I hadn't thought much about my outerwear until recently and realized I didn't own a proper raincoat, let alone a travel jacket that could withstand our upcoming adventure. And with our minimal budget to keep in mind, my desperate search began.
The list of requirements for coats so far in my life have been simply to keep me warm for 7 out of the 12 months up here. Traveling through Europe requires a little more from outerwear selections. With the constant showers in England, modest dress code of the Vatican, and pickpockets everywhere, one's jacket must play multiple roles.
I managed to compose a checklist for my jacket search:
My first search online brought me to various travel jackets, all ticking off a majority of the items on my checklist. Quite a few North Face and Columbia coats came up, along with their $50+ price tags.
Just as I was weighing the benefit of dropping the equivalent to our flight to Italy on a coat I may never wear outside of this trip, my dad offered up a suggestion.
THRIFT STORES! He mentioned that he had remembered always seeing racks and racks of coats and jacket at our local thrift shops and that it might be worth checking them out before making a hasty purchase. And I'm extremely thankful that I did.
I snagged 3 different jackets for only $28!
This black jacket was the lightest out of the three with a water resistant and soft exterior and thin cotton inside lining. There is a big hood and its flattering to wear, but there aren't any inside pockets and the pockets on the sides don't have zippers. ($8)
This super cute cream jacket absolutely blew me away when I saw it sticking out from the crowded rack. Its adorable on, and is water resistant with another huge hood. It has two outside zipper pockets and is fairly lightweight. Best thing about it was I scored this beauty on a 50% off sale for only $4!
While this may not be the prettiest jacket it sure is the most valuable for the trip. The Columbia Omni-Tech fabric is completely waterproof not just water resistant, so if we get caught in a downpour I'm staying dry. Checking off almost everything else on the list this coat sports two hidden zipper pockets on the sides as well as a zipper inside pocket, and on top of those, it's "packable" and can fold up into its inside pocket to a squishy little square that I can easily throw in any bag. ($16)
I think I've decided to bring both the white and blue jackets along with me for the trip. The white one for a casual jacket to throw on when it gets a little chillier, and keep the blue rain coat in my day pack for extra storage (flights) and protection (high pickpocket areas & stormy days).