Stay dry - and dapper - Features - Fashion - The Independent

Stay dry - and dapper

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Don’t let the April showers catch you  out. Work out which waterproof works for you, says Lee Holmes

Towards the end of The Wizard Of Oz, a bucket of water is thrown over a flaming scarecrow which, unfortunately for a certain witch, misses its target and soaks her through to the skin instead. The result, as we see, is nothing short of disastrous for her.

The lesson here? No matter who you are, waterproof clothing is a must. Whether you’re dodging stray buckets of water or just trying to keep dry in the seemingly incessant rain (April showers? Let’s not forget the last six months), it’s a good time to your rainwear in order. For the traditionalists, a mac is your obvious choice – it really is the prince of rainwear. Always tasteful, it’s the perfect raincoat for any occasion. But it takes some thought – namely to belt or not to belt, that is the question. Remember, a belted mac – and for this read “cinched-in waist” – can look a little feminine. Instead tie the belt loosely at the back.

And as practically perfect as the rain mac may appear to be, there is one major design flaw – its lack of a hood. Opting for this style of coat means  you’ll need to buy an umbrella. And this, gentlemen, is where size matters.

Carry an umbrella that is too large and you’ll look like a mobile satellite dish. If it’s too small, you’ll never be able to remember where you left it last. If a hood is a deal-breaker for you, then a slicker jacket or cagoule is probably more your thing. But beware of cheap imitations – they never really stay waterproof for long and if you’re caught out in a heavy downpour you’ll be a sodden, dripping mess. But never consider buying a poncho. A grown man has no business wearing a poncho unless he’s visiting Niagara Falls.

Once you’ve found your style, stick to it. And if dressing for this inclement weather seems like a little too much faff, then by all means stay indoors and mix yourself a Dark ‘n’ Stormy.

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