I’m working away this weekend and I know that it will involve running about and between buildings, and heavy rain is forecast all weekend in Belfast. And when I opened the wardrobe to peruse suitable outerwear I saw a gorgeous Harrington jacket by Merc, a structured coat from COS, and a wool coat from Whistles, but nothing that was going to carry me through showers and worse.
I’m really not an outdoorsy person. I can definitely appreciate natural beauty, and one of the highlights of going to Yorkshire with my girlies is driving to Whitby through the Yorkshire Moors; it’s breathtaking. When called upon, for example when I had a weekend on a narrow boat once seven years ago, I can be practical, unfussy, and surprisingly useful. But in general I hate it, and I have never once camped anywhere. Not once. I like proper showers, and comfortable beds, hairdryers and Malmaisons. So I don’t really own anything as practical as a waterproof jacket, and I’m a bit anti anything that looks too fit for purpose.
But rain at this time of year is unavoidable: my jacket was soaking by the time I dashed for a bus the other day, and it’s supposed to be showerproof. Well I’m assuming it is, it has a hood. Also, I have put on some ‘happy weight’ recently, the kind that so often accompanies settling into a great relationship, and walking is my secret weapon. I need to do more exercise in general, but getting my 10,000 steps in is a great start and did used to help control my weight before summer hit and I drank all the beer. So being able to walk in inclement weather is a must. It was time for a new waterproof jacket…
I started with the usual suspects as Ma recently bought quite a nice jacket (may have been Trespass?) with a superior, almost mac-like finish. But this still really isn’t my look, and a quick peruse of outdoorsy-type websites revealed that I didn’t want to pay those prices for something I barely even like.
Raising the issue with my very clever, very clothes-savvy significant other, I was made aware of Thjorsa, an Icelandic brand that specialises in handmade waterproof coats. I swooned, almost literally. They are so beautiful, so Scandinavian, and a bunch of them are unisex so would even fit my height/awkward proportions/happy weight without compromise. Sadly, they’re also €299, and I absolutely cannot run to that. Still, they’re the dream.
I had also been looking at yellow macs as I met a woman at a meeting last week whose entire outfit I wanted to steal, and she was wearing a gorgeous yellow mac. But I managed to track it down (it had quite a distinctive lining) but it was Petit Bateau and I won’t buy from them because a) they make clothes for tiny women, and b) if you try to buy something from the website you can only select Mrs or Miss, not Ms. For that reason, I’m out.
I checked the other usual suspects- Joules, Boden (for research purposes, I’m otherwise boycotting), ASOS- but found nothing I was willing to part with that much of my heard-earned cash for, and barely anything at all on ASOS. Doing a quick Google image search, I did find yellow macs that I liked however, and a lot of them were men’s. The benefit of being flexible on colour, or considering brighter shades, is that these are often the least popular with men so you can find wider sizing and sometimes lower prices. So back to ASOS I went! Men’s jackets in general, and outdoors or waterproof styles in particular, have taken on quite a Scandinavian twist in the last year or so, worn with brown boots and turn-ups by bearded men, but as this is an aesthetic that I love for myself, I decided to head in that direction. Back to ASOS I went, and my search for ‘waterproof’ resulted in a brand I hadn’t heard of before, Another Influence. The brand seems to be part-hipster, part vaguely ‘urban’, but I fell in love with this waterproof jacket in yellow and ordered it immediately. Down to £38 in the ASOS sale, I ordered the blue as well in XXL, just in case the cut was slim. But the XL fits with room for a jumper underneath, and I get a bit more length because it’s a men’s jacket. The only slight issue is the sleeves but I’m going to assume that a little turn-up at the cuff will look cute. All in all, I’m pleased (and am a very enthusiastic ASOS Premier customer) but I will report back after Belfast on its efficacy.
I will look, as Kathryn said, like an ‘absurdly tall toddler’
Update: It really didn’t rain in Belfast! But I’m still very happy in my waterproof…