If leisurewear was the big winner during COVID-19 UK Lockdown 1, then rainwear could take over as the key fashion growth category as we face an autumn of tiered restrictions (making it difficult to socialise indoors) and very wet weather.
So now, with October continuing to be a soggy affair, it’s a good time to focus on some of the finer rainwear picks for AW20, from traditional styles to more contemporary technical pieces built to keep you dry. Here’s seven set for the next opening of the heavens.
Designed with a function first approach, all of Amsterdam-based sustainable brand MAIUM’s outerwear is completely waterproof, featuring taped seams. The styles all feature two-way zips that allow them to be worn while riding a bike – keeping the rider’s knees and legs dry while on the move and turning the garment into more like a poncho. New for AW20 is "The Puffer", not only waterproof but toasty warm too – and striking in a seasonal orange highlight colour that will also mean there’s less chance of getting knocked off your bike.
The self-proclaimed 'Bad Weather Experts' have custom-built their entire unisex range from recycled PET bottles so you can feel good as well as look good. ‘The Puffer’ is actually made from 99 plastic bottles and features a biodegradable PU coating in addition to recycled PET padding – making it completely vegan and cruelty-free. It also has an ergonomic adjustable hood to protect wearers from the elements. In a super long and oversized fit, and featuring handy thumb-holes, this is a piece geared to face the eye of the storm.
"Scottish Wax Parka"
The "Scottish Wax Parka" from Universal Works is made to protect from the elements while maintaining a stylish urban edge. It’s produced in a fabric sourced from Scottish giants of the foul weather fabric world, Halley Stevensons, who have been producing their world-renowned waxed cotton and sailcloth in Dundee since 1864, no less. The company still uses the same rudimentary fabric constructions to this day and the wax treatments have been developed to give longer-lasting waterproofing finishes.
Universal Works founder, David Keyte, says: “What I like about Halley Stevensons is that it's a company steeped in history but not trapped in the past. They make a traditional fabric with a modern mindset, and they develop new and innovative ways to produce age old fabrics with both historic and present-day techniques and technologies.
“Our new parka is in an ‘Aero Wax’ mid-weight cotton. It's a similar mix of the old and new. The US military made some of the best parka shapes ever, and ours is derived from those but given our own adaption with a few tweaks to give a more modern fit and an urban feel.”
The parka features traditional high hand warmer pockets and Universal Works’ signature asymmetric sleeve pocket. The long fishtail hem can be snapped away and the deep hood, concealed snaps and button adjustable cuffs make for a stealthy, minimalist shell coat fit from autumn to spring. It comes in an oversized fit in chocolate brown, navy and military green.
"Navarino Mac Creased Tech"
With Wax London products you get a lot of bang for your buck and the new ‘Navarino Mac’ at £199 is no different. Made in London, this new season update of the brand’s best-selling mac is made from a tech fabric sourced from an innovative Italian mill. The fabric features a natural crease effect texture, so it's a versatile and casual everyday piece which can be layered depending on the weather. It’s the perfect combination of classic mac style in a contemporary finish, and it’s waterproof too.
Founded in 2016 by Tom Holmes, his wife Steffy Neceva and friend Richard Singh, Wax London is dedicated to making affordable, quality and sustainable menswear. The trio started out with the goal to bring the manufacturing of British outerwear back to the UK to “reduce the mileage of each garment,” and the majority of the brand’s outerwear in indeed made in London. They also opt to work with organic yarns and dyes and recycled and upcycled fabrics where possible. The ‘Navarino Mac Creased Tech’ raises the bar so far, and it’s now available at the brand’s brand-new flagship shop at 28 Foubert’s Place, just off Carnaby Street.
RS No 9 Carnaby x Stutterheim "Stockholm Opal Raincoat"
This one is a bit left field to say the least, but it works. Stockholm-based rainwear specialist Stutterheim (it rains a lot in Sweden) has teamed up with The Rolling Stones, specifically for the band’s new RS No 9 Carnaby store on London’s Carnaby Street, to give its classic raincoat a fresh lick with the Stones’ iconic tongue logo on the back.
Stutterheim founder and creative director, Alexander Stutterheim, says: “It's the perfect rain shelter. Handcrafted with high quality rubberised cotton and double-welded seams, we followed a minimalistic approach as we combined our ‘licky’, shiny, sexy ‘Stockholm Opal Raincoat’ with the classic iconic Rolling Stones logo. A raincoat that is built to last, like their music. Finally, some satisfaction!”
The Stutterheim brand was born when Alexander Stutterheim discovered his grandfather’s old raincoat in a barn, shortly after he passed away. The classic fisherman’s raincoat, heavy, durable and timeless, provided the inspiration for the first Stutterheim raincoat, the "Arholma", which continues to inform the modern interpretations it produces today. The "Stockholm Opal Raincoat" is a PVC version of the classic coat with a rubberised coating for ultimate rain protection.
Inspired by a coat gifted to him by his grandfather, Oliver Spencer’s new AW20 raincoat is a lightweight and easy-to-wear protective outerwear piece in an Italian water-repellent performance cloth – perfect for layering over a suit or wearing with a more casual shirt and knitwear piece, combined with denim.
It comes in a mid-length silhouette and is described as “old man wisdom meets young man style”. The coat is also proudly made in the UK and comes in a stunning ochre shade which fittingly blends in with nature’s changing shades of autumn.
Details include a button front with contrast tape detail, with a belted cuff and single vent back. It features two welt waist pockets, one welted chest pocket and two handy internal pockets.
Spencer says: “Our Grandpa coat is the first thing I grab when the heavens open because it perfectly blends form with function. The lightweight Italian technical cloth is water-repellent and has a great handle but, ultimately, it’s a cracking looking rain coat that you can style with pretty much everything. Wear it with a suit or layer it with a casual weekend look. It’ll have your back from now until next spring.”
Barbour Gold Standard
"Supa Beaufort Wax" jacket
The Barbour "Supa Beaufort Wax" jacket is one of the classic Barbour silhouettes which have been elevated for the new premium Gold Standard collection from the British outerwear specialists.
The Gold Standard line celebrates the brand’s history and artisanal craftsmanship for AW20, revisiting and updating classics. Patterns have been lovingly hand cut in South Shields in the North East of England, where the brand was founded in 1894, and tailored to the contours of the body. Corozo buttons and leather trims add an elegance and sophistication to this luxury premium sub-brand.
The "Supa Beaufort Wax" jacket is one of Barbour’s most iconic styles, designed by Chairman Dame Margaret Barbour in 1982, following her sales trips to France. The name Beaufort was chosen to highlight the continental character of the piece.
The A line Barbour "Supa Beaufort Wax" in navy and olive encompasses all of the history and tradition of the Beaufort in a contemporary jacket that takes design to another level. Pockets are a real feature of this jacket, with an elongated rear back pocket lined in nylon for practical storage, vertical hand warmer pockets which are a signature of the Beaufort jacket, and new bellow pockets with leather detailing and pocket flaps that can be held up to facilitate easy access. For extra protection against the elements, the buttoned-up hood has a draw cord around the neck and mesh ear patches allow better hearing when the hood is up. A classic design updated with practical features for today and real attention to detail.
"Wings Plus Eco Rain Jacket"
A real key piece for this season from another Swedish brand which specialises in rainwear and sustainability. The ‘Wings Plus Eco Jacket’ has the same timeless and minimalistic design as the brand’s classic ‘Wings Rain Jacket’, but with updated details for increased performance and sustainability.
This rain jacket is made from PU, with a backing of polyester made from recycled PET bottles. It’s also vegan and PVC and fluorocarbon free. It has an adjustable hood and a higher collar for effective weather protection and it features both snap buttons and a zipper for extra wind protection. Waterproof to 8,000mm with welded seams, it would take one hell of a storm to get through this piece. And the multi-colour blocking gives a fashion edge to all the function.
Tretorn was born out of Scandinavian weather and has been standing strong since 1891, most noted for its rubber boots and tennis shoes - originally worn by Björn Borg, and now also for its very wearable rainwear. The new ‘Wings Plus Eco Jacket’ is not only fit for life in the open, but perfect for when the heaven’s open on Wimbledon’s Centre Court.