The perfect coat

regenFor my trip to England later this month, I find myself in need of a coat. I got a lovely weatherproof, knee-length quilted coat which I wear on my bike all winter, but alas this will probably, hopefully be far too warm for late April in Cornwall. So now I am looking for a knee-length weatherproof coat that is thinner without being downright flimsy, perfect for spring and autumn, and those really rainy, cold summer days.

So far, I have been to two outdoor clothing shops, but the matter is less simple than I thought. For one thing, coats seem appear to be only little in demand, so most stores stock only a few of them. Of these, the majority are not in my size (other, more savvy customers seem to have picked up theirs in January, or February at the latest). Or they are black, which I cannot wear. None are in a bright, spring-like color.

Yet I do not dare order online, as the sizes of those that I tried on and that fit me vary wildly – between three different sizes so far. I have taken notes on specific coats that fit me and which size they were, even if I disliked the color – but I have no way to find out the right size of all the other coats that were not available in the shops.

My strategy now is to visit some more shops, and try on many more coats. I have found one I quite liked (by Tatonka), but it was in a particularly depressing olive. Should I try it again, I definitely must bring some bright scarves!

What do you wear for possibly rainy days in spring and autumn? Is there a brand in weatherproof coats that you can particularly recommend? And is it really a good idea not to take the quilted coat to Cornwall in late April?

– Rike Horstmann

6 thoughts on “The perfect coat

  1. dick

    In my experience, 40 degrees Fahrenheit in England “feels” colder than 20 degrees Fahrenheit any other place. I don’t know what to advise about the quilted coat, but I would certainly take lots of warm things to wear under anything else were I to leave it behind.

  2. LeeB.

    I haven’t been to the UK in late April but I have been in late May many times and the temps can be beautiful or cool. You might want to take the coat with you; it would be a good blanket on the flights and just might come in handy with the weather.

    I have a Pacific Trail lightweight jacket. You can see similar here:

  3. AAR Sandy

    Seems to me what you’re talking about is a basic trench coat. (There’s a reason it’s the classic in the U.K.) They’re all over the place in price, from reasonable to over the top like Burberry. You could buy a shorter one or a longer one and dress it up or down, depending on accessories. If you buy one with a zip out lining so you’ll have it for extra warmth if you need it.

  4. Lynn M

    I know you don’t want to order online, but Lands’ End has some nice mid-weight, waterproof jackets. Also, Eddie Bauer has some nice coats in bright colors (check out the Christine Parka or the WeatherEdge Girl On the Go Insulated Trench Coat).

    There is nothing worse than when you need a seasonal item of clothing and you are trying to find it off-season!

  5. Rike

    Thank you for all the recommendation, I’ll check out the companies you mention!
    dick, I’m definitely planning to take several layers, like in warm sweaters and even some long underwear! But as I only want to take a single coat, it should be one that is rather versatile.

  6. Judith

    May I recommend the Mycra Pac Designer Wear Reversible Scrunch Neck Travel Coat? It is not cheap, but it is the most practical travel coat I have ever owned. It is available at Nordstrom, and various on-line sellers. It has a hood, is reversible in two colors – mine is sapphire blue and black, but there were several options available at the time. It comes with its own bag for carrying and storage, which can double as a matching purse, weighs next to nothing, and is roomy enough to wear a sweater or even a fleece under it if the weather goes cold. And it is very versatile – I wear it to sightsee, and as an evening coat, and it always looks right.

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