10 Raincoats Everyone in London Is Obsessed with Right Now
If there’s one thing we know about rainy weather—be it a sprinkle or a downpour—it’s that choosing an outfit that’s equal parts stylish and practical is an art form. (In other words, if you look great, but you’re still getting wet, something went wrong.) Enter the Brits: Londoners are used to gray days, but they also know how to dress stylishly for them. That’s why we interviewed a handful of fashion-forward locals about the raincoats everyone is raving about as they enter their rainiest season: fall.
1. Barbour by Alexa Chung Carmen Wax Jacket
It’s the coat brand mentioned most by the locals we chatted with. Walk around London on a rainy afternoon and you’ll see many a Barbour coat. “I feel like everyone here has a Barbour coat,” Annie Fitzsimmons, a travel expert based in London reports. Whitney Richardson, global events manager for The New York Times in Europe, agrees: “Barbour is signature here.”
Bethan Holt, fashion news and features director for The Telegraph shares exactly how to wear it: “My favorite rainy-day strategy is to go for a really classic country look. I love Alexa Chung’s collection for Barbour, but also pretty much any Barbour wax jacket as they’re warm and waterproof, but still look like proper coats. If I can dress down, I’ll wear mine with leggings and Hunter wellies.” If you absolutely must dress up, we’d suggest wearing it over simple tailored basics like trousers and a crisp button-down in neutral colors. Holt continues, “I love the coat’s sturdy hood, which is much less annoying than dealing with an umbrella that keeps blowing around.” Also unique about Barbour jackets? “The older and more battered, the better in a British person’s eyes. The queen famously prefers to have hers re-waxed rather than replaced,” Holt adds.
2. Boden Morris Waterproof Mac
Hard to believe this year marks the 30th anniversary for the brand, which is so signature to rainy-day style in London. Fitzsimmons explains, “Boden is a lovely, cheerful U.K. brand—and one that’s readily available in the U.S. It has a lot of fun options, but it’s also not terribly expensive.” It also came up as a must-buy for Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette who splits her time between the U.S. and across the pond. Their styles are known to be sturdy and chic. A win-win.
3. Aigle Gore-Tex Mid-Length Jacket
Another favorite for London locals is actually a French brand. Aigle’s raincoats are made with Gore-Tex, a premium material that’s waterproof, windproof and breathable—a triple threat when the weather gets blustery and wet. Meier and Fitzsimmons both raved about this brand, with Fitzsimmons calling out another item, critical to rainy day style, that Aigle excels at: wellies (or rainboots as we call them on this side of the pond). “I just ordered these urban rain boots in a cool mustard color and this ankle silhouette, and now I have to try and decide which I want to keep,” Fitzsimmons says.
4. Rains Longer Jacket
This brand popped up repeatedly, too—it was even dubbed the “most popular raincoat in London” by Sara Little, who works as a content creator and marketer over there. In particular, Little says the extralong version is a stand-out in all colors, but especially Rains’s rich olive, which as she explained “makes it military-esque.” (That colorway was nearly sold out at the time of publication, but will hopefully be restocked soon.)
5. COS Quilted Coat
Speaking of olive green, per Holt, there’s a huge trend of quilted coats right now in the U.K. Case in point, this style from COS: “It began during lockdown last year, but the look is set to continue this season. Over here, Mango, Arket and COS all have great versions at good prices.”
6. Joules Shoreside Coastal Waterproof Coat
In terms of affordability, you can’t go wrong with Joules, says Fitzsimmons. “The styles here are inexpensive, but still great quality,” she says. It came up more than once, with others mentioning that the brand is beloved across the pond.
7. Troy London Wax Parka
This brand—another one that’s synonymous with Britain, according to Holt—also came up several times for its rainwear, which is known for being both luxe and practical. This particular style includes a dry wax finish that boosts its waterproofing power. (It’s also a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore it in olive green for a farm visit in 2017.)
8. Seasalt Cornwall River Sea Waterproof Coat
While we’re on the subject of royalty, Seasalt Cornwall was mentioned a few times by locals as a practical and stylish option that often pops up around town. It’s also been worn by both Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Sussex. (#TBT to when Meghan was down under with Prince Harry.) This particular style is waterproofed with a signature blend of organic cotton and recycled nylon and features a quilted interior that provides warmth sans bulk.
9. Stutterheim Moseback Long Light Raincoat
No, it’s not British (Stutterheim is Swedish, in fact), but of the locals we consulted, this label came up a handful of times. The length of this particular style helps keep anyone who wears it extra dry and the A-line style manages to be figure-flattering while wicking water away.
10. Burberry Vintage Check Recycled Polyester Hooded Jacket
Last, but certainly not least, Burberry is a forever classic and undoubtedly pops up on city streets in London the minute the skies open up, according to Meier, Holt, Little and more. But a pro tip from Holt to offset the cost of this pricey brand: “Keep your eye out for a vintage Burberry on eBay or Vestiaire Collective and you may luck out.” If it’s not totally downpouring, she’ll pair the coat with a good pair of leather loafers with a generous sole (like this one from Madewell) since they don’t get soggy like sneakers or soak through like a ballet flat. “Just don’t forget to waterproof the leather first,” she adds.