Trending Upward: Rainwear

A classic yellow rain slicker never goes out of style. The vibrant hue is evocative of half-remembered childhood images: the girl in the canary dress and giant umbrella poised mid-stride on the salt canister, or that burly, bearded fisherman steering through a storm on the bag of fish sticks. And what about the Man in the Yellow Hat who lives with Curious George? Didn't Paddington Bear sometimes wear a yellow hat too?

Maybe the brilliant buttercup of a glossy raincoat just recalls sunshine-soaked summers, keeping us cozy against the chill and damp of a relentless April shower.

Whatever the reason, rainwear trend upward lately, thanks in part to image-heavy social media sites like Pinterest. "Our women's New Englander rain jacket is one of our most popular ‘pinned' styles," says Heather Brunner, marketing manager at Charles River Apparel. Hooded with a straight silhouette, adjustable cuffs and a reflective safety stripe accent, the jacket is a stylish take on a closet staple. Front vented capes allow easy decorating access.

More important than the cut and color of a raincoat, of course, is its practical application: How effective is it at keeping the rain out? The New Englander is made of polyurethane, woven to be 100 percent wind- and waterproof, yet still breathable, Brunner says. Heat-sealed seams and an adjustable drawstring hood provide further protection against the elements, she notes.

Over at River's End Trading Co., Columbia-brand rain jackets feature proprietary Omni-Tech waterproof-breathable protection. It's meant to keep rain from getting in while allowing moisture to wick away from the skin, says Lori Anderson, marketing manager. "The result is outerwear that keeps you dry and comfortable, no matter what," she says.

 Raincoats are great for every business, since everyone needs protection against the rain, but few people think of rainwear first when considering outerwear, Brunner says. Outdoor-oriented companies employing construction workers, landscapers, utility linemen and emergency service providers should consider adding raincoats to their uniform program.  

And if yellow just doesn't strike your client's fancy, the New Englander jacket comes in an array of colors for women, from hot pink to aqua. Men's jackets are available in navy and black styles. The Columbia coats from River's End are available in black for women and men. No matter the color, these coats can shine in the rain.