The Brands Reinventing the Raincoat

The raincoat doesn’t exactly evoke images of style, high fashion or sex appeal. It’s more likely to be associated with wet weekends in the Welsh hills than a must-have piece that those in the know all swear by – but that’s all changing. Technology is getting better, fabrics and materials are more innovative and performance-based, and designs are a lot friendlier to the style-conscious consumer. This isn’t something that’s happened by accident, but rather a collection of a few brands that have been doing their bit over the years to reinvent the raincoat; discover them below.

Arc’teryx Veilance

arcteryx veilance jacket

Hailing from Canada, Arc’teryx Veilance knows a thing or two about technical, high-performance outerwear. It started with Arc’teryx in 1989, with climbers Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard creating designs that would create the best outdoor experience. It wasn’t long before they expanded and developed Arc’teryx Veilance, taking their highly functional, innovative materials and applying them to sleek, minimalist design principles for the city environment. Expect hard-working coats with asymmetric details and lightweight tailored blazers made from water and wind resistant fabrics.

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barbour jacket

One of the original brands when it comes to raincoats and element-beating outerwear, and still one of the best. Barbour’s wax jackets are icons in their own right, with timeless designs that are updated into contemporary styles each season. The olive wax jackets are the classics and come with a waterproof finish, while the Barbour Heritage range incorporates seasonal trends into its performance-focused designs.

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belstaff jacket

Another heritage brand still doing what it does best, Belstaff created the first waterproof and breathable fabric – a waxed cotton – that it used to create all-weather motorcycle jackets. The British label’s classic jackets have been worn by equally iconic individuals of each generation, from Che Guevara and Steve McQueen, to George Clooney and David Beckham. Today, Belstaff jackets have style and performance at their core; discover the Trialmaster updated in a water-repellent fabric, or the vintage-inspired Allonby trench coat from Liv Tyler’s collection for your new season raincoat.

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Polo Ralph Lauren

polo ralph lauren jacket

Perhaps best known for its casual polo shirts and crisp shirts with that classic all-American preppy aesthetic, Polo Ralph Lauren has applied its touch to anoraks and raincoats for city-meets-sportswear styles. With simple designs in classic colours and just that instantly-recognisable pony logo for decoration – as well as the adjustable hoods and elasticated drawcord hems that you’d expect from a traditional anorak – these coats and jackets strike the right balance between subtle style and high-performance design.

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rains jackets

Danish brand RAINS has been quietly making waves since its conception in 2012, becoming quite the cult brand. Taking the traditional rubber raincoat and reinventing them by merging age-old methods with modern innovative techniques, RAINS’ jackets are designed to withstand the Scandinavian weather all while encompassing a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.

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Words by Angharad Jones

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert