Fashion: Here's why we love April showers

It's April, so we can expect a few showers to come our way. Stephanie Smith and Bethany Gallimore pick out key weather-beating pieces.
Cirrus jacket, £149, from Barbour.Cirrus jacket, £149, from Barbour.
Cirrus jacket, £149, from Barbour.

Rain will not stop play for one single second this April, because we are determined to be well prepared and stylishly attired.

Optimistically, the weather is set to change for the better this month, but realistically, we can still expect to see, and feel, what April is famous for – plenty of precipitation.

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If you cannot always agree with Gene Kelly that this is indeed a “glorious feeling”, you’ll just have to rely on your outfit choices to keep you dry and cheery. And that means a raincoat. Or a mac, a trench, a shower parka, an anorak, or whatever you want to call it. There are many styles and names, but one ultimate purpose: to keep you dry.

Purple metallic mac, £29.99, at New Look.Purple metallic mac, £29.99, at New Look.
Purple metallic mac, £29.99, at New Look.

The raincoat has evolved over time from an outerwear garment reserved for walking and breezy activity to a well-respected fashion item, thanks to a few pertinent factors.

Outdoor brands that typically produced functional garments for the countryside, such as Barbour, have become adept in recent years at fashion-forward design, combining functionality with trend-led ideas. There’s far more to Barbour than the waterproof wax sporting jackets it is famous for, and the brand is beloved of country folk, townies, celebs and royalty.

Another factor in fashion’s current adoration of the raincoat is the rising popularity of sportswear, due to the ubiquitous athleisure trend. The growth of streetwear and sports luxe has gathered huge and increasing momentum over recent years, reinforcing big sports names such as Nike and Adidas as major fashion players.

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Oversized windbreakers and ’90s- style coats have become a key part of athleisure uniform, adding urban edge to daywear looks.

Longline metallic mac, £49, from Topshop.Longline metallic mac, £49, from Topshop.
Longline metallic mac, £49, from Topshop.

So, here is a guide to what to look out for this April, so you can combine damp-proofed practicality with more than a dash of street-wise (and country lane-wise) credibility.

The Metallic Mac: The High Street has lots of examples in many metallic shades. Check out New Look for starters for silver, pink and purple gleaming metallic macs, and also in patent red, navy and green, and holographic shimmering pink versions. Topshop also has some great looking versions, slightly longer in length, as well as a longer-length red vinyl raincoat, for a bold retro approach to staying dry in style. Pair your metallic mac with denims, or go for a glamorous Coachella look for this summer’s festivals by wearing over white (although maybe think twice if it’s muddy).

The Nautical Style Jacket: Inspired by fishermen’s jackets, these come in bright colours (check out the yellow Barbour version) with practical detailing such as drawstring hoods, and poppers on plackets, necklines and pockets. The Barbour one has a chic fishtail hem at the back. Marks & Spencer has a blue and white striped style that’s ideal for wet and windy weekends by the coast. But be aware that these jackets can be bulky-looking, so team with fitted and slimline clothes underneath, where possible.

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The Padded Waterproof Bomber: Padded cropped jackets are still very current and a close-fitting waterproof version is ideal for teaming with jeans or wearing open slung over tunic and T-shirt dresses, for an easy urban look. New Look also has some handy and cool-looking pack-away pull-over-the-head anoraks, in a variety of colours, with hood and funnel zip neck – a complete bargain at £19.99.

Striped hooded anorak, £69, from Marks & Spencer.Striped hooded anorak, £69, from Marks & Spencer.
Striped hooded anorak, £69, from Marks & Spencer.

The Clear Option: Finally, if you have taken much trouble putting your outfit together and don’t appreciate the idea of having it all covered up by a mac, New Look also does a longline clear plastic raincoat, which acts as a sort of waterproof outer wrapping for your clothes. It’s a perfect festival option that might also work over party and special occasionwear.

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