There’s only one thing you need to be investing at the moment: a suitable raincoat. Not convinced? Just look outside. Pedestrians are running for cover, umbrellas are breaking left, right and centre. It’s carnage. But, every once in a while, you do see someone walking calming and surely with a carefree air about himself. Guess what he’s wearing? A proper raincoat which hits the knee, can be fastened at the neck, and keeps you dry even in the harshest rain.
Mackintosh ‘Monkton’ navy storm system herringbone wool tench coat
Mackintosh is a heavy-hitter when it comes to raincoats as without rain, the brand wouldn’t exist. The company was founded by Charles Mackintosh, a Glaswegian who, in 1823, combined naphtha (a byproduct of tar) with cotton which waterproofed it. Sensibly, he then patented his creation and the rest, they say, is history. Today, Mackintosh’s collection is filled with rain-defying outerwear, but the military-inspired model pictured here, cut from legendarily weather-beating Loro Piana Storm System wool, is a current highlight of ours.
Drake’s beige cotton twill belted raincoat
This season’s raincoat from Drake’s has been made here in the UK from a tightly spun cotton twill fabric. With a raglan shoulder, it reaches down below the knee, as it should, and can be fastened right up to the neck if the rain gets particularly out of hand. The louche belt is particularly pleasing to see, as with a simple tie it can allow you to cinch the coat at the waist and create a sweeping A-line down to the knee that’s elegant and reminiscent of the good ol’ days of classic menswear. It has a light brown corduroy collar, tattersall check lining, and a rear central vent for added movement and volume. Dress it up, dress it down – this has everything you could want.
Grenfell ‘Lambert’ waxed cotton coat
Founded in 1923, Grenfell is an outerwear-obsessed brand that has a brilliant knack for digging through its archives and finding interesting and largely forgotten outerwear garments and bringing them back to life in its factory in east London. Here we have the ‘Lambert’ coat, which is new to its collection. Inspired by motorcycle rider’s coats from the early 20th century, it’s made from a waxed cotton and features classic military-design details: a pleated back for increased manoeuvrability; D-rings, which were used to hang grenades off; and deep pockets at the front and rear which would have originally been used to carry essential documents like maps, but could easily carry an iPad today. It’s a beast of a coat, and inside there’s a removable cotton lining from our friends Johnstons of Elgin for a bit of extra warmth.
Aquascutum ‘Bogart’ trenchcoat
No raincoat round-up would be complete without an appearance from Aquasctum and its ‘Bogart’ trenchcoat. Named after the eminent actor Humphrey Bogart, who wore an Aquascutum trenchcoat in Casablanca (1942), this is what is referred to as a classic. With the brand’s signature gun club check lining the inside, this coat’s design details have been borrowed from a military coat worn by officers in World War 1. These details include shoulder epaulettes, which were used to hold in place a hat or gloves, and the gun flap, which was to reduce the impact of a rifle’s kickback on the shoulder. Those two details are perhaps redundant today, but this is a coat with serious history and is a genuine wardrobe staple.
Mr P oversized bonded cotton-blend raincoat
Mr Porter is doing great things with its in-house line Mr P, and this seasons’ collection is its best yet. A highlight is this slouchy, oversized raincoat with pockets nearly big enough to hold a small grocery shop and enough room inside for multiple layers. It has two types of shoulder construction, with an inset seam at the front, which gives it a formal touch, and a raglan shoulder at the back, which gives the coat its relaxed and slouchy appearance. On the back, you’ll also find a floating yoke which will help rainwater run off.
£475, at mrporter.com
Private White VC ‘Commuter’ raincoat
Made in Manchester, Private White VC knows a thing or two about rain protection. While it often looks to the past for inspiration, it also thinks about the present, and considers the modern-man and his commute – the latter of which is what this raincoat’s purpose is for. It’s made from Ventile cotton, a patented long-staple and tightly spun cotton fabric that was originally used for fire hoses and later pilot suits in case of water landings. As such, its forte is keeping you dry but it’s also breathable and light making it a perfect fabric to sport in a metropolis like London on rainy days. It features a raglan shoulder for added comfort, which is great for those crowded tubes, and military-grade hardware for serious strength. Elsewhere, there’s a detachable lining, the upper of which is made from insulating Merino wool wadding and the lower section from locally-woven wool flannel, for when it gets unsavoury cold, also also a hood, which can be simply thrown over if you don’t want to avoid people you know – it works every time.