It’s parka time again, when that most useful of garments comes out of the closet to hang around until the warm(ish) weather comes back, around April. A parka, previously known as an anorak - but let’s not go there - will keep you warm and dry, but most are not really town-worthy, being more suited to the countryside. They are not normally the most elegant of garments but then they’re not supposed to be.
The reincarnation of the parka has made it every fashion conscious girl’s go to coat/jacket for the autumn up to the point where nothing but thick down and snow boots will do. The big problem here is that so many of the parkas on offer, modern though they may try to be, are heavy/clunky/over-toggled/wax coated and straggly faux fur hooded. None of this matters if you, as I, live in the country with dogs and mud etc, however find a parka you can then go to town in? That’s a whole different story.
So I decided to go and seek out the ‘urban parka’ the parka that will take you through the brambles and then on to the train to London (or wherever). This was not easy. There are so many that just couldn’t make the break from country to town, nor were they designed to. These are parkas that would.
Be warned that if you buy a very cheap parka it will most likely not keep you either dry or very warm. Look for those that have detachable hoods, or at least a detachable fur trim. Don’t ever buy a parka without a hood, keeping you dry is the whole point and you’ll regret it. And if you like the slightly heavier feel of a waxed parka there are some great ones around, although again they’re a little more countrified.
Some parkas are fleece lined, which is great if it’s really cold, but not so transitional unless the fleece (or faux fur) lining is detachable. My favourite here is Mint Velvet’s dark grey parka, quilt lined and slightly padded with a detachable faux fur trim to the fur lined hood and a modern sheen. If you go for a short ‘parka jacket’ that doesn’t cover your bum remember it won’t keep you that dry or that warm once the cold weather sets in……….