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Helly Hansen Embla Jacket : Stunning Style That's Still Weatherproof

Every now and then, I come across an item of clothing that's so stylish and unique that it quickly becomes my new "uniform." Helly Hansen's Embla Sail jacket is such an item.

As soon as I saw the Embla Sail jacket, I knew I had to have it because it fits me and my lifestyle perfectly. (I own a boat detailing business, so I need a jacket that can handle crummy weather and keep me looking professional!) Although Helly Hansen designed this jacket for sailing, it works for so many other situations that wearing it as a sailing jacket is just an extra bonus.

From head to toe, the Embla's so stylish. The high neck collar is very alluring and gives me a refined, elegant look. It's also an ideal design for windy days. I can hide behind my fashionable collar and not feel the wind. On calmer days, I can wear the collar down for a whole new look.

I love the A-Line shape of the Embla jacket. It tapers in a bit at the waist, which is a lovely feature because it gives me a waistline. The jacket hits about mid-thigh and flares out from the waist, a flattering cut that's hard to find in most 3/4 length jackets. I love the semi-fitted style because it's the only rain jacket I have that doesn't make me look like an elongated box.

The Embla Sail jacket has five sets of snaps that start just below the waist and travel all the way up to the collar. It doesn't have a zipper, but with the double snaps, it doesn't need one. The jacket snaps securely and keeps me well protected from the wind and rain.

Speaking of wind and rain, the Embla Sail jacket is water resistant and breathable. There's a flap on the back that allows for some airflow through a thin mesh panel. The jacket has two zippered pockets at the waist that are also mesh and provide some breathability. I wore my Embla jacket out on a rainy day and the rain beaded up and rolled right off the jacket, keeping me perfectly dry.

The Embla Sail jacket is a shell, so on cold days I wear warm layers underneath it. On its own, it's not very warm but it's ideal for wet spring and fall weather over a cardigan. I wear it year-round in Seattle, adding a layer of merino wool or fleece in the winter months. The fabric has a very light stretch to it, so the fit is still fine.

In addition to the flattering cut of the Embla Sail jacket, the fabric has a classy steel grey/blue herringbone pattern and red rubber edging on both the sleeves and bottom of the jacket. The splashes of color really add to the style of the jacket. There is also a red tag with a silver metal ring on the back of the jacket that provides an easy way to hang the jacket...and it looks neat, too!

I've worn this coat with yoga pants, jeans, and slacks, and every time, it looked great and really made the outfit. Even with my yoga pants and tennis shoes, it gave me an edgy look. I always receive so many compliments on the Embla Sail jacket.

The jacket is easy to keep clean, which is an added bonus for any item of clothing. It's made of 100% polyester and is machine washable and dryer friendly. In fact, it says not to dry clean it. No problem!

The Embla jacket sells for around $450, but don't let that price scare you. This jacket is extremely well made, very stylish, fits well, and can be worn with almost any type of outfit. I have other Helly Hansen clothes and jackets that I bought in the 80's and they're still in great shape, so I don't bat an eye at the price of a Helly Hansen item I really like because I know it will last a long time. And this jacket's classy style will still look great 20+ years from now(unlike my neon pink one-piece down ski outfit!).

Bottom Line: Street savvy, weather wise, the Embla Sail jacket is my top choice for rainy weather.--N.S. (May 2011)


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