For a long time I searched for a simple, single-breasted rain mac. Finally last spring I found one. A blue Herno laminar rain coat which is naturally weather proof and lightweight but also appropriate for multiple different purposes.
A rain mac is definitely one of the most versatile options in terms of men's outerwear. Even though the classic raincoats are usually light colored, I prefer and recommend to go for a dark blue. Especially if you live in a climate like we do here in Finland.
Rain mac or trench coat?
The iconic double-breasted trench coat is indisputably the king of classic raincoats. But the trench is not really my thing. Even though in general I like to have my overcoats double-breasted. In my opinion the trench is also harder to pull off. If you have a well-fitting trench coat and you can combine it in right way, it can look very good. But the trench coat is one of those garments that can easily make you look that you are just trying too hard.
Compared to the trench coat, a single-breasted mac is in my opinion a more practical option. The main difference between these two jackets is in their designs. The trench coat was originally invented by Burberry's uniform department at the request of the British War Office. Therefore the model have militaristic details such as epaulets and gun flaps. And the classic trench coats are usually made of tightly woven cotton gabardine fabric.
Rain mac - the simple choiceRain mac on the other hand, is typically simpler and more streamlined. The coat features just a fold down collar and two outer slash pockets. In that simplicity, I personally find the rain mac easier to pair with a range of casual wear or tailored clothing. The rain mac should be as light in weight as it is waterproof. The best rain macs are usually made in some form of proofed cotton fabric or nowadays some technical fabrics. As a tip, try to wear a mac with chunky knitwear and some jeans on the weekend, or with a tailored suit or sport coat and some wool trousers for a business look. That's at least how I do it.
My advice: if you only gonna have one (rain) coat - make it a navy or dark blue rain mac.
When you search for a rain coat make sure it is cut so that is comfortable wear over a suit or a more chunky cardigan. Naturally this does not mean that you should wear too big coats. Just make sure that the cut is right for you. The classic length of a rain mac is in the middle of your thighs. So compared to the classic trench coats the rain mac should be a bit shorter. This is also one of the reasons I personally prefer them. A short guy like me rarely looks good on coat that goes far below the knees.
Herno - made in Italy
The coat in this post is made by Italian company Herno. The company started in the 1940s by producing only raincoats. And for a long time they almost exclusively produced private label garments for multiple big fashion houses. Today the collection ranges from raincoats to down jackets, bomber jackets and all sorts of overcoats. But the focus of the company is still strongly on outerwear. Also the company is still family owned and operated, and is now run by the third generation of Marenzi family. In Helsinki you can find Herno from Vaatturiliike Sauma.
The cut of Herno jackets is usually quite slim and slightly cropped. Some could say that this gives their garments a modern yet stylish look. Additionally, the coats are often very lightweight , which makes them comfortable to wear. The company also works all the time with mills developing their own "Herno TECH" fabrics, which are weather resistant, padded for warmth, and designed to be very breathable. Briefly, Herno works with very simple, classic styles and updates them with modern and refined cuts. And they create their jackets with exclusive and high-tech materials.
Sum up - The Laminar rain mac
As mentioned above I searched for the right kind of rain coat for quite a while. During the last few years I have tried on many pieces but haven't really found one that would have been good looking, practical, high-quality and reasonably priced. Last spring I thought that I really need to find one that I could wear at work over a suit or a sport coat but also combine with more casual wear.
Finally from Sauma I found the Laminar raincoat by Herno. The jacket I ended up picking has the following features:
- made of breathable, water-, and wind-resistant gore-tex fabric.
- snap-off hood and stand collar.
- internal jersey cuffs
- two-way zip-front closure.
- snap storm placket.
In addition to the fact that the jacket is weather proof and suitable for windy and rainy days, for me it has two ultimate features. First of all the jacket is very lightweight. Secondly and also due to the weight it is very easy to pack in case you don't want to wear it but you want to take it with you for a trip for example. And these two features make it a perfect overcoat for traveling.
The jacket has definitely become my go-to jacket. During the spring and now fall I have worn it at least three or four times a week. As it does not feature any liner, it is probably too thin and lightweight to wear through the winter. But as long as the temperature stays above zero degrees, I will keep it in my rotation. To sum-up my thoughts, this jacket has again proved right one the essentials rules. Buy less - buy better. I searched for quite a long time but now I have the right rain coat for years to come.