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When you live in a country like Britain, raincoats are an essential part of your wardrobe. The weather isn't just unpredictable during winter, showers all over the island can happen anytime.
Even if you're not a person that enjoys the outdoors, you need a waterproof jacket as you never know when it's going to rain.
It's no wonder that the raincoat was invented in the United Kingdom, to be more accurate - in Glasgow. The iconic Mac raincoat is an invention of Charles Macintosh, a chemist who patented his waterproof fabric in 1824.
His idea revolved around taking a rubber coating and putting it around the wool cloth. It might seem like a simple task today, but it was a complicated experiment almost 200 hundred years ago. But it worked.
What is a Raincoat Made Of?
Raincoats are made of water-resistant or waterproof materials. They can have one to three layers, and the three-layered ones usually have some extra fabric for stability. Some raincoats have detachable linings, making it an all-year-round coat.
Considering the functionality of the raincoats, there are two types of them - water-resistant and waterproof raincoats.
Water-resistant raincoats mean that they are not 100% waterproof. This kind of coats will keep you dry in light rain, but you shouldn't expect to go out on a wet adventure in them and return dry. Water-resistant raincoats will soak under heavy rain.
Waterproof raincoats are the ones that will keep you dry no matter what the amount of rain or water is pouring on you. These coats are the ultimate choice for the outdoor enthusiast and an essential garment for anyone who spends time on a yacht.
Today, there are many different materials used for raincoats.
Water-resistant materials that are usually used for raincoats are:
- Laminated cotton. This kind of material is often used for coats as it is a layer added to the usual material. The plus side of it is that it's breathable.
- Nylon and polyester. Raincoats made of these artificial materials aren't waterproof, but water-resistant.
Waterproof materials that are usually used for raincoats are:
- Gore-Tex. This material became a synonym for waterproof outerwear clothing. It's mostly used for activewear waterproof jackets and coats.
- Microfiber. Polyester microfiber material can have a special waterproof coating which makes it perfect for raincoats.
- Polyurethane laminate. It's a very durable material that can also be a blend of polyester and cotton. Completely waterproof and breathable.
All raincoats have one task - to protect you from rain. But, the need to keep dry is different. Some raincoats are made with the thought that they are a substitute for an umbrella, others are tailored for severe outdoor adventures while some are created for people who want to look good and stay dry at the same time.
Emergency raincoats are usually single-use ones, the plastic ones you can put in your pocket. They can protect you for some time, but as they are not breathable, they are not comfortable. The biggest downside is that you wear them only once and doing that you're contributing to the plastic waste problem.
All sports raincoats aren't the same, they are specially designed depending on the sport. You can find hiking, running and cycling jackets that are completely waterproof and breathable.
Fishing raincoats are usually really long and go with waterproof pants or overalls, and hunting ponchos have a goal to blend in with the forest with their camo pattern.
Stylish Raincoats: Parka Raincoat is our Favourite
Living in a place like Britain makes a stylish raincoat a staple garment for the wardrobe.
The usual stylish raincoats you can see are:
- The mac raincoat. The original raincoat is a long trenchcoat with pockets that goes over the knee. In 200 years the design changed with adding and removing short capes, pockets and waste strings, but to this day the basic design is unchanged.
- Parka raincoat. Parka is the ultimate winter jacket that protects from wind and snow. The parka raincoat has a twist as it's more focused on rain protection, but the attention to details is the same with pockets, hoods, storm cuffs, adjustable waist chords and the iconic fishtail.
Parka raincoats are our favourites as they match every style. You can wear it with a suit, a dress or any casual outfit, track bottoms included.
You can never go wrong with a raincoat, it's the one thing you will always need in your closet.