It amazes me how orange and yellow stand out on city roofs. And while I lean towards understatement in most everything -- there's a peculiar Southern fetish I picked up for loud colors. I've always loved 'em with the understanding they have their place.
Bert Pulitzer sent me a Survivalon jacket; what we called wet weather gear when I lived on a boat. At $495, this isn't for off shore racing but it's nautical origins make it perfect for a rainy Fall day. I wore it during a visit to the Andover Shop in Cambridge. On my way out to lunch, Larry took it off my back and threw it on a rig. I understand he had five offers in an hour.
Pulitzer created the jacket back in the '70s and used a tightly woven cotton developed by the RAF in WWII. And, while that's cool enough for me, John Wayne bought one, which might be cool enough for you. The Duke liked it so much he ordered five more for his yacht, the Wild Goose. And I think I know why.
Back in the '70s and '80s, before Gore Tex really caught on, a lot of sailing jackets and parkas were made out of a PVC like fabric that was hard as a brick. I had one from Lands' End, circa 1984. It didn't breathe, had two lousy outside pockets and in the rain it felt like wet particle board.
Belgian Parachutist Wings?
Contrary to it's look, the Survivalon has a supple feel to it. It's amazingly comfortable, keeps you dry and it breathes. I've worn this jacket a lot in the last month and even the hood, unrolled and pulled from the collar, works well. It's wide enough to give decent peripheral vision and it stays on your head without having to pull it tight resulting in your looking like a seven year old in a slicker at the bus stop.
In a bind, this coat and a Shetland sweater (think, royal blue, bright red, kelly green) will see you through temps as low as the mid-30s. I should know. I wore it last night in NY's first snow storm. In the low visibility, it probably kept me from being run over by a city bus. Granted, it won't protect me in a knife fight like my old Lands' End jacket but I haven't had one of those, knock wood, since a pissed off girlfriend came at me with my own Randall.
The interior of the jacket is cotton with three inside waterproof pockets and one big enough for an iPad. But remember, this isn't a waterproof jacket...it's water repellent. Having said that, I've been in rain and snow with this thing and have managed to stay bone dry. If you want to wear a suit with this jacket, and I have no idea why you would - other than I'm old and out of it, go up a size. With just a shirt or sweater...it runs pretty true to size.
Bert tells me this cloth will eventually take on patina. I can't wait. That doesn't mean I'm gonna take sand paper to it or distress it in my backyard with a chain and a snowblower...It means it'll come by its patina in an honest way. And if the weather continues like this -- it should be nicely broken in by next month.
Comes in black, orange, yellow, fawn, navy and blue. Order from Survivalon Web Site Here