One of the most memorable and confusing fashion moments of my life include when I unsuspectingly opened an umbrella on one rainy afternoon during my first week in college. It didn’t take me long to realize how awkward I was, when everyone around me just pulled up their hoodies and manned up in what I soon learned to know as ‘spitting rain’.
Lesson in England #1: men are not expected to use umbrellas outside of the metropolitan area of London.
My Nike Windrunner was a bad idea too… It wasn’t long before the nineteen-eighties found out that I had one of those, before calling and asking me to give it back.
If you are a fashion man – or just a man that doesn’t dress in the dark, you are likely to struggle to find a good piece of rainwear. This is because, apart from style, the quality of the garment means a great deal too. See a Mackintosh rubberized cotton overcoat would have been a great shout – British-made and more prestigious than Adidas Firebird in Clapton – only if it wasn’t £800 a piece. But we are getting closer: rainwear of the best quality is definitely produced in places where it rains a lot. Luckily, we don’t have to go too far – Copenhagen has the answer.
RAINS, a young Danish rainwear brand, is catching up in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Canada. Making effectively a poncho into a form of art, RAINS does well to turn a wet and drippy afternoon from a miserable downer into a great opportunity to show off some great style you might well have. Think Scandinavian: skinny jeans, relaxed shirt and military boots with a raincoat of pop colors on top of all that (an Amanda Nørgaard face would be a real bonus here). The unisex design of this brand rainwear really puts a wonderful androgynous twist to the look you are about to put together.
It is a brand that puts minimal focus on seasonal styles but pours all the effort in developing the most simplistic and functional garment. Why stop at wearing them with casual wear? It is also so handy to take the Chesterfield or Parka off the wall and put it over the suit, but it could be proved quite clumsy at times. More pressing is the issue that they do not really fare too well in heavy rain: however dense wool or cotton could be, they will never outperform synthetic materials in terms of water resistance. The reason why we don’t use them is because they don’t look as good – but the edged and matte-finished RAINS rainwear would be nothing less than a great compliment to the crisp white shirt underneath.
Some might point towards other brands for similar products, like Norse Projects – which is also Danish and produces rainwear as well. But if there is one thing I have learnt about product quality, it is that you always go for the specialists: for desert boots, don’t go for Massimo Dutti – go for Clarks; for spectacles, don’t go for Prada, go for Tom Ford; for puffer jackets, don’t go for Jack Wills, go for North Face. RAINS is a brand that dedicates the entire team to perfect water resistant materials and we shouldn’t expect nothing but the best. It is a brand that is down to earth: there are only five different raincoat styles which come with three different colors each on average. That does not make them boring – that makes them good at what they do.
More importantly, they come at very affordable prices, thanks to the focus in product development. With wholesale prices starting from £17.50 and hitting the ceiling at £30, it comes up to less than £120 for us to pick up a fantastic piece.
The rest is down to you. How would you feel about being one of the first people to change the face of a rainy day from a sea of dull greys and blacks, and joining Joey Essex, who has also has one? There is no reason why we should moan about walking out into the drizzling rain anymore, because RAINS has truly turned it into something elegant and worth enjoying.
by Justin Chan