The Mac is Back !


After four months of steaming hot and sunny weather, the Lower Mainland had a reminder of our usual weather this week, with multiple days of torrential rain. Whether or not the weather is changing for good, and the most trustworthy reports seem to hint at warmer, dryer winters, we should start looking at getting ready for a different type of rain on an everyday basis.

Most of us have those heavy winter coats that we pull out of the closet for sudden snow dumps, but for a gentle shower or two, these are generally ‘too much.’ Dryer winters in our climate probably means hardly any snow, but with a more steady rain, rather than the sudden downpours that last for less than an hour. You may want to look at the kind of raincoat that is lighter, more comfortable to wear as an ‘outer garment’, rather than a Bulwark against the storm. Think of the kind of Spring shower we are all accustomed to, but constant over the winter – more akin to the European ‘drizzle’, rather than a storm.

So what do you prefer - Trench, rain coat, mac? There is more than enough choice available, these days. Mac or mack, short for Mackintosh — or at least a move to avoid trademark infringement on the original Mackintosh brand — has been with us since the 1800s. The trench coat wasn’t far behind with famous tailoring names like Aquascutum and Burberry claiming they invented it for use in the trenches if the First World War. Proper trenches today retain many of the military-inspired details found on the original design, like wide lapels, an integrated waist belt and shoulder straps, and these were moved onward thanks to use by Humphrey Bogart and other movie stars in the 1940’s Film Noir classics. They also look cool tossed over your shoulder, or one arm, when the rain stops and the sun peek`s through.

These days, the traditional Trench Coat has become much more streamlined, and shorter for younger bodies. After all, we no longer have to fear roadside splashes that soak the bottom half of your pants on the sidewalk, so we don’t need to have anything that reaches the ankles. Traditional ‘macs’, too have had a reboot. They are now a stylish, value-for-money and lightweight raincoat to throw over your jacket; plus, when not in use, it rolls up easily to pop into your backpack. Other designs, like lightweight style Parka’s that feature hoods, have also become more of a modern look, and are great for a Student look. Even the old-fashioned Duffle coat is still around if you live in low temperature and high wind environment.

Make sure that you get yourself a long-lasting, water-repellant outer coat that isn’t too thin, and matches your style. A Trench coat style works well with suits, because they are thin, but you may have to buy one that is a little big for you so that it fits with a jacket, and perhaps a tie under it. If you are in jeans and boots, then a Parka style may suit you better – more casual, and can be worn both inside and out over a sweatshirt, or light sweater.

Whatever your choice of outerwear, it is a good investment to buy one now, while prices are relatively low. Once we get to the traditional autumn season, prices go up alarmingly. Think about what you need your outer coat for, and look good while you stay dry. You may want to buy a collapsible umbrella that matches it, too, as well as some leather gloves that will fit into your bag, and protect you on those early mornings when the temperature drops below zero. You will look well put together, ready for the majority of weather, and even your professional wardrobe beneath it will still look good in the office.

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