One Thing: The Lightweight Macintosh


As things warm up here in the nation’s capital and spring weather becomes the norm, I like to put away the cold weather clothes and get ready for the new season. Even though I won’t need the heavy barn jackets and top coats, there is one piece of outerwear that stays in the front hall closet – my lightweight macintosh.

A good raincoat is a wardrobe staple for every man. It keeps the water off your back and, if you chose wisely, will impart a certain film noir-like finesse to your movements. But rain protection in warmer months requires a specific type of raincoat. Lighter and shorter are the code words for a warm weather macintosh. The lightweight mac quickly becomes a fashion accessory on those days when the rain may be spotty but you still have to wear it around town, waiting for the few drops that will justify your wardrobe choice.

As opposed to the typical double breasted trench coat models that anonymously roam the rain soaked streets, a macintosh will give you a bit more of a modern swagger. Named after the inventor of the first waterproof raincoat, Charles Macintosh, this style of rain coat is often single breasted, unbelted and knee length.

This coat’s classic design makes it just right for when you’re dressed up, dressed down or just want a little James Bond appeal. Because of its inherently versatile nature, pretty much anyone can carry off a lightweight macintosh. It also travels well, which is another key criterion for justifying a major wardrobe investment. Traditional khaki colors ranging from light stone to British tan work best. For a more urban feel, try navy and black.


Chris Hogan, an association executive based in Washington, D.C., blogs at A lifelong interest in style and clothing led to sales and management positions at several Ralph Lauren stores and an active wardrobe consulting practice


  1. Great article, I think that the Macintosh is probably one of the most versatile outerwear pieces around. By the way, who makes the one you have pictured above and do you have any recommendations for other makers of this coat?

  2. Thanks very much Chris. The Macintosh pictured is from J. Crew.