Often times during inclement weather, it seems that people lose both their sense of style and reason. One need only witness the sad endemic of Ugg boots during the winter for confirmation of this.
What I am talking about specifically, however, is the way we dress in the rain. As it was the rain pouring abundantly down upon New York the other day, I was forced to remark how many people were so improperly, even foolishly dressed for the occasion. The quantity of people, men especially, who were totally unprepared for the weather was rather astounding.
There is of course the excuse of not anticipating the rain and being caught by surprise when walking out the door, but the modern man (especially one equipped with an iPhone or Blackberry) should never let surprise get the best of him.
One staple that should be in everyone’s wardrobe is a raincoat. Both smart and chic, a raincoat will make you look prepared and keep your clothes dry, which is especially important if you are wearing a suit underneath. Raincoats vary greatly in price; you can get one for as little as $130 from Topman to easily over $1,500 for a designer one from the likes of Ermenegildo Zegna. Spending this much for a raincoat though is really not necessary as both high and low-end coats tend to be made from only cotton or a cotton-microfiber blend. Therefore, the variance between them is quite low.
I prefer something traditional and simple like this one from Burberry:
Besides a raincoat, though rather obvious, is the need for an umbrella. I am not talking about that one you got for $10 at Walgreens, however, I mean the sturdy, wood-handle kind that you will keep forever (provided you don’t lose it). There is something emasculating about a man who holds up a wimpy, collapsible umbrella as opposed to the commanding air of a man with a robust, tall umbrella of high quality (size matters with umbrellas). If you are really up for an investment, Briggs umbrellas of England are the top in quality and beauty, but will cost around $400, meaning you want to pay careful attention not to leave it at the restaurant.
The last essential item for outsmarting Mother Nature is a good pair of rain boots. The best thing you can do for yourself is to buy a pair of Hunter Royal rain boots ($375 at Zappos). They are not only made of waterproof leather on the leg, but also contain a fleece lining for warmth in the foot region. I was at first a bit apprehensive about the idea of rain boots for men in the city, but have come around to their utility and actual stylishness.
In general, Americans could learn a thing or two from the British who are much more adept at dealing with inclement weather. In any case, since the rain will come again another day as common sense and the childhood song tell us, buying these items will keep you dry and stylish every time you need them.