How to beat the rain in style

July 3, 2012 · 8 comments

in Guest Articles, How To, Outerwear

Ed note: Apparently, in some parts of the world, readers are still experiencing rain. (God forbid!)

The following is a guest post by Mark Hammond from Northern Threads.

Let’s face it: rain is a real buzz-kill, especially when it’s June, i.e. supposedly summer, and the rain is still coming down hard. Whether you’re aching to whip out your shorts or simply wishing for a dry summer’s day, the rain is usually against you so let’s make sure you’re properly prepared to beat it in style.

In my last How To guide I looked at the correct way to dress for a date, but one thing I failed to take into account was the weather. So here it is, even if in typical British style it is a downpour outside despite it being spring, you still look as stylish as ever.

The good old umbrella

It’s probably best to start with the most obvious rain-beater of choice – the humble umbrella. Often you get what you pay for with umbrellas, it’s always worth making an investment and plugging for a more expensive full size golf choice as it’ll last longer.

The easy and cheaper option may seem good in the short term although you’ll regret it as soon as a gust of wind turns it inside-out and you get a face full of rain for your troubles.

It’s a handy thing to carry an umbrella with you anyway especially in the changeable English climate, plus umbrellas work as an accessory in their own right. No one understands this better than Burberry as their current campaign and catwalk show contained an umbrella on virtually every male model’s arm.

The hooded jacket

Straight away I’m excluding trench coats/macs from this guide because, although they can look slick while giving you good rain coverage they unfortunately lack a hood. So it doesn’t matter how stylish you might look, your hair and head are still gonna get wet.

I’m pretty much taking in all hooded jackets here from parkas to waterproofs, so long as they’re great-looking but that goes without saying right? Hopefully the examples above will give you an idea of where we’re at.

The hood is a perfect way of casually beating the rain without putting yourself through the minor effort of carrying an umbrella around with you all day on the off chance that it might rain. Hoods for men these days also tend to be a lot more structured, often with a peaked edge to both give you more coverage from the rain but also mean you look better – it’s all in the detail.

Whether you’re going for a parka or a shorter, thinner jacket for the spring, go for one that has an edge of business-like respectability. Make sure it is suitable for the daily commute but that it’s also just as at home when hanging out with your friends. (Quick tip: this Lyle & Scott Shell Zip jacket and the Weekend Offender Ali jacket are two very good picks).

Wet weather footwear

Your footwear choice needs to be as pragmatic as your outerwear when the weather demands it. Leather soles (like those found on Grenson shoes) aren’t going to fare well; firstly you’re liable to slip on wet surfaces and we could all do without that embarrassment, plus you risk damaging the sole when the leather gets wet. So rubber soles are an obvious choice.

If you’re a leather sole kind of guy and like to live on the edge then it is crucial you care for your shoes after they’ve been subject to the elements:

  • Dry them naturally at room temperature. Do not use a radiator, hairdryer or a hand dryer – yes, it happens and although I commend the dedication, the leather and stitching can and will become damaged. There’s also a good chance that the welts will eventually split.
  • Put shoetrees in them, or stuff with newspaper, and leave them for a couple of days.

While it’s definitely best for the longevity of your leather soled shoes that you avoid wearing them in the rain, sometimes it’s unavoidable, especially at this time of year.

When it comes to more casual footwear, the rain is a great time to reprise those hiking boots and Timberlands that were a big trend last season. White trainers or desert boots won’t fare well in the wet, while suede and loafers would, like milk in the summer, be a very bad choice.

Whatever the weather, stay stylish.

 

Thanks Mark! How do you beat the random bouts of rain that may come up this time of year? Every corner of the world is a little different, so let us know in the comments below.

[photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

About

Northern Threads are stockists and enthusiasts of all things menswear, who enjoy passing on their knowledge and expertise to like-minded individuals the world over. Mark is part of the online team. You can check out the Northern Threads' blog and connect with Northern Threads on Facebook.

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