Now, unless you reside in the desert, to which it’s likely you wouldn’t be reading this right now, you will probably require a raincoat in your wardrobe. While it may not be part of your regular outfit, a good looking, and more importantly performing, raincoat, should be considered an essential.
There are heaps of choices out there when it comes to choosing a raincoat, and like many clothing items, depends on your budget and needs. Do you need a lightweight raincoat you can roll up and pack away after a light shower? Or do you need a reliable, waterproof coat for the heaviest of downpours? Regardless, here are 5 criteria you need to consider when choosing a raincoat.
1) The length
Are you looking for a standard jacket-length raincoat or one a bit longer, keeping more of your legs dry? Raincoats for women are aplenty and the variety in styles mean that there is one to complement whatever outfit you choose to wear underneath, be it jeans, skirts or dresses.
Short raincoats are usually more casual and go well with jeans, and are usually designed with outdoor pursuits such as hiking in mind. These raincoats are more of a casual, daytime wear, rather than being suited to more formal, nighttime events.
2) The fabric
Along with the cut, the fabric can also determine the purpose of the jacket. Rarely would you find a long length jacket made from Gore-Tex, which is usually used in more active style jackets. Synthetic fabrics such as Gore-Tex are waterproof yet breathable, something not usually associated with effective waterproofing. However, smarter style raincoats such as Barbour jackets are often made from classic cotton, with a waxed layer on top providing waterproofing. Such jackets generally give off a smarter appearance than those made from synthetic fabric.
3) The colour
Do you want to be discreet or want to be seen a mile away? Black is by far the most popular colour for jackets and rightly so – it goes well with pretty much any colour, doesn’t show dirt easily and can definitely be discreet – making it a great daily jacket. On the other hand, if you feel like standing out or are bored of “safe” colours, choose something bright and attractive. Also consider the use – if you are planning on hiking or activity where safety is a consideration, bright colours can make you more visible, therefore improving your safety.
4) The technical features
This aspect is more associated with activewear raincoats and would consist of the smaller details such as the size of the hood, ventilation, taped seams and drawcords. The larger the hood the more protection you could get for your head, especially those with a visor. However, they can occasionally come oversized, and therefore require some durable drawcords to keep them in place. Ventilation, such as around the armpits, is important in order to reduce perspiration within the jacket, especially if the general material is not breathable.