Even though spring is a few months away, it is not too early to start thinking about rainy weather gear. In fact, you might even get some use out of it in the last few weeks of winter. The best raincoats for women are both fashionable and functional. You definitely need both, or the result will be not looking your best or showing up dripping. Raincoats come in a few basic styles that designers play with and add embellishments so there is a wide variety of choices when it comes to your wet weather outerwear. The three main types of raincoast are parkas, sport jackets, and trench coats. Most raincoats for women fall into one of these three categories.
You can see examples of parkas in the products above. When used in the context of raincoats for women, a parka is a hooded coat that usually zippers in the front and comes down over the bottom. It usually is no longer than extending down to mid-thigh. These raincoats come in all different colors and several different lines. Some parka raincoats for women come with a belt. The best raincoat belts have no buckle and can just be tied together. These work better for curvier women because the tied belt will accentuate their curves. Other parka raincoats come with a cinched waist and still other have a straight cut down over the hips. This style of raincoat is probably best suited to casual wear and not the office.
The ads above show you a few examples of what I call sport jacket raincoats. These waterproof jackets are usually cut off at the waist and always zipper in the front. They sometimes, but don’t always, have hoods. And, they are usually sportier and more casual than other types of women’s raincoats. Sometimes these waterproof jackets are designed to be worn during running or other outdoor exercise activities. Other times, they are meant to be a sporty casual look for a day or night out on the town.
The third, and probably most classic, type of raincoat for women is the trench coat. Trench coats are usually longer than other rainwear. They typically will extend down to the knee or even mid-calf. However, there are exceptions. You can cut off a trench style coat a little below the hips and allow the fabric to fan out over the hips to make a very feminine A line. Other than length, trench coats are distinctive because they usually have a belt and close by wrapping one side around the other and buttoning rather than a zipper. This style of raincoat is the most appropriate for business or evening activities. This is also the most popular style for major designers like Marc Jacobs.
No matter what style of raincoat you decide on, it is important that your wet weather gear have the right attributes to make is functional as well. After all, the overall goal with this type of clothing is to stay dry. Below is a list of characteristics to look for in a good waterproof coat.
- The fabric should actually be waterproof! Waxed or rubberized cotton or polyurethane make good fabrics for rain gear. This is one time when natural fibers are not your friend because they are very absorbent and will not help you stay dry.
- Hoods are handy accessories. While it is not strictly necessary to have a hood on your raincoat, it definitely makes it easier to keep your head dry. You can’t always rely on an umbrella and you might sometimes have to deal with rain that is falling sideways that an umbrella might not catch. Hoods with adjustable strings are best because you can get the fabric all the way around your face and protect your hair as much as possible. Some women’s raincoats with hoods come with detachable hoods so that you don’t have to one hanging down behind you in weather where there isn’t a downpour.
- Sealed seams are a must! It doesn’t matter if the fabric you make your raincoat out of is waterproof or not if the seams are not sealed because water and moisture can get in that way if they are not. You can seal seams one of two ways. First, you can weld them. A welded seam is one where the seam is heated and the materials of the coat, whether it be rubberized cotton or some kind of plastic, melt and stick together. Second, you can sew or stitch the seams like normal and then line the inside of the seam with some kind of taping.
- You need your wet weather gear to be ventilated. Since these garments are made of unnatural fibers, they do not breath and it is necessary to build in ventilation so that you do not get to humid and hot in your raincoat. Some raincoats for women have eyelets under the arms for ventilation with others have vent holes or pockets to keep you cool.