Men's rain wear going shorter

September 25, 1991|By Scott Walton | Scott Walton,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

The westerly winds of change took their sweet time blowing these light, billowy shapes across the Atlantic Ocean to the American shore. Now that they're here, though, the men's rainwear styles on fashion's forefront should catch on in a flash.

For the man who wants to swagger stylishly through cloudbursts, while other fellows waddle through puddles in confining standard trench coats, designers this fall are offering free-flowing, European-inspired raincoats in abbreviated lengths.

Increasingly, American men will be seen wearing adaptations of styles that are now standard overseas: the rainwear bottoms out just above the knee for easier walking and less bunching up in the car; cuts are generous enough to allow unrestrained movement and however many layers of clothing the climate demands; pockets are deep and accessible; collars vary from soft and angular to rigid and rounded, but all look good whether flipped up or folded down; hoods whether concealed, detachable or prominently displayed eliminate the need for umbrellas that are easily lost, forgotten or stolen when they're needed the most.

Toggle buttons, metal fasteners, shoulder pleats, rib pockets and caped backs all add flair to the newest rainy day styles.

Because this is rainwear we're talking about, care must be taken to select topcoats that have durable, water-repellent finishes.

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