Caring for Raincoats
Raincoats are versatile garments that can protect you from rain and wind, and keep you warm on cool days. They can be worn to work, to a ball game and even with evening wear. Raincoats come in a variety of fabrics including water-repellent wool gabardines, blends of polyester and rayon, cotton and wool, and even coated velvets. As with any garment, raincoats have special cleaning needs.
Many cloth combinations are used in making raincoats, and these fabrics are often treated with water repellent finishes. Water repellent finishes usually have a degree of permanency that will withstand several dry cleanings. However, like everything else in life, rain resistant finishes get old, tired and weak. Normal wear and tear, abrasions, spills from hot beverages and cleaning will affect these water resistant coatings and finishes so that they no longer perform their rain repelling function.
When water no longer beads up and rolls off the coat, the rainwear will need to be retreated by a professional dry cleaner such as Flair who has special equipment for applying water-repellent finishes.
Remember, a raincoat that doesn’t repel the rain will let the water get to your clothes, causing serious collateral damage, not to mention that cold, raw, miserable feeling you get when you get caught in a down pour.
Some raincoats go through the “waterproofing” process, in which a rubber coating is applied to the reverse side of the coat. These coats generally do not respond well to dry cleaning, and may need to be wet-cleaned. This type of rainwear can often be mislabeled “Dry Clean Only.” Responsible dry cleaners like Flair watch for this and will recommend that the item be cared for with a wet cleaning process instead.
Wet or dry, Flair will help your garments look and perform their best, helping you stay warm, clean, and cozy in any kind of weather.
So, You Bought a Raincoat This Spring And Wore It Twice...Now What?
April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers do to your once-essential raincoat? You probably think that they render raincoats useless and force us to toss it to the back of the closet until we may need it again, months later this fall. The raincoat puts us in a rather uncomfortable position: It’s absolutely essential for several small patches of the year, but instantly becomes that thing that reminds you of less sunny days once the weather’s on our side again.
The real tragedy is that raincoats have gotten increasingly stylish over the years. Brands like Stutterheim, Stone Island, and Arc'teryx (and, naturally, any conversation about trendy raincoats wouldn’t be complete without Vetements) have figured out how to create a garment that repels water without transforming the wearer into a less cute version of the Paddington Bear once they throw it on. Basically, a raincoat is like having a superpower that you can use only under very specific circumstances. Essentially, you’re Aquaman. And you don’t want to be Aquaman.
Plus, a good (and good-looking) raincoat can cost you several hundred dollars nowadays. Imagine having a favorite T-shirt that you could only wear for a couple dozen days out of the year. Finding a way to wear a raincoat year round unlocks your superpower for everyday use, but how do you pull it off without looking like you just read the forecast wrong?
The first step is to buy a raincoat that isn’t exactly a raincoat. Okay, yes, this is kind of like a cheat code, but if I’ve learned anything from playing video games—or reading anything that’s ever been written about Steph Curry—it’s that cheat codes are good and fun.
Even though our first thought of a raincoat may be something that is as bright, yellow, and boxy as SpongeBob Squarepants, companies have found ways to update the style for the modern wardrobe.
“There are so many stylish options now from a Macintosh to the trench and the anorak,” celebrity stylist Jeanne Yang, whose clients include Robert Downey Jr, George Clooney, and Christian Bale, tells Complex. Brands like Stutterheim, the raincoat purveyor favored by Kanye West and Jay Z, are also working to create raincoats in less traditional silhouettes and fabrics. Stutterheim will soon release raincoats that utilize water-resistant wool and will soon make one of the season’s trendiest pieces, the bomber jacket, in its signature rubberized cotton.
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