Attacking the Rain in Style

December 17th, 2010

Nothing beats down a spirit like a rainy day. But not for me. Some of my favorite clothing is built for the rain.

An easy way to “stand out from the crowd” on the streets: check the daily weather forecast in the morning, be prepared and have a good piece of rainwear. On a wet day, average Joe Dresser is usually uncomfortable, cold, and looking miserable in a soaked, heavy fleece jacket or wool peacoat.

A big part of being “stylish” is dressing appropriate for the situation, and the weather.

Here, three looks to help you stay dry in style.

    1. Casual

    Yellow has been a go-to color for rainwear for as long as I can remember. I think it may be due to a subconscious yearning for sunshine. Regardless of its origin, it just works.

    The problem is, I think alot of men prematurely out-grow wearing the classic yellow parka. On the street there seem to be alot of children wearing them, but rarely an adult – which makes it so refreshing to see a man in a bright, rubberized slicker.

    It’s a great, “safe” way to wear a bold color in an off-summer casual outfit. Not to mention that a rubberized cotton is completely impermeable.

    I did another casual rainwear post back in Spring/Summer, see here.

    2. Business Casual

    If you’re only going to add one thing to your wardrobe this year, make it a tailored trench coat – in a neutral color like khaki or navy blue.

    It goes with just about everything and because they are usually cut a little bigger (to fit over a suit), they are a perfect last layer to throw over anything from a blazer to a down vest to a denim jacket. (Post on trench layering coming soon!).

    Not only will you look more appropriate (and slightly bad-ass) and be more comfortable when it rains, a good trench will also dramatically increase the life of your outerwear that is not meant to get wet.

    For those keeping track, this trench was featured a while back, here, and more recently here.


    Hey SB,

    Daily reader from way back here. You have so much footwear, what would you say is your favorite pair? Just curious. Keep up the blog, your readers are loving it!


    Hey there. Glad you are enjoying the site.

    It would be difficult to choose one pair as a favorite, but these corset-inspired two-tone brogue lace-up boots by Alexander McQueen (r.i.p.) are definitely near the top. Thanks for reading.

    3. Business

    The advantage of a single breasted rain coat (like this navy mac)? It’s easier to throw on and keep open – meaning you don’t have to cover up your outfit.

    The simplicity and straight-forwardness of this outfit is complimented nicely by a piece of outerwear with similar characteristics.

    Yes, I wear leather shoes (with rubber soles) in the rain. I have a fairly large shoe collection, so the way I see it, getting them wet once in a while won’t kill them. Besides, I like my leather uppers with a little beat-in texture and character to them.

    If you are really adverse to wearing your “nice” shoes in the rain, you can invest in some rubber covers or “swims”. I wear these once in a while (over my favorite shoes) but usually end up forgetting/losing them. With swims, go black over black shoes, brown over brown shoes, and every once in a while try a bright yellow or red for an unexpected pop.

    Another strategy used by some of my friends in the corporate world is wearing rain-appropriate footwear (Bean or Hunter boots, for example) during their commute to the office and carrying “work” shoes in their bags/briefcases. In my opinion, this is a pain in the ass (an even bigger pain in the ass than inserting and removing swims). I also don’t like to carry a bag in the rain if I don’t have to. Keep in mind, however, that I am a stylist, so there is rarely a situation when I must wear a suit in the rain.

    If you’re like me and don’t care to cover them or carry them, invest in some cordovan shoes with rubber soles (they are significantly more durable than other hides) and just get them shined for $3 if you get caught in the heavy stuff.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    • Tucker J. Nelson

      Today I had to walk home in the rain, and although I was wearing a trench (that I learned needs to be re-waterproofed) the bottoms of my pants still got soaked… Is there any way around this?

    • Oscar

      This rainjacket can be found here. It is part of a full rain suit, for the really floody days.

    • Elliott

      Did you have that yellow slicker chopped? I may go search the surplus store this weekend with hopes of finding an identical one.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Nope. A good surplus store should have a version, for cheap

    • MB

      Hey SB, good advice here! I’m particularly fond of wearing my rubber soles loafers in the rain as well. I have a question about summer rain wear.

      I live in NYC where summers are often muggy. Recently we’ve been having serious thunderstorms where getting soaked is nearly unavoidable.

      It’s certainly too hot for a Barbour. Can I wear my single breasted navy blue Burberry over maybe a t shirt or perhaps even linen shirt with jeans and loafers in the rain? Is this seasonally inappropriate? Does this make me look like I frequent unsavory movie theaters?

      Is the answer simply to carry an umbrella? Your help is much appreciated.



    • GameRecognizeGame

      SB I know you reference a lot about the difficulties for taller men to buy jackets off the rack but I feel it goes the same way with shorter guys I’m 5’4″ and sometimes jackets and pants are too long. Especially in the rain and trench coats where the bottom of the jacket falls below the knee, is their a remedy for that?

    • Faust

      Just bought the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece trench coat. I’m 5’10” in height…can you give me a guide of chopping the length if I wanna bring it to my tailor.

      Thanks greetings from HK!

      • SB

        Hem it to just below mid-thigh.
        Best, SB

        • Faust

          Thanks SB! This site is guiding my style. Really grateful.

          All the best!


    • Jordan Drake

      Hey Dan,

      Was hunting for a spring coat, ran across this post on rain-wear and fell in love with the Navy Mac. Went to A.P.C. in SoHo and was dismayed at the cost and anti-slim shape of the A.P.C. version… they’re going for this box cut thing now that I don’t like.

      Wandered around SoHo looking for something similar and found this number at Flying A’s – – it’s PERFECT. $340 all told, fits me like a glove, and feels very well made (rain-proof treated cotton).

      Since this search (for a spring coat) took me several shopping trips over a few weeks, I thought I’d share with the other readers in case someone else found themselves in the same boat.

      Love the blog – love the style – keep it up.


    • Gary-A

      Hey SB. You’ve got a great site going on. I follow over a dozen style websites, and yours I look forward to the most when it updates.

      This post has definitely got me reevaluating my trench. Vintage ‘Burberrys’ (yes, in quotes) with a button-up liner I snagged on Ebay. I wore it out in just the hint of a snow shower a few days ago because it’s warm enough with the liner and a sweater. I just wanted to toss by a tailoring question, since I have zero experience with tailors. The khaki one posted above is the most similar, where the last button hits about crotch area. I really want to have the trench hemmed to knee-length, as I feel like either a kid in his grandpa’s clothes, or a streaker when I wear it.

      Long and short: Worth a trip to the tailor to hem the trench? I would have to definitely cut the button-up liner as well, unless I wanted to lose that as an accessory. Thanks in advance to anyone with some insight into this conundrum!

    • Joshua Kent

      I’m loving the yellow rain coat, does someone knows where I can buy a model like this one online?

    • Kai

      That’s the only pair of Alexander McQueen ankle boots for men that I’ve liked. Are they are recent make? Or yrs old?

    • John H. Duncan

      I have been a long time reader of your blog, and follow you on Twitter. I really appreciate all the hard work you do on here, and your style. For me, and from what you have said on this blog, style is unique to one’s background, physical location, and personality/ taste. In this vein, I wonder why there isn’t more attention paid to the south (my home) as a haven of unique style. It seems to me, that currently there is a lot of import given to NYC, and the northeast with brand recognition, and “preppy” or “ivy” stylings. I have my own little blog with low quality/resolution pictures attempting to harness and convey what it means for me to be a southerner and dress in the tradition of the south, my father( my personal style hero), and my own personality (as well as the damn weather). I would love to hear your thoughts on US regional style and what/ how trends of dress rise to national recognition.

    • nounours501

      i dream to have the same wears lol, it’s wonderful

    • Herbert Morrison

      Bad Man! Your impeccable timing never ceases to amaze! But we’ve a situation here: I just copped the 10″ Bean Boots from the Signature line because it’s frigid and wet here at home in Toronto. Could’ve went with a pair of Sorrels, but I dig the BB’s because they’re appropriate in the rain as well as evinced above. I sprang for size 12 and the fit is proper, albeit with thicker socks. Here’s my beef: my feet are perspiring in these boots and my feet never ever sweat. This isn’t a vanity thing because it’s the simple truth: my feet don’t sweat in any other footwear including asics trainers at the gym or cordovan monk-straps (sockless!) in the dead of summer. I’ve tried ragg wool socks (as recommended by L.L. Bean), white athletic socks, and plain cotton socks from Uniqlo, all to no avail. Is it me or the boots? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and good lookin’ out; it’s nice to see fellow Canadian bwoy holding it down in NYC.

    • Clothes Horse

      Stumbled on your blog; nice read, I’ll be back. I don’t care what anyone says; you cannot dress well with cheap shoes. So anyone questioning your justification or math on the basis of benefit is insane. I have no problem with people wearing cheap clothing as long as the fit is proper. But cheap shoes, there is no forgiveness. Anyway, all of the money one saves on cheap shoes will be wasted trying to cure the Jungle Rot they will get from their cheap man made sythetic shoes.

      Now, I have no idea what your shoe collection is like, but if it rivals mine at best your getting maybe one set of new soles out of a third of your shoes. Why, because if your like me you own so many you will never wear them out (excessive use) or you give them away to friends in need. I have boots that are 30 years old and boxes of shoes I didn’t know I owned.

      About re-soling, about 2 years ago I had a pair of Prada shoes resoled (after about 10 wears at best). I take full blame, I just assumed the cobbler would put leather soles on and never said anything. When I went to pick them up I realized the shoes now had plastic/rubber soles. I paid the balance due and never wore them again. This past summer we had an intern and on discovering we were the same size I gave them to him.

    • SSS

      Hey SB,
      I have a khaki DB trench I absolutely love. To the point where I find myself wanting to wear it even when there’s not a cloud in the sky. I know part of your style philosophy is to make your own rules, but should I only break out the trench when it’s raining?

      • Bruno


      • SB

        Why wait?

        I wore my trench during a dry (but cold) day today, layered over a corduroy trucker jacket with cargo pants.

        I like my trenches to much to wait till it rains.

        Thanks for reading.

    • JVC

      Any tips for re-proofing a raincoat, or proofing one that doesn’t have it already? I have an 8-yr old Burberry Mac that still looks great today (and probably will 10 years from now ) that could use it. I also have a cheap, but still good looking DB trench from Uniqlo that could use more proofing.

      Also, you can get a good yellow rain slicker from Lands End. I got one earlier this year with cool pockets on the front.

    • Big Mondo Boogie

      NYC rain sucks ass. I have 2 trenches…black and khaki…the black one is perfectly fitted (love it) the khaki is a banana republic joint…smooth as hell, but way too boxy…gonna take it to my tailor to see if I can get it tapered down some. It’s a quality piece and worth the extra cheddar to get the fit just right (besides I got it on sale!)

      One time.

      • SB

        Always worth it to bring it to the tailor. Thanks for reading. Best, SB


      Wow great tips!!
      Love the business casual fit!

      I would love it if you stopped by my menswear blog.

      And if you need a photographer for a day.. I can offer that for free! Would love to work with you!


    • Joel

      Love the first photo for ‘Business Casual’;
      how do you tie the trench belt? Does it have to be particularly long to tie it into a bow?

      • SB

        Think of it as a bow (like shoe laces) where one side has slipped out. -Dan

    • TSF

      Dan, I agree with investing in quality but not necessarily for shoes. People generally treat their inexpensive footwear like crap and their expensive ones like little princesses. I have quite a huge stash of shoes and I switch em out a lot and therefore I still have shoes that I bought circa 2003 or earlier.

      But the reason for me to comment here is that completely random off-the-cuff comparison you make:

      “For example: 3 pairs of $120 mass-produced –dress” shoes per year, for 3 years = $1,080. One hand-made pair of shoes that, with resolling, can last 3 years+ = $895 (+ two $40 resollings) = $975. Savings = $105.”

      What? You even conclude with a savings? Nice:) How about this one:3 pairs of $150 mass produced shoes, 1 pair of $100 mass-produced shoes, two pairs of $80 shoes, 4 pairs of laces $5, 10 Shoe-shines $3= $760….right?

      • TSF

        “but not necessarily for only shoes.”

      • SB

        I’m sorry, I really don’t understand your question here. But thanks for reading. -Dan

        • TSF

          Yeah, when I reread that I thought the same thing. Just saying it was a random comparison. Nobody is going through nine pairs of dress shoes in three years versus one pair of hand-mades.

          Luxury items are priced higher because of higher labor and material costs but an equally important part of what you’re paying for is exclusivity and emotion.

          Also, great blog, keep it going. Looking forward to your future plans (that I read about in an interview somewhere clothing, shop, etc.)

    • The Shoe Snob

      Great Post!! Love all of the outfits and the footwear, especially those LL Bean boots, I’ve been meaning to get a pair myself, especially since I moved to England and it rains like crazy here. Way to educate on being stylish during not-so-friendly weather days. Even I sometimes have the urge to just throw on casual clothes for fear of ruining my nice stuff when it is raining but then again, living in England I would never get to wear my nice stuff if I always did that.

    • Henry

      Dan, you’re all about that Uniqlo cardigan this fall/winter, huh?

      • SB

        I didn’t really notice but I have been wearing it alot. Just goes to show it’s versatility. Thanks for reading. -Dan

    • Carter

      Another great detailed post. I have to check my local army/navy store for a yellow slicker. Great idea! Any advice on protectiing your leather shoes from the elements?

      • TCB

        If you read the article he addressed this.

    • Rob

      Amazing! Don’t know how you do it – but keep on doing it

    • Kara Fox

      I completely agree with your statement: “The irony is, on top of the benefits of looking and feeling better, you usually end up saving money when you buy quality.”

      And I find that when I buy a quality piece I take a little better care of it as well. Adding to its longevity.


      Kara Fox
      Style Writer

      • SB

        Great point. Thanks for contributing Kara

    • Matthew Mejias

      thanks for the post…best fashion blog ever!!!

      • Amir

        Not a fashion blog, a style blog.

    • Arlequin

      Again, awesome post Dan!
      I usually get dressed according to the weather, my mood, or the situation…
      Your knowledge in Menswear seems pretty solid, and since your post was a little bit about shoes today, I would have one question.
      What kind of shoes do you buy and invest on during Fall/Winter seasons?
      (I’m not asking you for brands here, lol, but rather styles of shoes)
      Thanks, and keep up the great work!

      • SB

        In the winter I wear mostly boots. Boots are my favorite footwear, ranging from casual chukkas to sharp chelsea’s to rugged red wings. Post on boots coming soon. Thx for reading -SB

        • Steve

          I’m a teacher and would like to “step up” my clothing selections. I am guilty of wearing either jeans or khakis and a simple polo or button down.

          Is it acceptable to wear a more dressy pant with my Red Wings? I am not a big fan of dress shoes and I walk around campus quite a bit. I keep my boots, along with all of my clothing, in great shape.

          Thanks for your advice. I welcome any suggestions you may have, especially since I am working on a tight budget and lack of experience in dressing more stylish.

    • Renuka

      Loved the macs, one of your bests posts…

      Best Wishes,


    • Rich

      Hey Dan,

      Did you notice the women on the rights face in your 1st photo? She doesn’t look impressed at all with your yellow slicker!


    • MD (Sydney)

      Thanks for your blog. Inspiration plus good information, and who’d have thought you could look good in the rain?

    • Eric

      I’ve owned about 6 trenchcoats in my life. Each time I buy one, I wear it for a bit and then think it’s just a bit too mature for me, or it overwhelms my small-ish frame. Do macs work better?

      • SB

        Mac coats work better with younger, more casual looks.

        As far as the trench, have you tried a fitted one? Or perhaps buying one size down? Unless they are from a european fashion house, I usually size down on trench coats since they are typically cut a little roomier in order to fit layers/jackets underneath.

        Thanks for reading. -Dan

    • John

      Men the rain gear is nice Dan, by the way I own a pair of LL Bean Boots and they’re the most comfortable footwear ever!

      Hey Dan I was on youtube last night searching for some sartorial tips, and I’d trip with you at Kenneth Cole with some guy name Nick giving advice how to wear some clothes and brother I was dying with no end lol. my wife was like are you ok, but is your face expression like WTF? I’m supposed to be the Dandy on this not you!
      God Bless you Brother!

    • banana outsiders

      as always, thanks for the post! great info here but i wish you wouldve held it for spring and gave us more winter education. i think every look is spot on except for the first. the yellow reminds me of a school crossing guard. black or navy slicker would be perfect. i like the fact that you pointed out quality over quantity regarding shoes. i try to tell my friends this all the time when they are quick to let me know they think ive lost my mind spending $500 on a pair of shoes. i know not all can afford to drop that kind of dime or have the extensive wardrobe you do. that being said, i wish you would do a post on wardrobe essentials and what pieces every man should own. thanks again for the post and “next time you see Dan in church please no photos”

      • SB

        Hahaha. Thanks for sharing your opinions. Posts on cold weather and wardrobe essentials coming soon.


    • ZK

      Did you have that yellow rain slicker altered for a slimmer fit? I’ve seen some like it but they were all cut pretty full.

      By the way, I really appreciate the professionalism with which you curate this blog.

      • SB

        Thanks. The slicker is a size 36 (extra small), I didn’t need to have it taken-in (the sleeves are a tad short for a rain piece though).


    • JMRouse

      Recently I bought a navy trench from Zara that fit me well and was a “great price.” I was happy with it till I got home and discovered it didn’t actually repel water at all. Soaked right in like any other type of cotton. Took it back the next day, of course. If anything it taught me the lesson that investing in your clothes not only give you better looking items that last longer, but sometimes actually means they will do their job properly! Last time I go cheap on a clothing item like that.

      Great post SB. Those boots are awesome.

      • SB

        It’s generally a good idea to invest a little in pieces that you know need to stand up to the elements. Thanks, as always, for reading JMRouse. Best, Dan

    • Aggie K

      I like reading your blog.

      I think the yellow is for visibility. We used to wear yellow slicker suits sailing on SF Bay- if you fell in you might be spotted. If not, you might die of hypothermia.

      • SB

        Haha. Great point! Thanks for reading. -SB

    • TO

      Is that umbrella the solo or duet Dan? As classic of a post as ever- who knew rain could be so inspiring…

      • SB

        It’s the solo. A golf-sized umbrella for two is damn near impossible with the foot traffric on nyc streets. Best, SB

    • Tommy V.

      What are you doing to protect your leather soles/uppers? I don’t see any overshoes or anything.

      Nice outfits and pics though. Keep up the good work, Dan.

      • SB

        Please read the post. Thx. -Dan

      • Anonymous


        “Yes, I wear leather shoes (with rubber soles) in the rain. I have a fairly large shoe collection, so the way I see it, getting them wet once in a while won’t kill them. Besides, I like my leather uppers with a little beat-in texture and character to them.”

    • Brian’s A Wild Downer

      I’ve been checking out a lot of trench coats and macs online lately but am confused by the fact that so many are made from cotton. Do cotton coats actually keep you dry?

      • SB

        Yes. Trench coats are most often made of cotton that is treated or “waterproofed”.

        Thanks for reading,