Wet-weather gear for grown-ups
Avoid a wardrobe washout with our pick of waterproof jackets that don't compromise on style
But what style to choose?
Bright yellow fishermen's jackets are fine for braving a windswept walk or a trip to the playground, but probably don't convey the professional attitude you're aiming for at work, while a classic trench might seem a bit too 'grown up'. It might seem indulgent to own more than one waterproof coat, but with Britain's wet weather it's an investment that will pay off over the years.
We've rounded up the best waterproof outerwear brands for every occasion and aesthetic. Don't leave out your little ones, check out the Culture Whisper guide to wet-weather essentials for kids.
Best for the nine-to-five commute: Blocktech by Uniqlo
Blocktech might sound like something used to protect your computer from a virus or the latest cryptocurrency, but in fact it's the rainproof outerwear range from Uniqlo. Smartly designed to be rain- and windproof and still breathable, it means you won't suddenly steam up as you go between outside and inside.
CW pick: Uniqlo Blocktech Hooded Coat, buy here for £79.90
This is the perfect office-appropriate overcoat. The lightweight fabric and clean lines mean it won't appear bulky over a blazer like some coats can, while the generous hood means you don't need to worry about carrying a dripping umbrella into your client meeting.
Best for unexpected showers: K-Way
The original pac-a-mac, Parisian style. Cleverly, K-Way's waterproof jackets pack into a pocket so you can keep yours on hand just in case, meaning they're perfect for festival dressing, keeping on hand at work for popping to Pret or simply mooching around town at the weekend. There's a pleasing retro-sensibility to the range, while seasonal prints bring a bit of pizzazz to proceedings.
CW pick: K-Way Claudette, buy here from £63.39
The most exciting anorak on the market: choose from a great range of colour-pop brights or chic black, and look out for seasonal patterns and reversible versions.
Best for casual cover ups: Stutterheim
This mid-thigh, A-line coat from Swedish experts Stutterheim looks particularly good with wide-leg trousers and midi-skirts with chunky boots, making it the perfect choice for spring showers. Crafted from rubberised cotton with double-welded seams to ensure it's fully waterproof, warm and durable.
CW Pick: Stutterheim A-Line Raincoat Mosebacke Green, buy here for £180
This muted dark green is particularly versatile and flattering while the short length means that it'll be handy for festival season as well as wet days in the city.
Best for town and country: Hunter
From festival-goers to farmers, Hunter is the immediate go-to for wellies, but there's much more to the brand's offering than just puddle-jumpers. Waterproof jackets abound, making use of rubberised cotton and vinyl, while insulated versions are a sensible option without sacrificing style for the colder months. Even better, many of the brand's options are vegan.
CW Pick: Women's Original Waterproof Smock in White, buy here for £135
Who wants to carefully put together an outfit, only to cover most of it up? This translucent vinyl hooded jacket is the solution to that wardrobe woe, making it perfect for British festival season when rain simply cannot stop play.
Best for sustainable credentials: Arket
There's much to be said for Arket's outerwear, especially its two-in-one series, a collection of modular pieces designed to be worn alone or interlocked in order to create an all-weather wardrobe, perfect for the in-between months of changeable weather. One of the more sustainably focussed high-street brands, outerwear uses organic cotton, recycled down and polyester made from plastic bottles.
CW Pick: Arket Fishtail Parka, buy here for £150
A parka is a wardrobe classic for a reason: wear this version made from recycled plastic bottles with a padded liner vest or jacket on colder days.
Best for contemporary takes on the classics: Rains
Encompassing a range of belted trench jackets, short hooded raincoats in a full spectrum of colours and even waterproof bags and accessories, there's plenty of inclement-weather inspiration to be had from this Danish brand.
CW Pick: Rains Coral Rubberised Raincoat, buy here for £75
While we still have a soft spot for the yellow fisherman's jacket, it's all about looking pretty in pastel right now. This casual jacket will ensure you don't fade into the sea of grey and black coats across the capital.
Best for design-led durability: Kassl Editions
Designed to last, Kassl Editions is bringing a new approach built on an old-fashioned ethos to the outerwear category in order to challenge the increasingly pressing issue of overproduction. Rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, the design collective behind the Amsterdam-based brand sticks to a core style, playing with colours, fabrics and design details to bring something new each season.
CW Pick: Kassl Editions Detachable Sleeve PVC-coated raincoat, buy here for £1,250
Fashion forward yet innately timeless, this clever style has detachable sleeves, meaning it can be worn well into spring.
Best for wardrobe classics: Burberry
When it comes to timeless fashion, there are few items more everlasting than a trench and Burberry remains the brand to beat. Perfect as is for work or layered with other outerwear pieces for a more fashion-forward off-duty look.
CW Pick: Burberry The Waterloo Heritage Trench Coat, buy here for £1,550
Catwalk-referencing updates come out every season, but in our opinion a classic beige coat with that signature check lining will never date.