The Waterproof City Walker by Protected Species is a huge leap forward in practical fashion
I’m a little ashamed to admit it but while I’ve lived in rainy ol’ Britain on and off for over a decade now, I’ve yet to invest in a raincoat. In my shallow young mind, anoraks mean middle age: practical pockets for emergency tissues and cheering kids on at weekend sports events. They just didn’t jive with the vibe I was after. That is until one day, when it was pouring outside and all I wanted to do was nip to the shops to pick up some food for tea and went to get changed out of my PJs… “Damn,” I thought, “I don’t own a single piece of comfortable clothing.” All I could see in my wardrobe were complicated, restrictive, non-weather-friendly garments. How have I done this to myself and why was I complicit in experiencing low-level torture every time I stepped outside? Because practical, comfortable, built-to-last clothes are ugly, right? Not anymore…
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – Oscar Wilde.
It’s finally happened. We’ve come full circle on the ridiculousness of fast fashion and today’s most innovative brands have begun making ‘made for life’ garments again. Better still, there’s an emphasis on classic, beautifully cut and minimalist designs that will look just as good today as they will for decades to come. Sanity has been restored! No more built-in obsolescence. No more cheap, quickly degrading fabrics. No more bizarre cuts and patterns to make you cringe when looking back through old photo albums. Fashion is becoming stylish again. Sustainability is at the forefront of every ethically conscious consumer’s mind and brands are taking notice. With one garbage truck full of clothes being burned or dumped into landfill every second, it’s a shift that couldn’t have come soon enough.
One brand in particular is knocking this attitude and ethos out of the park – it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my new favourite outerwear brand, Protected Species. After my flummoxing discovery that I simply had “Nothing to wear!” to the damn shops, I jumped online and started researching. Now I don’t know how you all feel about cookie-collected data and targeted ads (personally, I find it creepy) but every now and then it really does come in handy. After just ten minutes or so of searching for my Goldilocks raincoat, I got distracted by my Facebook feed. Don’t judge. While scrolling, a pretty little ad popped up: “Seriously Beautiful Raincoats” – worth a click, right? Right!
Protected Species launched in 2014 and began its journey ‘engineering performance-led rainwear incorporating a minimalist aesthetic’. Keeping the idea of timeless womenswear in mind, founders Anne Muir and Rebecca McElligot begun creating versatile raincoats that keep you dry when it’s raining (Raincoats 101) but look stylish enough that you’ll want it on even when it’s dry out. They succeeded.
I’d be delighted to wear any of the cuts on the site but the one that really caught my eye was the Waterproof City Walker. Designed to be a ‘relaxed take on a biker jacket’, the Protected Species City Walker looks about as cool as they come. Elegant, non-obtrusive lines hang by way of laser-cut and heat-welded seams, while large security-zipped pockets offer roomy practicality. When the hood’s out it does a fine job of keeping your hair dry, and it’s when not in use it folds neatly into the collar offering a dramatic parallel that accentuates the cheekbones. It’s waterproof, windproof, fully breathable, exceptionally light and the impossibly soft-to-the-touch four-way stretch lining clings to the body as a silky mesh.
But my favourite aspect of the jacket? Its versatility. I’ve been living and working on the road for over two and a half years now. Every month I up sticks and move to a new destination. I’m not gonna lie, it’s awesome; however, this lifestyle does come with its own difficulties – namely, packing. Often, I’ll find myself switching hemispheres and seasons in a single trip, so packing minimally and for all occasions becomes quite tricky. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for clothes that are comfortable enough to travel in, hardy enough for adventure and stylish enough for urban living (read: won’t get me banned from bars and restaurants). The Waterproof City Walker is a massive check, check, check for me.
Come rain, shine, on a plane, out at sea, in a restaurant or cheering on my nieces at sports day, you’ll find me happily dry, enviably comfortable and turning looks in my WaterProof City Walker by Protected Species.
Protected Species are relaunching their Waterproof City Walker line in Autumn, with new colours: Night Sky Navy, Black, Dark Olive, Storm Dark Grey and Deep Burgundy available direct from their site for £169.
You can register interest in their new stock, which is due mid-August, by emailing Protected Species at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will add you to their mailing list as well as give you a 10% discount and email you when the new stock has arrived.
Melanie Chenoweth has spent the last decade scouring the globe for the best in food, travel and adventure. She loves writing about bold flavours, beautiful views and new experiences.
Images courtesy of Protected Species