Why are raincoats yellow

Raincoats are an integral part of human wardrobe, especially for the areas that receive a generous helping of rainfall throughout the year. Made of special fabrics like coated nylon, raincoats keep away water from sticking onto the cloth surface. Also, they allow easy ventilation of air so that sweaty fumes do not strangle the person wearing the raincoat. What started as a pure safety attempt has no acquired a fashionable aura to it.

Raincoats come in many avatars, ranging from simplistic ones to those coming with matching nylon pants. There is a fascinating affinity between raincoats and the yellow color from times immemorial. In fact, it would not be wrong to comment that yellow is the most likely color to come to mind when one hears the word raincoat. This does not mean that yellow is the only color that manufacturers use while making raincoats for the market. But there is a strange correlation between the two entities. Yellow always seems to suit a raincoat. It could well be because of the fact that a bright shade as yellow is sensible to be worn in a stormy weather. Rains often catalyze the transition from light to dark, and the brightness of yellow makes perception of a pedestrian trying to dodge the rain slaps and the approaching traffic easier than say, any darker shade like red or blue. There are also suggestions that heavy rains are a metaphorical sign of gloom and distress. In such a scenario, a yellow radiant raincoat is the harbinger of the hope for sunlight.

Yellow is the color of the sun. Heavy rains make one miss the gentle exuberance of the sun, and this could well be the reason behind the natural correlation between raincoats and red color. This whole issue of investigating the association of yellow to raincoats was also instigated by a widespread light hearted email that carried the image of an unbelievably obese lady clad in a transparent rain shield, which was grossly insufficient to protect her integrity, as the pelting rains made her clothes transparent!