Scandinavian designers have led the way and built entire brands on rainwear with a stylish aesthetic, which are readily available in boutiques all over Amsterdam. Dutch designers are also emerging with fashion-forward raincoats tailored to the local climate. Better yet, the frequency of wet weather means that the cost-per-wear of these beauties will leave you feeling very smug indeed.
Rains – Scandinavian sophistication
That enviably-dressed girl on the bicycle next to you is probably wearing Rains. The brand dedicated to “defying Danish weather since 2012” has earned a cult following with boutiques around the world. The lightweight fabrics give the line a relaxed sport-luxe vibe: a look that Amsterdam women have honed to perfection. The lines are sleek and modern, with cocoon cuts, trench coats and an exciting take on the poncho. Every detail is considered, from the figure-flattering panels to the discreet ventilation under the arms. Rains' newly opened concept store in the Jordaan offers a full spectrum of colour options, ranging from the classics to less expected variants of powder blue and rust.
Rains, Haarlemmerstraat 82
Rain Couture – Deceptively practical
These coats are 100 percent water and wind proof, while somehow managing to look like something you would buy for aesthetic reasons alone. Special mention goes to the brand’s creative use of fabrics such as coated denim (yes – waterproof denim!) and elegant trench coats with intricate box pleats, contrast piping, two-tone buckled cuffs and inner pockets for stashing your valuables when riding a bike. The brand also takes a stance on fair labour practices and ensures that their garments are produced without exploitation.
Rain Couture, Huidenstraat 32 and Utrechtsestraat 106
Maium – Local and sustainable
When you’re battling the elements on a bicycle, sometimes a poncho offers more protection than a coat. But before you reach for the disposable plastic variety found at festivals the world over, find out how Amsterdam-based designer, Maium, has cleverly devised a raincoat that unzips into a poncho silhouette that fits over the handlebars. The brand is also a leader in sustainability, as the waterproof coats are made from recycled plastic bottles and free from any toxic substances. As well as the original style, a high-tech parka is now available featuring a drawstring waist and extra-large pockets.
Maium, various stockists in Amsterdam
Elka – The heritage brand
This Danish brand made their name supplying raincoats to deep sea fishermen and lumberjacks. Recently the label began producing a line of fashion-focused coats that still offer the same level of durability. And that is great news for us. Elka coats now line the racks at several high-end boutiques such as Hutspot. The silhouettes are sleek, the textures are matte and details like drawstring hoods and rivets have a streetwear influence. The ultra-waterproof PVC comes in neutral shades of navy, grey and deep teal, which co-ordinate seamlessly with the rest of your outfit.
Elka, various stockists in Amsterdam
Stutterheim – Modern and minimal
Based in Stockholm and widely available in Amsterdam, Stutterheim raincoats began when designer Alexander Stutterheim decided to re-create his grandfather’s fisherman’s jacket. Today there are more than 1000 stockists around the world. The achingly beautiful collections have earned a cult following and customers including Jay-Z and Kanye West (but don’t let that put you off). The razor-sharp minimalism and quirky accent colours bring to mind designers like Marni and Céline. And as for practicality, the rubberised and bonded cottons won’t let a drop of water in.
Stutterheim, various stockists in Amsterdam
senscommon – Award-winning design
The senscommon all-commute overcoat takes the technical precision of Dutch design to the next level. Strategically designed for cycling, the breathable raincoat’s hem fastens around the legs leaving ample room for pedalling, which means you will stay dry all the way down to below the knee. Its minimal aesthetic fuses practicality with sophistication, so that on closer inspection you’ll notice the functional details behind the elegant cut – its wide-view hood, (all black) reflective elbow patches and handlebar friendly fitted sleeves. Unsurprisingly, this is a brand to keep a close eye on.
senscommon, various stockists in Amsterdam
So now there’s no need to let the weather dampen your time in Amsterdam. Grab your umbrella and head to the shops. It will probably rain tomorrow.
Ready to shop? See our guide to Amsterdam's best fashion boutiques.