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Supermarine Rain Shirt

Supermarine Rain Shirt

The perfect rainy day shirt. Shelters you from the storm yet comfortable enough to wear when it's dry. Breathable, highly water and wind resistant and made of 100% Supermarine Cotton.

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Additional Information

Our classic Pivot Sleeve design built into a button up shirt that's ready for a rainstorm. The secret to its performance is in the complex weave of tight and loose fibers that lock out moisture while staying breathable. The result is the best rainy day fabric around.

We got an Italian mill to create a yarn dyed version of Supermarine® Cotton weighing in at 160gsm, a little heavier than the last shirt. It's rugged enough to handle the rain but comfortable enough to wear day and night during the cooler seasons.

Like all Supermarine® Cotton, this stuff makes you wonder why on earth you've been wearing Gore-Tex and waxed cotton all these years. It's not waterproof to government spec, but you can walk around for an hour in a storm and stay dry. Perhaps more importantly though this shirt looks and feels great. Single needle stitching, flat felled seams and smoked mother of pearl buttons round it all out.
The secret to the future, they say, is hidden in the past. Supermarine® Cotton is a 21st century edit to a nearly forgotten World War II fabric. You can think of it as the pinnacle of cotton technology, extremely breathable, highly water resistant and completely windproof. 100% Cotton fibers woven together in a complex weave that swells up and seals when exposed to water. The result is a beautiful cloth that we think is the best rainy day fabric around.

For decades it's been obscured from the public, kept alive mainly by demand from a few Air Force units, Antarctic explorers and funnily enough, bird watchers; all who have different understandings of its unique properties. Supermarine® Cotton stays comfortable under pressure and there is none of that sweaty/clammy feeling you get with GoreTex and other synthetic "waterproof-breathable" fabrics. It isn't technically "waterproof" by government standards but you can stay dry for hours in the rain wearing it. The dense weave combined with the premium fiber results in a fabric that is simultaneously tough and supple and it breaks in beautifully.

Historically this fabric is an updated version of a fabric the British invented in World War II to keep their pilots alive in the North Sea if they happened to get shot down. It was later used by the British Navy, in Antarctic exploration and by Edmond Hillary during the first ascent of Mount Everest. It was even used to make firehoses and eventually found its way into high-end hiking gear. Since it requires a very dense weave of the most expensive cotton fibers on the market, it never quite broke through into the mainstream and with the advent of GoreTex it faded from the general marketplace. Bird watchers still sought it out since it's significantly quieter than the loud synthetic fabrics that took over, while Antarctic teams prized it for its amazing windproof quality. The main customer of the past few decades however has been various Air Forces who understood just how superior a fabric it is, and are willing to pay for it.

We source this version of Supermarine® Cotton from Italy and it differs from the historical British version in two important ways, it is lighter and it is treated with a premium durable water resistance (DWR) that is not wax-based. The water resistance in the historical formulation comes from two factors, the denseness of the weave and the fact that cotton fibers swell up when exposed to moisture. Adding the DWR treatment into the mix results in a significantly superior rain repellant and breathable fabric that far outclasses both the synthetic "waterproof-breathable" fabrics of the world and the heavy, clammy Barbour-style waxed cotton. It looks better, wears better and is dramatically more comfortable.

The Italian woven Supermarine we use in this iteration of the shirts is also lighter than Swiss woven goods used in the previous shirt and our Storm King Parka. It lessens the water resistance slightly, but more than makes up for it by being a great shirt weight that you can wear every day.

We've been testing this stuff extensively over the past year and we keep on thinking we've stumbled upon a little bit of magic. We made button down shirts and walked out into torrential downpours without a jacket or umbrella. We've done hours of laps in Prospect Park during thundershowers wearing the same shirt and stayed dry. We've taken it out into 100% desert heat to see how well it breathes. We challenged our bike messenger friends to beat it up on the road. More important than all that though was the fact when we headed out of the house, we almost always reach for a Supermarine® Cotton shirt or parka, not because we wanted to test it, but because we wanted to wear it.
  • The Supermarine® Rain Shirt
  • 100% Cotton woven in Italy
  • 160gsm
  • Highly water resistant and super breathable
  • Highly wind resistant
  • Smoked mother of pearl buttons
  • Storm flap front pocket
  • Pivot Sleeve construction for freedom of movement
  • Single needle stitched with flat-felled seams throughout
  • Classic shirt look
  • Fits true to size
  • Available in NavyGray
  • Dry clean only
  • Made in New York City
  • Sizing
    Fits true to size, a tailored medium cut and designed to look good on a range of body types.

    Size Chart (in inches)
    Small Medium Large X-Large
    Chest Size 36 38 40 42
    Body Length 27 27.5 28 28.5
    Sleeve Length (from center back) 32 33 34 35