Q: Hello MB, I am moving to Norway and I need a raincoat. Any recommendations? I'm looking for something lightweight and affordable. I'll also be bringing along my Mobster Galoshes (thanks for that tip)! —Jay
A: Jay, we're glad you like the Mobster galoshes. They're on our "All-Time Favorites" list … which only exists in our minds right now, but which we will someday publish when we think of a catchier name for it.
The Mobsters are made by Swims, which is based in Oslo, so let's keep things simple: Buy more Swims! Norwegian rain is probably not all that much different than American rain, but why take that chance? Get something by the locals.
Of course, Swims gear is actually manufactured in China, because Donald Trump is not President of Norway (yet). But it is engineered in Norway, where they are such experts in shitty weather they don't even call the piece we're going to recommend to you a "rain jacket," because any jacket you plan on wearing more than once a year in Norway better be able to hand the rain.
Don't believe us? Oslo gets 161 days of rain a year. Bergen, Norway's second largest city, gets 240! Seattle, only 150.
(No, you didn't just accidentally land on weather.com. But honestly, stopping making such a big deal about all the rain you get, Seattle. Compared to Bergen, you're a desert paradise.)
Okay, back to our recommendation. Take a look at the Genève, described as a "sporty, all-weather, all-day, all-seasons, all-purpose jacket." Which we suspect is the Old Norse way of saying "raincoat."
If you need technical proof, here are its specs: "20.000 g/sqm/24h, 20.000 hydrostatic water column." Yup, raincoat.
We don't own The Geneve — yet — but if we ever find ourselves living in a place that gets more than 150 days of rain a year, it will be high on our purchase list. And every piece of Swims outwear we do own has been a terrific investment.
So buy with confidence, and good luck on your exciting new adventure.
The spectre of Greece electing an anti-austerity, anti-bailout party has contributed to the Euro falling to an 11-year low against the US dollar. What does this mean, besides the increased possibility of a Black Friday-like rush on De Wallen by Omaha-based bargain shoppers? Incredible discounts on some of our favorite European clothing brands, of course.
Take SWIMS, for instance. The fine Norwegian outerwear and shoemaker trades in Euros and ships to the US, and makes the Mobster overshoe, one of our all-time favorite accessories. It's an impenetrable rubber and neoprene shield that protects our footwear from the cold and snow of bike commutes, the slush of mid-day crosstown dashes, and the blood and vomit of Wednesday night happy hours spun completely out of control.
SWIMS wants €79.00 for a pair of Mobsters, which at today's exchange rate is $88.78. Add in the current swims.com 20% discount code Celebrating10! and they're just 71 bucks. By contrast, the price at US retailer Allen Edmonds is $149. If you're wondering, shipping isn't an issue. Buy two of anything at SWIMS and shipping is included.
The market has already factored in Alexis Tsipras as prime minister, so be sure to act before it starts correcting.
Q: very happy to see that you guys are back to a regular posting schedule, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me because i'm in need of some black boots and need your advice.
i'm a public defender, and i need black footwear that'll look good with a suit, but i also want something that i can wear with jeans. and i live in alaska, so i need boots to trudge through the snow. the hydrogen-1 brand you recently endorsed would've worked, but they don't have boots available in my size. i'm about to pull the trigger on these frye chukkas, but wanted your input first —Preston
An Alaskan winter will be like felony assault on those Frye boots. There is only one boot we know of that can pull the triple duty you desire — biz, cash, sludge — and it's the Prada 'New Tolbak' Chelsea boot, a dressier version of the Novo we've previously recommended.
Unless you’re on the take, though, we suspect they may be a bit pricey for your employee-of-the-state budget.
What we propose instead is to take custody of these terrific Swims 'Mobster Boot' Overshoes. They're $149, but completely vacate the elements, and feature a soft, insulating lining that buffs your shoes while you walk.
As for the shoes getting buffed, with the Mobsters in defense you can court the much larger (but still small) quantity of low-cut shoes that sit on the biz-cash knife's edge we're always looking for, like the Hydrogen-1s, and just about anything from their more expensive predecessor, Common Projects. (FWIW, the new Hydrogen-1 collection, available in a wide range of sizes, is here.)
This way, you'll have boots when there is snow to trudge through, and shoes for those rare Alaskan days when there isn't.
When a pair of galoshes is the year's best purchase, it could be argued that 2011 was a pretty lousy year for gear. Either that or Swims' "Mobster Boot" Overshoes are that good.
Whether you wear Chuck Ts or wing Ts to work, these protect them from rain, snow, sleet, (and even hail!), keep your feet warm, and they pair as nicely with a pair of denim as pair of wool trousers. They even have a reflective square on the heel for inclement cycling, which is what we've adopted them for. $149 is not cheap for something that may cost more than the shoes you're trying to protect, but they're totally worth it.
Pour 2 fingers into an empty tumbler, 3 if you're not alone.