like putting a finger to the canvas awning that is shedding rain, too snug a fit in something other than a truly waterproof garment will result in seepage and eau de mouton mouillé should you be in your tweeds.

(These gentlemen remain stylish despite Mother Nature’s best efforts.)

Until I find the ultimate coat, flattering, waterproof, classic, high collared, belted and affordable, like the ones above, I may be found gazing out from shop windows and doorways like our man in the photo that opened this rumination.

What’s your rainy day solution?

11 thoughts on “The Rain Is a Pain When It Falls On My Mane

  1. I used to design outerwear at Calvin and loved the really good British Mackintosh’s!
    I too need a classic trench – for the rainy days! It is raining today and I love the green!

  2. I have a trench I love and they are always good looking. Chris you can post as many photos of Cary as you want!

    Art by Karena

  3. I’m told fashion icon Gianni Agnelli wore the same London Fog his entire life; and it was dirty. Real dirty. So I’m running in and out of the rain today wearing a light weight tan Sanyo trench. Single breasted with narrow lapels; these new fabrics resist dirt. Sorry you asked?

  4. I am true believer in only fine, natural fabrics. However, my current rain coat was purchased at Britches of Georgetowne (were Chris and I used to work) and is made of MicroFiber. It is longer than the fashion, but it kept dry while running to and from the car today.

  5. Agreed, you may post pictures of Cary Grant as often as you please, it is your blog after all, and we, or at least, I certainly appreciate his elegance as well.
    I love that Mac!

  6. This is always a difficicult decision. At the moment, my classic Burberry trench coats look rather full, but I still like them better than the current things which are overly fitted, and somewhat uncomfortable.

    I know what you mean about navy trench coats, and yet I find my navy Burberry useful for evening when a darker look seems better. I’ve seen some vintage Ralph Lauren trench coats in much lighter fabrics that are more comfortable and easier to wear, especially for between seasons, when a classic trench is too hot over a suit or sport coat.

    Actually, I do have a perfectly plain, raglan sleeve poly/cotton London Fog rain coat, and it is really serviceable and right for certain days and outfits. I got it at a thrift shop for a song. I’m singing in the rain….

  7. I happen to have a terrific Barbour jacket with hood and a little longer (mid-thigh) length which is meant for rain and cool drizzle (with sweater underneath as temperatures drop). It can go over anything, including a pencil skirt and crisp white blouse. But in my more casual life, I generally wear a turtleneck or fresh white T and knit legging under the jacket, along with my Le Cham rubber wellie boots, and grab a happy umbrella (black is great for men in suits, but on a gray day, bring out something colorful, like solid red). Our college daughter is devoted to her Hunter boots, black, and she has a fantastic, huge, red tartan umbrella which stops traffic–important on a gray day.

  8. For lightness you need a single texture mackintosh and this fabric is difficult to find, though Weathervain does do this, amongst others, in their Ascot style; there is an optional hood which women or unselfconscious men may find useful.

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