Spring might have officially sprung, but Belgian weather will be as unreliable as ever. In Flemish we have the expression ‘maartse buien en aprilse grillen’, basically stating the typical capricious, rainy weather in March and April, at the start of Spring. But we can’t have rain just ruining our good hair days and fabulous outfits, now do we?
In my search for a coat that would not only protect against the rain, but also be able to fit my voluminous skirts underneath and still look decent, I stumbled upon Elements Rainwear and their astonishing selection of vintage-style raincoats.
Elements Rainwear is a British brand specialized in quality rainproof outerwear and most of their items are produced within the UK. Although I focus particularly on their retro coat section, they actually offer a far more extensive range of outerwear consisting of coats in various lengths and styles, ponchos, capes, rain suits, overboots, hats and umbrellas.
Plastic and transparent rainwear was already popular in the 1940s and 1950s, due to its light weight. Elements Rainwear’s vintage-style coats are all inspired by genuine patterns from these decades. Preserving traditional aspects in their designs, they even maintain original production methods.
This particular style I’m featuring here is the ‘1950’s Pleated Raincoat’ (RA57). As the name says, the coat has a beautiful 50s cut. The waist flares out into a full skirt with enough room to wear a petticoat underneath. Being 45 inches/114 cm in length, the coat hits below the knee and thus ensures protecting most, if not all of my skirts and dresses from getting soaked.
The bodice features pleated details on the bust as well as the back. It cinches in at the waist with a matching belt to define that classic 1950s silhouette. The coat closes with a set of five PVC buttons in the front.
To prevent your hairstyle and the time you’ve invested in it to get ruined by the weather elements just in seconds, the coat comes with a convenient detachable hood. The hood fastens to the collar with snap buttons and has a drawstring to accommodate the fit . If you choose to wear your own rain bonnet, the hood can easily be detached and reveals an elegant collar.
This raincoat style has two internal pockets, which can come in handy. However, due to the transparent fabric, the content of these pockets will be visible, so you might want to reconsider what you want to put away in there, as it might not look so great. Rather than real pockets, I would love to have ‘pocket holes’ to get access to the pockets of the clothes I’m wearing underneath.
This green colourway (GRT1) I’m wearing is made of PVC material, but it’s also available in a slightly heavier PU material in a selected number of colours/patterns. I like the comfort of the light weight and flexibility of this PVC fabric and the way it drapes.
With my measurements (36”/91cm bust and 27”/70cm waist) I was assured a size Medium would be best for the most versatile wear. Sizing on the Medium is 39.5” at the bust and 34.5” at the waist. Wearing the coat directly on top of my clothes, this means the bodice is a bit roomy, but the waist tie accommodates for that. The extra room is actually intended to wear a warm cardigan or another (non-rainproof) coat comfortably underneath the 1950s Pleated Raincoat. This being said, the slight elasticity of the PVC material makes it even possible to fit my thick Pearl coat underneath – and I know how many of you vintage vixens have a Pearl coat!
As most of the Element Rainwear coats, the 1950’s Pleated Raincoat can be customized (keep in mind this made-to-order process might take a few weeks). The coat comes in sizes S to XXXXL. The price varies depending on your selection of material/colour/pattern, with prices for the 1950s Pleated Raincoat between £53/€64 and £64.50/€77 (mainly for the PU material).
If you live in a country like me, where weather can be a big spoiler, I strongly recommend you take a look at the Element Rainwear website. They definitely proof you can still look fashionable and true to the vintage-style in the rain. No more sobbing, next downpour you’ll be shining.
x Miss Lipstick & Pipettes x
Disclaimer: Although this raincoat was gifted to me, the stated opinions are completely honest and my own. The honesty and integrity of my blog are of utmost importance to me, as are my readers.