I have a few basic requirements for a rain coat – something that doesn’t scream “I also hike in this”, something that will survive being repeatedly crammed in a bag, and something that fits my petite frame. I also have a few more personal requirements: no wool (I’m allergic) and no extraneous buckles/straps/flaps that I will only manage to catch on everything. This combination of things were surprisingly difficult to find for a while and at one point I ordered ten possible coats online and tried them on one after another at home. Some were too fussy, too heavy, too narrow in the hips and some were terribly tight up under the arms (what’s up with that Michael Kors?). At the time I overlooked the coat I’m about to tell you about because honestly, the photos online make it look more shiny and flimsy than it is in person and they never seem to have it in the stores to check out in person.
The Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go® Trench Coat and Girl On The Go® Insulated Trench Coat filled the raincoat shaped hole in my life. I brought the insulated version with me on a trip to the UK in Oct. and Nov. of last year and I was never cold or wet, the coat could be crammed into my suitcase and emerge looking just fine and I like to think I didn’t stick out too much as a tourist.
The petite size manages to give me some shape and, miraculously, still fits over my not insignificant hips when I’m wearing my bulkiest sweater. I have both the regular and insulted version of the coat. The insulated liner has full sleeves, buttons out when you don’t need it and is surprisingly warm — in fact I was too warm when descending to Tube stations in London. (So, this could be a downside if you live in a city with a subway.) The only difference between the regular and insulated versions is that the waist is cut in a bit tighter in the regular version and it’s more flattering. Which is why I kept both versions. Because vanity. These coats are perfect for the Seattle climate and they both get a lot of use throughout the year so I have no regrets. I have the coat in black but the putty color, shown above, was tempting.
Things that are not so great:
- it is all synthetic fabrics so it does make scratchy/swishy noises when you move, it doesn’t bother me (crinkle noises are insignificant when rain is pelting the side of your head) but I’ve known a few people for whom this is a peeve so I’ll mention it
- the hood detaches but it doesn’t tuck into the collar so you just have to keep track of it
Things that are great:
- interior chest pocket that will hold an iPhone, the pocket sits low enough so that it hits, thankfully, underneath my boob
- hood cinches down
- no velcro
- zips from the bottom as well as the top
- snaps shut as well for those times when you’re just popping out to grab the mail and don’t want to fuss with zippers
- can be balled up and shoved in a bag and won’t wrinkle
- without the insulated liner the coat is surprisingly lightweight so it’s not too much trouble to carry with you shoved in your bag for the day
- the petite size fits a petite (but not necessarily skinny) frame well with room for a warm sweater
I will also point to the MacKenzie Trench Coat, shown above right. It’s a little less sporty looking with a matte fabric and empire waist and comes in a nice dark gray. Ultimately I valued the longer length of the Girl On The Go coat but nearly fell for the MacKenzie.
Both of these coats are on sale right now so if you’re looking for a raincoat I can recommend giving them a try.