Q and Answer: How Should I Dress in the Rain?
Steve writes: I live in Vancouver; can you suggest how I should dress for the rain?
The answer is yes. We can suggest how you should dress in the rain.
You’ll want to start with an umbrella. I really love the ones at Howard Yount, which are lovely, with solid wood handles and beautiful hand-sewn canopies. They also cost $165. If that’s out of your range, there are plenty of other options, just go with something simple. There are usually good choices at a luggage shop.
On your head, you can wear a hat. A wool flat cap is a great choice. If you’re going to wear a proper hat with a brim, this is a good time to do it, especially if it’s not too blustery.
You’ll want some kind of covering for your body, of course. A classic trench coat or Mackintosh is a good option here for pairing with more formal clothes. Khaki is the traditional color. There are plenty of choices for more casual wear - I like waxed cotton, and own a Barbour Beaufort, which I bought on UK eBay for about a hundred dollars. A number of companies also make lightweight, packable rain coats, which are very useful for climates like Vancouver where rain and cold do not always go hand in hand.
For your shoes, you’ll want to avoid leather soles. When leather soles get wet, they wear much faster. Shoes with rubber or dainite soles are best. Alternately, you can wear rain-specific shoes like Bean Boots and switch them when you get where you’re going, or cover your dress shoes with galoshes.
It’s On eBay
Invertere “Buffer Coat”
Invertere - properly spelled all Welsh-y (or possible Celtic-y) with an accent mark that I’m not sure how to make on my keyboard - was a UK-based outerwear company, and this was their signature product. A true classic. Sadly, they went out of business five years ago or so.
Cheap, high-quality, ethical, American-made outerwear guide from Commerce With A Conscience.
It’s On eBay
New Phineas Cole Sportcoat (44L)
I love the way that Mark from Dallas has transformed the most basic ensemble a man can wear - blue blazer and tan pants. Not just the gingham shirt, but a pocket square in a completely unexpected color. Rather than picking up colors from his shirt and tie, he’s picking up the color of his pants and his skin tone. Well done!
David, from Canada (and Hong Kong) looks lovely in this photo, doesn’t he?
Another great example of patch pockets, soft fabrics and natural shoulders making tailored clothes a little less formal, without making them any less elegant. Also a lovely example of the Churchill dotted tie in white-on-navy, which is about as versatile a tie as exists in the world. I also love the pocket square, which (unlike most pocket squares) actually takes the formality down a notch. It’s poking out of there saying, “hey, don’t sweat it, we’re all friends here.”
It’s On eBay
Vintage J. Press Donegal Tweed Sportcoat
I love Harris Tweed, but my stepmother is from Belfast, and Donegal is her favorite place in the world, so I have a soft spot for the Donegal stuff.
Saw this photo in an advertisement in this month’s Esquire.
After a few years of Mad-Men-ish narrow ties and lapels, it’s refreshing to see Polo’s lapels blossoming outward. It recalls their heyday, in the mid-to-late 1970s, and to my eye, it looks decadent and luxurious and just great.
Of course, everything else has to be on point to rock a look like this - and it’s interesting that they’re blending some traditional American elements in with this very louche Euro 70s look. I just love the lines of this thing. The shoulders are slightly broad, but not extraordinarily so, and the body remains tightly tailored, but not in the too-small-my-buttons-are-straining way that you see on a lot of guys these days. The two-button front functions to lengthen the whole look, as well, which is quite flattering. The combination of big lapels and tailored elegance reminds me of 70s Saville Row - Michael Caine in Get Carter for example. But like all RL, it’s also very American, with the button-down collar and fake-heraldic graphic tie.
I’m not prepared to trade in all my suits for big lapels and long lines, but it’s certainly an inspirational idea, and it’s exciting to see as big a ship as Polo sailing against the current.