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How to Choose the Right Size Rain Coat
The weather has been especially unpredictable this year, making it increasingly important to be prepared for anything. Just because it's sunny and 70 degrees today, doesn't mean Mother Nature won't send you sprinting for your raincoat tomorrow.
It's imperative to have a sturdy raincoat that fits and can stand up to the elements. You don't want to get caught in the rain with no protection for your tailored slim-fit suit, and as modern gentlemen, the traditional bright yellow hooded rain jacket won't cut it.
1. Pick a style - Contemporary raincoats do more than keep you dry, they also make a fashion statement. With myriad designs, it's important to choose one that fits not only your body, but your unique style as well.
a. Buttons vs. zipper - Both are stylistically acceptable, and both will keep you and your clothing equally dry. This comes down to personal preference and what you are most comfortable in.
b. How many buttons? - Most raincoats come in either 3 or 4 button varieties, including some double-breasted versions with a waist band. The double-breasted raincoat provides a slightly classier look because the lapels are cut to leave your tie knot visible.
c. Pick a material - Traditionally raincoats come in cotton, polyester, nylon, or some combination of the three. Cotton is a natural fiber, and while it's softer and typically considered more comfortable, it's prone to shrinking and the colors fade more easily. Polyester is made from petroleum oil and is thus resistant to fading and shrinking. It will also last longer, even if not extensively cared for. Nylon is great for raincoats because it dries quickly and is lightweight, but must be cared for properly as it is extremely sensitive to heat.
2. How do you measure up? - Make sure you know your measurements before you go to buy a raincoat. Raincoats are sized like suit jackets, with the number denoting the circumference of your chest, and the length letter (L, R, S), referring to the cut of the bottom and the length of the arms as there is a correlation between chest size and arm length. For example, compared to a 38 short, a 34 long would fit a thinner gentleman with longer arms.
Note: Be careful to leave a bit more room than usual as the raincoat may be worn over a suit jacket or sweater and customarily the sleeves are to rest about 2-4 inches longer than your jacket or sweater underneath.
As we (hopefully) make the transition to spring and store our winter clothes away in the closet, keep your raincoat handy and make sure it fits properly. There's no telling what the next couple of months have in store.