The raincoat is an indispensable closet staple that can all too easily skew frumpy instead of fashionable—which is all the more reason to invest in a statement piece that can keep you dry year-round. In our hunt for the perfect rain jacket, we started in a region that’s known for unforgiving weather: Scandinavia. From the classic, minimalist Stutterheim coat to the street-ready Rains jacket, the options below are designed for performance and look just as chic in the great outdoors as they do in the urban jungle.
Far from combatting the rain, Stockholm brand Stutterheim relishes the gloom, selling minimalist coats with the tagline "Swedish melancholy at its driest." Founder Alexander Stutterheim found inspiration for the coat’s classic contours in his grandfather’s old fishing jacket, and the accompanying emotional resonance of pensiveness, wistfulness, and creativity. The company’s offerings are a clean, contemporary take on the traditional rain jacket, made from premium rubberized cotton for a satisfying drape and a silky, smooth texture. We were struck by the heavy-duty, yet elegant, material, and impressed by the coat’s versatility, as the generous cut allows for layering throughout the seasons.
You probably recognize this brand thanks to the ubiquitous Kånken backpack, the first iteration of which was designed in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, by then 14-year-old Åke Nordin. Officially established in 1960 and launched in the U.S. in 2012, the Fjällräven brand is now much beloved by millennials for its collection of outdoor gear and apparel. The company’s waterproof jackets combine simple, Scandinavian design with superior performance, and look just as good in the woods as they do in the office.
Headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, and founded in 2012, Rains offers a modern rendition of the traditional rain slicker that’s both high-functioning and stylish enough to pass as streetwear. The lightweight, water-resistant, matte-finish jacket boasts deep pockets and a thoughtful cap on the hood, which kept the drizzle out of our eyes. We were impressed by how warm, yet packable, the coat was, adding insulation without bulk. It’s the ideal layer for both daily commutes and urban escapades—and best of all, the styles are set at an accessible price point.
Staying close to her roots, designer Ilse Jacobsen launched her eponymous brand in her hometown—the historic, seaside hamlet of Hornbæk, Denmark—in 1993. Inspired by the wide, sandy beaches and dunes of Jacobsen’s stomping grounds, the brand’s designs marry understated luxury with utility, all while flattering the feminine shape. The brand has since expanded to include flower shops, a spa, and a beauty line, creating a universe that promotes style and personal wellness.
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Named for the latitudinal line that traverses the small, Icelandic village of Suðureyri where the company was founded, 66°North got its start in 1926 when Hans Kristjánsson set out to design protective wear for fishermen and workers setting out to brave the wild elements. High performance, durability, and versatility continue to suffuse the brand’s product line, which includes the award-winning Snæfell Jacket, and a clean, sporty aesthetic keep these coats appropriate for city adventures.
Based in Bergen, Norway—known as the rainiest city in Europe—Norwegian Rain offers hardcore protection against wet weather thanks to sophisticated, high-tech Japanese fabrics. Founder and creative director Alexander Helle comes from a business background, while bespoke tailor and designer T-Michael lends an expert eye to the brand’s sophisticated silhouettes. The small, collaborative team produces exquisitely crafted coats that will truly stand the test of time—though the price point is decidedly high, with some pieces running well over $1,000.
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