Different Types of Raincoats – Which type should you buy?


Mac Raincoat

With the advent of fall and chilly weather, raincoat season is back and there is no better time to figure out what different types of raincoats exist and which type would suit you the best. Raincoats don’t necessarily need to be worn when it’s raining, despite what the name suggests. As a matter of fact, one of the best times for wearing a raincoat is when it’s chilly enough that your suit jacket won’t cut it but it’s also warm enough such that an overcoat would be overkill. This is not to say that if it’s going to rain, you shouldn’t wear a raincoat – you should; but, you can also wear one when it’s not raining!

The very first of the raincoats as far as history tells us was invented by Charles Mackintosh. These raincoats, known as Macs, were introduce in the early 1800s and were made of rubber material so that they were waterproof. In the early days, the seems would get wet and eventually they were changed to be made of rubber material as well. Early Macs would do a great job at trapping body heat such that they would become too hot to wear. In order to solve this problem, little metal rings were added to the armpit areas of these coats in order to provide some breathing room.


Burberry Trenchcoat

The second famous type of raincoat is the Trench Coat which was also invented in the 1800s but this time by Thomas Burberry. Burberry invented a fabric known as Gabardine that protected against the rain and the wind. Original Burberry Trench Coats were reversible. Trenchcoats have signature wide lapels that can be closed up for extra protection against the wind and also have a belt that can be closed up in the front on colder days and on the back on warmer days (i.e. thereby leaving the coat open).

While there are other raincoat types such as ponchos and anoraks, they are not formal-wear and generally are not what we would choose to wear with a suit.

1 Comment

  1. 1


    August 10, 2011

    10:20 am

    A raincoat of any style needs to cover the knee. The more efficient a jacket-length rain coat is in terms of waterproofness, the wetter the trousers will become because of rain run-off.

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