Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Ultimate Waterproof Coat

The number one question I get asked by Londoners as a Seattle-native living in London: "Doesn't it rain a lot in Seattle?" Um, hello - you live in London! It rains a lot here too! In fact, it rained last week in London. And I mean rained. Our garden received a good soaking (yay), and all the snails and slugs came out to play (gross).

It was the kind of rain that made your shoes waterlogged in seconds; your legs soaked and water somehow trickling its way down your sleeve as you struggled to open your umbrella - that kind of rain.

But. I happened to be wearing the Waterproof Parka by Protected Species that week and - let me tell you - it was a game changer, you guys. Even my sister-in-law exclaimed, "You don't even look like you've been outside!" when I walked into their Finsbury Park flat, bone dry (my bag, however, was not).

I couldn't think of a single reason why I love this parka, so I came up with ten instead:

The cut

First of all, this isn't your typical, "outdoor gear" kind of waterproof coat. The design is slimline and flattering (FYI, I ordered a medium, in case you're wondering what size to get - I typically wear a UK size 10), with an internal drawstring to just nip you in at the waist. For someone who tries and consistently fails at the "look at me in my cool, irreverant yellow rain coat" look, the beautiful cut of this coat is a godsend.

The technology

Remember when my sister-in-law said it didn't look like I'd been in the rain, even though I'd walked to her apartment for 10 minutes during an absolute downpour? Protected Species' super special fabric technology meant that I actually put my umbrella away during the walk and went totally hands-free. Of course, my bag got totally soaked, prompting me to tweet Protected Species, begging founders Anne and Rebecca to make bags in the same amazing waterproof fabric so I could be rain-proof for life. They said they'd think about it. But seriously. I had maybe one or two droplets on my sleeve when I reached my destination and the longer sleeves (super long on me, since I'm short) meant that my hands and wrists didn't get wet at all.

The colors

The waterproof coats and jackets, currently available in four styles (the Parka, Mac, City Walker, and Commuter), come in the most beautiful range of chic, sophisticated colors. Hues that are just bright enough to stand out, but pretty enough to wear in even the smartest of situations (if it sounds like I'm gushing, I'm totally gushing, because that's how much I love my Protected Species parka). I picked Cityscape Blue, but I also love the Burnt Horizon Red, which would be flattering on so many different skin tones. 

No noise

You know that annoying swishy swish swish sound that most waterproof jackets make? (Hint: never, ever wear them to the theatre and try to take it off during a tense moment in the play/movie.) It is probably one of the most annoying sounds ever. This coat is silent.

Longer length

If you've ever been treated to diagonal rain, then you'll know what I mean when I say that I hate the feeling of wet jeans on thighs after being outside for, oh, forty seconds or so. The longer length of Protected Species' Parka, Mac, and Commuter meant that the tops of my legs stayed completely dry and warm, so I didn't have to walk over to the radiator as soon as I reached the office.


Oh, I forgot to mention: when it rained last year? It was also humid and muggy. Getting on the tube with a trillion other people during rush hour, I was afraid I'd faint from heat stroke while wearing my new parka, but instead, I cooled off pretty quickly and didn't sit there sweating in an awkward heap on the Victoria line.

Crease resistant

I sat on it on the tube during my 45-minute commute and when I got up, there were no tell-tale signs of wrinkling on my butt - which happens to every other coat (especially trench coats) that I own.


It's so luxuriously soft and lightweight, I can easily pack it up into my bag (despite its long length) or throw it in my suitcase last-minute without giving it another thought.

Hidden hood

Because of the lightweight material, there's no unzipping, unrolling, or frantic unfurling of the hidden hood in the coat. Nope - I detached the Velco fastenings along the collar edge (also deliciously quiet - well, as quiet as Velcro can be) and the hood simply, well, fell out. And it was long enough to cover my head (nothing like a hood that doesn't quite reach your forehead) so that my face kept completely dry as well.

Machine washable

What more could you ask for? Unlike beautiful coats that you invest in, only to have to dry clean or treat them with otherwise kid gloves, you can throw this lovely parka in your washing machine and hang it out to dry (which would probably take minutes).

I could probably go on, but I won't. I loved this Protected Species parka from the moment it popped up in my Facebook newsfeed (well done, targeted Facebook advertising) and I wish I'd discovered it about 10 years ago. The upside is that, well, I'll have this one for at least 10 years or more and I don't think I'll ever be buying another rain coat again - it's that good.

Now, if only they could get working on that bag ...

Shop Protected Species here. My Waterproof Parka was provided by Protected Species, a brand that I genuinely love and would buy for myself, my family and friends. All opinions are my own.

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