Depending on where you hang your (rain)hat, winters have a well-earned reputation for grey, wet weather. While there are crisp, clear blue days on occasion—we promise—our style usually has to fight the rain while our moods battle the gloom. But you get used to it and you make it work.
Coffee, sunboxes, alcohol, vitamin D and raincoats help.
A good water-resistant jacket seems to protect your clothes and your soul when the climate is particularly dreary. New, design-minded companies like Stockholm-based Stutterheim are creating contemporary coats that not only stop the wind and rain from dampening clothes, but, with handmade craftsmanship and clean silhouettes, also look good even when the weather is rearing its ugly head. And that, in turn, makes us kind of happy.
Here’s what you need to know about the company that has as its motto “Swedish Melancholy at Its Driest.”
After his grandfather passed away, Alexander Stutterheim found a fisherman raincoat his grandfather had worn at sea in the ’60s. Stutterheim recreated the style in his Stockholm flat using the same pattern in high-quality oilcloth.
“He wanted to find a slow-scale passion project. The granddad was a very melancholic guy, and him passing away brought up a lot of memories for Alexander,” explains Johan Loman, partner at Stutterheim. “Important emotional aspects, like melancholy, created an interesting context from the start. Obviously, it was very much focused on the product, and for the first year and a half, Alexander pretty much did everything himself.”
But this small production soon spun up once the jackets were spotted out on the city streets.
“The word got out pretty quickly and in just a few days, the bell was ringing constantly to his flat and at times there was a line outside the flat,” says Loman.
Stutterheim’s original design, the Stockholm (available for men and women), incorporates all the classic details of his grandfather’s coat, though with a more tailored fit. Through Stutterheim’s laborious craftsmanship and refining, the style you see today is a tried-and-true example of his passion’s progression in just five short years.
“At the time, there wasn’t a properly constructed, well-fitted, well-defined raincoat on the market,” says Loman of his company’s beginnings. “If you look at Scandinavian people—because Scandinavia, and Sweden in particular, was our stepping stone to where we are today—Swedish people tend to be extremely well-dressed for all occasions. When you were looking out from a café, at people going to work in the rain, you were seeing people covered in all kinds of things, like a newspaper or a broken umbrella or an oversized coat or jacket. The Stutterheim product came because we didn’t see that in the well-dressed Swedes’ wardrobe,” explains Loman. “It wasn’t so much that we were going to go in and change the raincoat game. That happened by accident.”
All of the in-house designs use the best quality fabrics, like rubber-coated cotton, with expert sewers seam-sealing the solid shell construction. But for Stutterheim, it’s clearly far more than just a raincoat. There’s something deeper beyond the stylish shell.
“What we wanted to try to do, as a part of the context and the story of the brand, was to see if we can get people to accept melancholy to a greater extent if we get them to accept rain. So we see a connection between melancholy and rain but we want to change that perception of rain as a negative,” says Loman.