The British weather – we are all obsessed about it, so no wonder we have always been so good at making rainwear. In fact, there are still a lot of manufacturers making great British outerwear. Here are five of those brands that excel in making great coats to keep you dry in a downpour
- Mackintosh – A name so synonymous with rainwear that even the abbreviation of their brand name has come to mean raincoat. Named after Charles Macintosh, a Scottish chemist who invented a waterproof cloth in 1823 by spreading natural rubber between two fabrics, the Mackintosh was used as the British army coat for both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Despite a shaky time in the mid-1990’s when the factory in Cumbernauld near Glasgow was nearly closed, the Scottish company is still making it’s raincoats in Britain today. It’s revival in fortunes can be attributed to a young entrepreneur called Daniel Dunko, who had trained as an apprentice on the Mackintosh factory floor, and saw the potential for reviving the company as a British luxury brand. Since then the firm has not looked back, and now has a flagship store on Mount Street in Mayfair, as well as a tie up with Kitsune in Paris.
- Aquascutum – Making raincoats in England since 1853, it was King Edward VII’s patronage of the company which led to Aquascutum obtaining favour with the British Royal family and a royal warrant in 1897. Today 16% of Aquascutum’s product is still made in the UK in their factory in Corby, Northamptonshire.
- Lavenham – Named after the town of the same name in Suffolk in which the company was founded, Lavenham’s quilted jackets, traditionally loved by Sloane Ranger types and the Japanese, have recently found favour with a much cooler crowd, thanks to collaborations with Paul Smith and Liberty. The brand stays as true to it’s British heritage as possible by sourcing nearly all of the fabrics that it uses from British suppliers.
- Baracuta – Where would a piece about British outerwear be without mentioning the Harrington jacket? Created by Baracuta in England in 1937, the G9, as the model is known, was made famous by Elvis when he wore it in the 1958 movie King Creole. It then went on to be adopted as the coat of choice by mods in the 1960’s. The check-lined jacket is proudly still made in England.
- Private White VC – Thanks to the thoroughly enjoyable Channel 4 documentary called Made in England, in which it’s factory was featured, Private White VC is a new British brand that makes fantastic outerwear. Named after Jack White, who was general manager and owner of the Cooper & Stollbrand Salford factory in which the label is made, a Private White coat is well worth investing in.