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Nothing beats a good raincoat to look sharp, to keep warm, and to keep dry. But when buying a raincoat, what should you look for?

  • Style - a raincoat is a piece of clothing, and therefore, by definition a fashion item. The raincoat you pick should be appropriate to the occasions where you are going to wear it. For example, a bright yellow slicker might be perfect if you are reeling in fish or working as a crossing guard, but don't dare try to slip it over your tuxedo for that special night on the town. The material also plays a tremendous role in the stlye like it does with any other clothing item: if its plastic (or looks shiny like plastic) then its for children or manual labor unless it happens to be that one of a kind, stop dead in your tracks, fashion item.
  • Material - Plastic, nylon, and rubber are efficient raincoat materials for keeping out the wet, but they also keep in the wet, and without ventilation, you'll quicly find yourself in your own miniature rain forest. On the otherhand, untreated natural fibers will soak up water like a rag. There are breatheable high tech fabrics (like GORE-TEX) and treated natural fabrics that do an excellent job of keeping moisture out and wicking away your body's moisture at the same time. Let us not forget that there are also animal skins, such as leather, which are water repellant

    but these tend to stain and soil when wet unless chemically treated or oiled.
  • Construction - The way the raincoat is made is important to its value. Look for a coat with sturdy, water-resistant stitching.

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