A big cultural shift is afoot: Mother Nature has never behaved so erratically; work dominates Americans’ lives more than ever before. By necessity, utilitarianism is in. Thus, it’s no longer tough to find “elevated” rain gear.
Once upon a time, wearing an anorak on a non-rainy day sent a clear message: “I no longer care.” Nowadays, REI-inspired wardrobe accents are as much the mark of an It girl as, say, chunky-soled sneakers. (They’ve even got a name for the rain gear-slanted athleisure trend: gorpcore.)
Initially constructed in the 1940s as a means of keeping our troops dry, anoraks now come in the form of long-sleeve tees, short-sleeve sweatshirts and even figure-skimming mini dresses. (OK, so pseudo-utilitarianism is in.) Slowly but surely, lightweight waterproof material is taking over everything in the fashion industry. (See: the rise of the bungee accents trend.)
Still, most times the anorak takes the form of a top. Like at A Détacher Spring 2018, where a sherbet-hued anorak came tucked in marbled caramel pants. Or Calvin Klein Spring 2018, where Raf Simons teamed a sleeveless red anorak with a French blue poodle skirt and marigold heels. (Two styling takeaways: wear all three primary colors at once; transform your hoodies into cowl necks by pulling their drawstrings tight.) While Raf took his styling cues from the 50s, Isabel Marant looked to the late 80s/early 90s, pairing a graphic, poof-sleeved windbreaker with matching (in pattern and aesthetic, not material) velour sweatpants.
Bottega Veneta, meanwhile, employed less “conventional” styling methods. In one case, an anorak doubled as a shirtdress, which came belted at the waist and glammed up with a neck scarf. Another model wore naught but an anorak and swimsuit, a play on the ever-popular no-pants look.
And that’s not all. Valentino showed more traditional windbreakers worn with point-toe stilettos and haute silk separates; Mary Katrantzou teamed bubble-sleeved nylon anoraks with bubble-hemmed nylon skirts. Representing the streetwear sect, Public School did an anorak onesie, Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma the aforementioned anorak minidress.
Needless to say, the versatile rain jackets are nothing if not, well, versatile. The overall consensus seems to be that they should be paired with ladylike heels (to add tension) and either structured pants or A-line skirts (to offset their boxiness).
With temperatures dipping daily, what better time to try out a look that’s not only fashion-forward but weatherproof? Shop our favorite anoraks au moment in the gallery below. Bonus points if you team your newly acquired plasticized topper with fun textural outerwear, like a teddy or embroidered wool coat.