I used to have a really nice set of foul weather gear. Man, I put it to use too. By the end of my transatlantic sail, it was dirty, well used, and just looked plain old salty. I loved it.
But not that much. When I got off the boat in Cork, I rolled it up tight, stuffed the jacket in one boot, the bibs in the other, put them in a box and mailed them home to California. Then I went exploring the Old World.
When I got back to the New World, my company had moved to Atlanta so I followed suit, leaving the foul weather gear at my Mom's house still in the box.
Fast forward 10 years to when I started sailing seriously again. My first Friday night race was wet and messy. We got back to the dock and I couldn't figure out why my pants were wet and stained blue. Maybe I hadn't really tightened up all the velcro like I used to. The next race was a midwinter in 25-35 from the South. I was up on the rail wondering, "why do I feel wet?".
Sure enough, I took off the foul weather gear at the end and I was soaked head to toe. My foul weather gear was just foul gear. I think it might have gone as far as to absorb extra water not just let it in.
I bring this up because the next three days I'm going to sail a lot in some nasty weather. And there will be pictures of me in shiny new foul weather gear -- gear that has only seen about half a dozen days of crappy weather and flying salt crystals. I don't want you people passing judgement on my shiny new foulies like that skiier in all the fancy expensive gear who sits in the lounge all day. I'm not like that, I'm a kick-ass non-caffeinated blue-water Ocean Racer. And I'll have pictures to prove it.
Note: this is similar to mine, not exact, thanks West Marine for the photo.