In Search Of A Raincoat

Words by: Andrew Williams

For the last few years I’ve had the gravest difficulty acquiring a raincoat. It’s possibly the one classic gap in my armoury.

In choosing a proper raincoat you have three basic options. Firstly you can go down the Slip-on road. This type is either Raglan or set-in sleeve, straight cut and sits below the knee. Secondly, you have the short Slip-on which is mid calf or just above the knee in length. Finally, you have the Trench Coat; double breasted, belted, wrist straps, gun flap, epaulets and ideally knee length.

The problem is that none of these options works well for me. The short Slip-on works best on men of slight build. I’m 6 ft 1inch tall, with a 42inch chest and 38inchs around the waist, such a coat merely appears boxy –something akin to Dawn French wearing a lampshade.

As to the long, whenever I’ve been tempted to try one, far from the longer silhouette improving things I’ve found there is just too much cloth. I feel swamped and decidedly self conscious.

This brings me to the Trench Coat. I certainly appreciate the aesthetics more than those of the Slip-on; double breasted, the large flipped collar, midriff and wrist belting. But the epaulets and gun flap are a step too far. The full Bogard can, in my view, prematurely age younger men. And there are few things more ridiculous to behold than young men dressing like old men.

But this week I’ve found what I was looking for. I’ve settled on this offering from English company Boden. The aesthetic is basically classic trench, providing shape but minus the overly fussy epaulets and gun flap. Some shape to the coat also allows me to get away with the shorter more convenient mid-thy length.


The company behind the coat is one I have a lot of time for. Their dependability and clear cut purpose of supplying subtly tweaked but sound wardrobe essentials makes Boden a useful source in my view. Rather unfairly the company’s popularity amongst the aspirant middles classes has led to a little sneering from some in the sartorial intelligentsia. Regardless of that, they’ve solved my raincoat dilemma  –no easy task.