Joules £84

Guess what? It's only bloomin' raining again. Are Jane and Beryl down-hearted? Well, actually yes, a bit. Jane and Beryl reside in the entirely fictitious village of Muddy Puddle in Middle Rainsflood, and, yes, it is currently living up to its name - even Noddy's car won't start. Dampness in the carburetor, Jane suspects. Jane is that bossy, head-girl type who always thinks everything will just be fine and dandy if you have the right equipment, in this case a good raincoat. Beryl who is a bit wet, is doubtful.   
The Chic


Jane is clearly playing her trump card early by adding a pop of colour with this all purpose mac from Ilse Jacobsen. Beryl has to agree, that it would look lovely for a soggy Chelsea Flower show, or a wet weekend in Bognor. 

The Mackintosh


No discussion on rainwear would be complete with at least a passing comment about the Mac, by which Jane and Beryl mean the original branded Mackintosh. Jane acquired one so many years ago it passes for vintage, Jane supposes, and at the bargain price of £100 - its full price at the time was over £400! Upside, it is completely and utterly waterproof and the colour is a joy on a dull day: downside, its smell reminds Jane of rubberised waterproofs she was obliged to wear in the sixties, and it has the properties of polythene, namely stiff, noisy and a tad sweaty.   

The Classic

Vintage Aquascutum Dulwich raincoat £15. New £450-£750

 Beryl decides to parry with this vintage Aquascutum Dulwich raincoat that she found in a charity shop for £15. Could this be the   joy attached to waterproofing, of which Jane assured her, she wonders?  Aquascrotum, sorry, she will read that again Aquascutum, was established in 1851, when Mayfair tailor John Emary patented a method of producing a water repellent textile, these went on to be worn by officers in the Crimean war, and enjoy Royal patronage. The unusual colour transforms this garment from something staid to something exemplary. Beryl is enjoying the thrill of sharing a garment with Cary Grant. 

The Professional


No Jane and Beryl don't mean Bodie and Doyle, just a garment that might keep their clothes dry while they travel. Beryl does actually feel like a glamorous grown up in this £79 Mango mac, which is a looser interpretation of the classic trench. Dog walking, the countryside and toddlers are probably best avoided, due to the colour however.

Slightly more user friendly is Beryl's tobacco coloured M&S mac of two years ago. These Burberry-esque raincoats are the kind of thing that M&S do really well and are £79, rather than a whopping £1500.   

The Disastrous

Ok, lets get down to the nitty-gritty, certain items of rainwear give Jane and Beryl the heebie-jeebies. One such is the shapeless plastic bag or kagul. This is how pre-packed bananas must feel, dry but an awfully long way from the Carribean. There is nothing more ageing than the wrong rainwear, and all Beryl needs to complete this outfit is a rain hat of the variety that used to turn up in Christmas crackers. Meanwhile, Jane and Beryl's friend Jude, who is a good sport, is modelling another sub-optimal number, the sawn off trench, which makes the slim and lovely Jude, look like the veritable sack of tatties tied around the middle.   

The Khaki

Kate Sheridan £310

It has not gone unnoticed by Jane and Beryl that khaki is apparently the new neutral, and much as Jane loves all things in the Army and Navy stores, it is not a colour she has ever got to grips with (too much like baby poo, gives her the complexion of the aforementioned...). In the interests of the WOACA, however, here she is in some very pricey bits of khaki rainwear. The first doubtless does the job as it’s made of oilcloth, but could easily be mistaken for a straitjacket (no comments, please) while the second is simply an over priced pac-a-mac: the search must go on...

Penfield Pancho Jacket £150
The Pac-a-Mac

Of course, if you must have one of these - and Jane and Beryl do concede that there are occasions where Nothing Else Will Do - they are to be had in some charming sales at this time of year. This one is in dotty fabric which is right on trend and is currently available for £29, if you are lucky, instead of its usual £49 from Thought. This company are particularly favoured by Jane and Beryl as all 'garments are responsibly made using sustainable materials and ethical processes.'

Jane's very own version, however, is this stone fold up mac from Mango, also bought in a sale £49.

And the Light-Hearted


If Aquascutum is the Bentley of raincoats then these SOS Jensen jackets (from Bergen in Norway) is your soft-topped Mini Cooper. Loud, proud, and fun they dispel rainclouds on sight. Beryl acquired hers via the charity shop for £25. Retail they cost around the £200 mark, but she notices there is a flourishing trade on E-Bay, with more paid for rare designs! Who knew?

Boots by Joules £ 49.95

Next Week: 
Wedding Watch - who's going to look good at summer nuptials? 
All you need to know about modern wedding dressing...

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