Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Before it's too late

I've been struggling with what to wear when it's raining, but not very cold.  I love my Nau Shroud of Purrin trench,  but it's  too warm for anything above the low 40's.   I've flirted with the idea of a rain cape for a while but didn't love any of the traditional options.   After much deliberation, for my birthday I bought myself an Iva Jean rain cape.  
Image of Rain Cape
I loved the silvery grey color.  And I was mostly satisfied with the look and fit.  The pullcords did work to free your arms,  and give it more shape than the "giant poncho"  look of traditional capes.   The problem was that it wasn't actually waterproof.   I rode in it a couple of times when I hoped it would rain, without any "luck",  and then I rode in it in the nasty snow-rain wintry mix we had a couple of weeks ago.   And it leaked.  My clothes underneath were quite damp in the 30 minutes it took to get home.   So I decided to return it and start looking for other alternatives.

Coincidently,  later that week Iva Jean announced that they would be making a waterproof version available in the spring,  and currently only available for "purchase"  from Kickstarter.
So for the first time I made a kickstarter pledge, and have reserved a waterproof cape for the spring.
The colors aren't quite as cool (light tan and olive)  but I think the waterproof-ness will make all the difference.   I'm often skeptical about Kickstarter wild and crazy ideas,   but Iva Jean obviously knows how to make these products and has been around long enough that I trust that they know how much it costs to make and deliver things, and that they will fulfill their pledges.

They also have three other new products that people not interested in capes might find intriguing:a blouse, a skirt and a vest.

The blouse is the least interesting to me- I don't think I'd wear it to the office, but it doesn't fit my weekend style either.   The pencil skirt would be more interesting if I liked pencil skirts generally, as that's one of the few styles you really can't wear on a bike.   This skirt has a zip out expansion panel just like the DIY solution that Let's Go Ride a Bike profiled here.  If you like pencil skirts, and don't want to sew your own, this is a great product.

Finally, the vest- which is the first "reflective vest" that actually appeals to me.  The ones from Vespertine are certainly cool and look great over a slinky tank top,  but I think not so great with a collared blouse or a regular outfit.  They're almost too dramatic- it feels like you have to design your outfit to not compete with the vest instead of it being something more like outerwear that plays well with whatever you have on already.  

The Iva Jean one is more like outerwear- in a neutral silver and grey (one side reflective, one side the same material as the original rain cape.  Like the cape, it can be ruched up and shaped different ways, and is reversable for more or less reflectivity.
Image of Two-way Reflective Vest

The original kickstarter goal was reached pretty quickly,  but you still have three days if you're interested in "buying" a cape, skirt, blouse or vest for a slight discount, and the chance to get it sooner.
Kickstarter page can be found here.


  1. It might be worth looking into waterproofing your existing cape... http://www.amazon.com/Star-Brite-Starbrite-Waterproofing-Treatment/dp/B003CYTOAI is supposed to do a good job, as long as it isn't the seams that are leaking. :)

    1. I think that the seams were leaking too, and honestly it's just not worth the trouble. I've already returned the original and ordered the waterproof version for the spring.
      I have tried waterproofing other coats in the past with wash-in products and it didn't work that well.

  2. I hope you will give us an "action report" on how the new cape works. It wouldn't work in a Texas downpour, but might be quite good in the misty Pacific NW.

  3. Nice helpful Post, BTW can I know your email please?