Are Raincoats Indulgent?

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Ester Bloom of The Billfold considers whether the raincoat is a necessity or an indulgence. Her post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I find the question interesting, anyway:

BG will be autumn ready. I will not. My umbrella is whatever I pull out of the bin by the door. My rain boots are regular boots that leave my socks damp because they're not actually waterproof. My rain coat? I don't have a rain coat, even though whenever it rains -- 121 days a year in New York City, or approximately one out of every three days -- I wish I did. But it feels like an indulgence! A winter coat is a necessity, sure. A rain coat? For me? Isn't that a frill? [link dropped]
I own a rain coat, the only one I remember having, and have since Boston. I used it all the time there, because walking was my primary mode of transportation then. I have since used it perhaps once or twice because, when using a car, an umbrella is usually sufficient for my needs: moving between my car and a building at each end of the trip. Every other time I've used one (or even thought a raincoat might be nice), it has been because I was stuck outside for more than a few seconds or minutes at a time.

The question interests me because my wife seems to have adopted a sort of raincoat-buying default for the kids, even though we live in suburbia, and have to drive ourselves (and them) to get anywhere. I suspect this is because her parents spent their youths in New York and Boston, where such an item would be a necessity. She grew up with raincoats, and she's buying accordingly. I plan to persuade her that we really don't need raincoats for the the kids -- unless, of course, one or both start doing lots of outdoor, all-weather activity. But they're still so young that that would be some time away. For them, now, I think a raincoat might be cute, but an indulgence.

The answer for anyone is, "It depends."

-- CAV

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