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 offers a full spectrum of colour options, ranging from the classics to less expected variants of powder blue and rust.
Rainfest – Deceptively practical
The aptly named ‘Rain Couture’ boutique on Amsterdam’s Van Wousstraat, carries two local rainwear lines. One is Rainfest, a fledgling label established in 2013 that challenges all preconceptions of raincoats. The 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 detachable hoods. Ultra-feminine details like palm print linings and leopard print will lift your spirits on a rainy day.
Piogg – A touch of luxe
Piogg is the Dutch designed Holy Grail of fashionable rainwear. The price-point is higher than of sister-brand Rainfest, but the designs are the next level in luxury. Every piece is water and wind proof, and some come with a complimentary quilted ‘body warmer’ to be worn underneath. Think trench coats inset 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.
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-focussed coats that still offer the same level of durability. And that is great news for us. Elka coats now line the racks at De Bijenkorf and high end boutiques. 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.
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.
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.