TOG24 Beamsley Women’s Waterproof Jacket, £100
My mission to wear less blue isn’t going so well. I’ve promised myself I’ll foray into warmer colours and here I am, with three new coats all in inescapable shades of sea. But when faced with a jacket as delicious as Tog24’s Beamsley, it’s hardly my fault now, is it?
TOG24 was founded in the Spen Valley, West Yorkshire, more than 60 years ago, and the Beamsley has been designed in colours to reflect the Yorkshire coastline. I so nearly opt for the sophisticated Ice Grey, which would suit darker hair beautifully, but I fear it will wash out my pale skin altogether and so Atlantic Blue it is. The Beamsley Waterproof Jacket is a flattering choice that’s just right for the transition from autumn to winter; supremely stylish yet with all the substance you need to fend off the kind of rain that slants sideways through the south Wales Valleys at this time of year.
The Beamsley ad campaign has Henry the Labrador; I have Lionel the Greyhound and he’s in a huff as I have a bigger jacket wardrobe than he does. Lionel and I share a love of layering – he’s not known as Lionel ‘Two Coats’ Lees for fun – and the Beamsley has generous room to wear fleeces and thermals underneath. This is no baggy overcoat, however, an elasticated back panel proving exceedingly flattering and giving an appearance far smarter than your average rainwear.
First things first, does it keep the water out? The Beamsely has a 10K waterproof and 10K breathability rating, enough to handle an average rainfall, as well as being windproof. It’s wonderful on our early morning dog walks, which are distinctly nippier than even a few weeks back and very, very soggy. Its fully taped seams indeed ensure that not a drop finds a way in, while I love the ‘dry look’ waterproof fabric, which has an invisible coating that the rain just beads off.
The all-important hood has a stiff peak, pulled into good shape by the side and back adjusters, and is detachable, revealing a cosy collar with the nice touch of a soft fleecy lining. The zip is reassuringly chunky, with the added benefit of an overlay with metal poppers, and the features are all bold, including oversized horizontal front pockets large enough for a sizeable notebook. And here’s a clever trick; two diagonal hand pockets tucked behind the bigger two. There are no inner compartments but, with the storage offered by the four outer pockets, extras really aren’t needed at all.
TOG24 advertises the Beamsley as being worthy of the city and clifftop walks equally, and it really is. Its contemporary styling makes it almost too nice for a hearty hike, but it’s wonderful with skinny jeans and wellies for a splashy country stroll. With a smooth lining that extends into the sleeves, allowing the coat to glide on, it’s a luxurious waterproof with the timeless glamour to easily justify the £100 cost. I can see myself wearing it for years to come – that is, if I can keep it out of the hands of a certain redhead teen who’s also partial to several shades of blue.