Staying warm through winter is one thing, but staying dry and stylish? Well, that’s another challenge altogether. We’re blessed to have so many gorgeous snug jacket and coat styles to choose from, but they’re not always a practical solution to staying dry over the wetter months.
Few of us consider the parka as a fashion staple, but how many times have you been caught ruing your lack of outerwear while trying to escape a downpour? When your umbrella is turning inside out and your skirt is flapping, a parka would certainly be a welcome solution!
A raincoat reminiscent of Paddington Bear is something that might spring to mind at times like this, which is why we’re often reluctant to pull out our old rain parka for fear that it will compromise our well-considered winter outfit. But unfortunately, conditions often call for an extra wind-and-waterproof layer to protect us when we’re out and about. What we need is a stylish solution that complements our outfit, keeps us warm and dry, and keeps the fashion police at bay while we’re at it.
While we sometimes need to accept that practicalities need to take precedent over fashion, we should never compromise on comfort and versatility. A good jakcet will be a trusted companion not just through winter, but also as we transition through seasons when conditions can change on us several times a day. It’s perfect for layering – choose warm merino underneath so you can stay snug and dry without feeling bulky and uncomfortable. Matching with an on-trend hat and scarf will also allow you to add your own twist. Pull the outfit together with jeans and boots – and you’re ready to go.
A raincoat should also be a piece you can call on for a number of occasions – from standing on the sideline at your kids’ sports match, to dashing from the office to dinner on a winter evening.
So to ensure your coat will step up to all challenges, here are 5 things to consider when choosing your parka this season:
Consider what you’re going to ask of your rain jacket. Will you be calling on it every Saturday sports match to keep you dry from the battering rain, or do you simply want reassurance that you can make it from the bus stop to your office without getting soaked through? Some are designed to be water-resistant only, while others are completely waterproof. Keep this in mind when selecting your jacket so you can determine what the best fabric will be for your choice.
Will your parka act as an outer shell that you call on to keep showers and wind out, or will it be a layer you rely on to keep you snug? Jacket styles will vary, so have a think about what is going to be best for your needs when selecting your new piece.
Ideally a jacket hem should come to around the bottom of your buttcheeks, or longer. It keeps your body warm and dry and provides some coverage for your legs, without being restrictive and still allowing you to move around freely.
As already mentioned, you want to go for a jacket that is versatile and can be dressed up or down for a number of occasions. If you need an option that maintains a little street style, go for a coat that includes on-trend detailing, such as fur trim, or lace features. Also consider what might be most practical for you – does it need a hood, pockets, a double-ended zip, extended cuffs or a drawstring tie waist?
Because your jacket needs to be suitable for everyday wear, select a colour that will complement most of your outfits. While black might be an obvious choice, often going for a jacket in warmer options such as navy, khaki, grey or beige will work well, particularly for more casual looks.
Just because the weather outside is dreary, doesn’t mean your outfit has to be too. Keep warm – and dry – this winter and across the seasons by adding a stylish and versatile parka to your ensemble. The right choice will see you dressing to the conditions, without having to compromise on style!