Each spring I am drawn to all the pretty lightweight coats and jackets… but so few of them are actually practical. Living on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, spring means April showers (and March showers), blustery days, and the need for wind and rain protection. I shop for Emerson and see the greatest raincoats – jackets that will truly keep you dry in a downpour, have hoods, ventilation, are windproof yet not bulky and not too athletic. Where are the equivalents for grown ups? Well someone heard our wishes and this spring there's fantastic raincoats, waterproof trenches, and wind-repelling jackets of all styles that marry practicality with style. My picks for the best raincoats for women for any situation:
The Best Raincoats for Everyday
For casual situations, you want truly waterproof, plenty of pockets, and ventilation. A bright color and some reflective trim will help for cloudy days and early mornings.
- Columbia Splash a Little II Waterproof Plus Size Rain Jacket (similar) – Truly waterproof with sealed seams, a hood, and adjustable cuffs keeps you dry in the most serious of deluges. Machine washable and with smart pockets, this coat comes in many colors.
- Pendleton Surrey Hooded Rain Slicker (similar, plus option) – It's always chic to go with a classic. This heavyweight slicker would fit in for the past few decades and likely for many more. A true slicker, this coat is ready for the hardest thunderstorms.
- Joules Right as Rain Coastline Waterproof Cotton Jacket (similar) – Who says a raincoat has to be boring? The botanical print on this olive jacket is so pretty, you may wish to wear this even on a sunny day. A drawstring waist flatters the figure, a longer length and rear keeps you dry, and large pockets will hold all your essentials.
- Lauren Ralph Lauren Hooded Anorak Jacket – This jacket gets rave reviews for its style, making it a coat that works for rainy or sunny days. The hood packs into the collar so no need to remove it when the weather is fair. Three classic colors to choose from.
- Kristen Blake Tech Hooded Raincoat – This is a beautiful coat with chic yet practical details and rave reviews. While the black is a classic, I'm partial to the Misty Rose. And petites, rejoice as this coat comes in regular and petite sizes!
- Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go Trench Coat – Clean lines, no distracting hardware or details, five fab neutrals to choose from, and proven technology to keep you dry and cool. I love that it has both interior and exterior pockets and the hood is removable. Oh, and that it's on sale!
- J. Crew Plus Size Hooded Raincoat – You can't go wrong with this rain coat. Fun colors and a drop hem to keep you dry when you sit make this one a winner.
- Jones New York Plus Size Raincoat – Clean lines and minimal detail, this is an elegant coat that will go beyond the weekend into the work week.
- PrAna Maritime Jacket – Fully seam sealed with front storm gussets and drawcords on the hem and hood, this coat will keep you dry no matter the weather. Four colors to choose from.
- Tahari Tiffany Raincoat – The details are what make this elegant yet practical raincoat stand out. Grosgrain trim, black hardware, and a gorgeous fabric elevate this coat to become one you'll reach for even if it's not raining. Two colors to choose from and rave reviews that help you know you're making a smart purchase.
- Helly Hansen Kirkwall Raincoat – The practicality and shape of this coat could have fit in many categories, so I put it in the first one. The tie waist dresses up a functional waterproof coat with hood. Large snap pockets hold everything, and a lining keeps the coat from sticking to you in humid weather.
The Best Raincoats to Pack in Your Suitcase for Your Next Vacation
Long enough to cover your tush when you sit, lightweight enough to keep your luggage from costing more, and packable so you can shove it in a corner and not destroy it. Pockets to secure all your essentials. And of course, something with a hood that will truly keep you dry in a downpour.
- Joules Right as Rain Packable Hooded Raincoat – Who says utilitarian has to be boring? This lightweight packable raincoat is waterproof, a longer back to flatter and keep your rear dry, but comes in some fun colors with contrast snaps and trim. With positive reviews, this is a great purchase in any hue.
- Cole Haan Signature Packable Raincoat – A refreshing pale rose color to brighten rainy days and your suitcase full of closet basics. This coat is stylish enough that you'll want to wear every day of your trip.
- Via Spiga Packable Raincoat – The rouching and elegant fabric make this a coat that can work for rainy days and elegant nights. A longer length that will provide nice coverage with pants as well as dresses, this coat packs into itself to save space in your suitcase. Two colors to choose from.
- Woman Within Plus Size Packable Rain Coat – Seven colors and prints to choose from with this a-line shaped hooded raincoat. Reviews say there's plenty of room for layers and when stuffed into its pouch, takes little space in your suitcase.
The Best Raincoats for Your Work Commute and Drizzly Date Nights
A bit more polish and style, longer to cover more of your outfit, and elegant enough that you can wear it to a business lunch or as you dash from your car to the theater.
- Gallery Long Nepage Raincoat with Detachable Hood & Liner – Long, clean, and classic; this is a coat you will wear for years or even possibly decades. I love that you can remove the lining, giving this coat multiple seasons of wear. The belt gives it style and flatters the figure.
- London Fog Hooded Double Breasted Plus Size Trench – A classic from a classic brand, this trench is actually practical with its removable hood and ability to be machine washed. Classic black and khaki available, though the chambray blue option would be quite chic this spring.
- London Fog Short Trench Coat – Don't be surprised if you see this coat on the blog in the near future. When researching this post I fell in love with the Slate color and it's currently residing in my Nordstrom online shopping cart. This is a classic trench, but a shorter length that feels more modern and is a plus for us shorties who would be overwhelmed by a longer coat. Machine washable, a detachable hood that is designed to keep you dry even in a windy rainstorm, and right now it's on sale 33% off!
- Gallery Two-Tone Silk Look Raincoat – Just read the rave reviews about this elegant raincoat and you'll know it's a smart purchase. Pretty fabric, flattering stitching, removable hood and lining for versatility, and right now it's on sale!
- Athleta Elemental Rain Jacket – If your style is more minimalist, this is the work raincoat for you. Waterproof and windproof, an interior elastic waist you can cinch to flatter the figure, but a looser fit in general that won't crush your powersuit. I recommend the black or peat for the office, though the two-toned option is really smart looking and would be great for casual offices and the weekend.
- London Fog Removable Hood Rain Coat – While the red is so gorgeous you'll be drawn in, the details will make you click Purchase. Detachable hood, plenty of pockets, and a clean single-breasted silhouette that will look smart with pants as well as skirts. Oh, and it's on sale! Here's a link to the same coat in plus sizes.
- Gallery Plus Size Belted Trench – A single breasted classic coat that will provide years of stylish wear. Two colors to choose from, and plenty of details like a subtly printed lining and gold-rimmed tonal buttons to elevate a classic.
The Best Raincoats to Relive Your Childhood
Miss your colorful slicker from 5th grade? This season you're in luck with classic styles full of color and whimsy.
- Hunter ‘Original Smock' Hooded Drawstring Waterproof Jacket – When I was in elementary school I had a clear purple raincoat that was my absolute fave. I loved how it tinted everything I wore into my favorite color. While this coat doesn't come in purple, there's five other fabulous shades and in a far more mature and figure flattering shape.
- Joules Right as Rain Packable Print Hooded Raincoat – a grown-up silhouette in 20 different adorable prints, this jacket will keep you dry while adding cheer to a grey day. Even better, it packs up small making it great for travel.
- Badgley Mischka Coat Raincoat – With the same silhouette as a classic rain slicker from childhood, this raincoat is grown up with elegant color choices and a gorgeous printed lining. The relaxed fit will fit over heavy layers or look relaxed over a weekend t-shirt.
- Jones New York Plus Size Hooded Turn-Lock Raincoat – Do you remember the turnlock closures on your childhood raincoat? I used to twist them like crazy while waiting for the school bus. Relive that moment with this stylish coat with a removable hood. While the black is elegant, Rose Violet is a cheery color that will bring sunshine to a cloudy day.
The Best Raincoats for your Adventurous Self
Shorter jackets that keep you dry but don't restrict your range of motion. Breathability, functionality, and cheery colors for kayaking, hiking, and more.
- L.L. Bean Discovery Rain Jacket – Available in Misses and Petite sizes, this jacket has an elasticized hood to keep out the rain even in windy weather or as you're speeding down the trail. Waterproof and windproof with a breathable meshing lining, this jacket packs into its own pocket making it great for travel or throwing in your pack for long hikes or backpacking.
- L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Jacket – Misses, Petite, and Women sizes, this jacket from L.L. Bean is a best seller for good reason, and improved upon each year. Proven to keep you dry and cool, this jacket also packs up to fit into your backpack.
- Patagonia Storm Slayer Rain Jacket – Made for a woman's figure, this jacket nips in just slightly at the waist. Waterproof and breathable, this jacket has a 100% recycled nylon face.
- Adidas Multi 2.5L Jacket – Breathable, waterproof, and windproof to be reliable when weather goes south. An adjustable hem with drawcoard, this coat also packs into itself to save space. Two colors to choose from.
- Columbia Omni-Tech™ Arcadia II Rain Jacket – Though it's machine washable, the Omni-Tech™ coating makes this jacket completely waterproof and will keep you dry through all your excursions. Five colors to choose from.
- The North Face Resolve 2 Waterproof Packable Rain Jacket – The hood stows in the coat itself, so you can pull it out when necessary and hide it when the weather improves. Six great color choices, this jacket packs into itself making it a great choice for active vacations.
The Best Raincoats to Pack in the Trunk for Unexpected Downpours
My sister bought me a poncho a decade ago and it was one of the best gifts. While those plastic sheet-like disposable ponchos are great in a pinch, why not prepare in advance with one that can take a beating, will last more than one storm, and maybe even have a double life for tailgates and picnics?
- Totes Reversible Rain Poncho – A variety of fun colors and patterns, this poncho has a hood, snaps on the side to create armholes and keep it close to the body in windy weather but is big enough to put over a coat or even your backpack.
- Eddie Bauer Kona Travel Cape – If you're looking for a poncho with a bit more pizazz, this is it. Dare I say this poncho is chic? With the asymmetrical zipper and flattering length, this is a poncho that you'll want to wear beyond the football game or camping trip.
- Lands' End Plus Size Utility Poncho – Can a rain poncho be flattering? Lands' End makes an effort with a drawstring waist, storable hood, and a zipper front to easily slide on and off.