For Men: When it rains... doesn't mean go for the most functional, waterproof eyesore that you can get from some hipster outdoor brand.

While I know there's a need for the utilitarian buried somewhere in that Y chromosome we men all carry, there's a time and place where North Face/Patagonia gear is appropriate (e.g. literally in Patagonia).

But in every day life, there's little need for such extreme protection from the elements. Very few of us will EVER need a jacket with an electronic avalanche rescue system, but having the option in a jacket will make most men pause (and, in some cases, shiver in technological delight) and think "yea... I think I need that just in case..."

So I don't think that money is the issue, because most men will drop a few hundred dollars on these jackets without blinking. But the sad thing is, the thought never occurs to consider a more stylish option (like a peacoat, or a designed raincoat). So let me make the case that for the same price as a tricked-out piece of performance outerwear, you can equip yourself with a jacket/coat that is both functional and stylish.

I'm incredibly biased here because I love jackets (the way a woman loves bags/shoes, I love me some jackets).  I love them because they are the most architectural and innovative article of clothing that is in a man's closet. Dress shirts, pants, t-shirts and sweaters are relatively constant, but jackets can be long/short/light/heavy/patterned/solid/simple/complex and everything in between.  Plus, a well-fitting jacket helps to give a guy a better shape (for those of us that do not have a Men's Health cover model's discipline/metabolism or Conan-the-Barbarian genes).

Here are my current favorites (NOT including the ski jacket - just threw that in there for comparison):
  • light grey topcoat from Zara
  • vintage dark teal peacoat from no name store in Tokyo
  • faded black cotton twill peacoat from Energie
  • stone grey military jacket from Reiss
  • black water-repellant biker jacket from Charles Jourdan (found this store in last trip to Hong Kong but can't find website)
  • black trenchcoat - the happy conclusion to a previous post on trench coats here
Since it's still winter and winter clearances abound, why not give it a try?  Now is a great time to be in the market for jackets since the retail year end is generally Jan 31st and stores are clearing out for the spring stuff, so keep an eye out for great discounts in the next week.  My personal recommendation is to head for outlets of big name department stores - like Nordstrom Rack, Off 5th, and Neiman Marcus Last Call.  Here you can score deals on authentic name brand pieces for 40-75% off.

And if you're in the Bay Area and don't want to go out alone in search for your jackets - let your friends here at Wearability know and we'll gladly help you find one just for you! =)