Staying stylish in the rain

It’s been an erratic past few days in terms of weather. Being British, it’s hardly anything we aren’t used to, and yet I’m sure all of us find ourselves being caught out at times and ending up completely soaked in a brand new outfit. Nobody in Winchester is likely to forget the floods in 2000 or at least I won’t, since my primary school had to be evacuated! During that time, it became routine to leave the house kitted out in boots, a sensible raincoat and sometimes even (shudder) a pair of shiny plastic waterproof trousers.

But wet weather doesn’t mean we need to commit endless fashion faux-pas. It’s just as possible to look stylish in the rain as in any other weather, providing that you plan in advance and take some time to track down a version of each of the three key rain pieces which works for you. Here is my advice on the holy trinity of bad weater fashion.

1. The coat

This is the most important for those who like their clothes, because it will be protecting the killer outfit underneath. While you don’t need to have something fully waterproof, it is useful to have something slightly water-resistant. Hopefully, this piece will be able to last you several years, so you might want to go for a classic style that won’t date. A trench coat is always a good idea, and they do some excellent and water-resistant ones in Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. Or if a wax jacket is more your thing, head to Cadogan for some genuine Barbour or find similar styles in Joules and Jack Wills. Alternatively, a retro style can often appear timeless and many come in bright colours, which will help you stand out from the grey. If you’ve been watching White Heat on the BBC, you may find yourself in the mood for a red 60s coat. Try the charity shops or vintage fair for the real deal or check out New Look for something a bit more modern.

2. The Wellington Boots

A while ago it would have been impossible to find Wellies in any colour other than green or occasionally navy blue. Now it seems you can have any colour or print you like! If you’re quite girly in your tastes and just fancy celebrating Spring, nab a floral pair from Cath Kidston. The print will go with the rest of your bright spring wardrobe and can bring a little joy into an otherwise miserable day. Sometimes though, a true classic is best. A good place to buy quality boots in green, blue and sometimes red is your closest gardening centre. But if what you’re really after is a pair you can wear to festivals or on camping trips, look no further than Primark. They have everything from striped to star-print, leopard to lilac. Although they won’t last quite as long as proper hunters, they aren’t bad for a quick jaunt down the high street.

3. The Umbrella

There are so many possibilities for umbrellas – large, small, black, colourful etc. but never get too attached to one, because it will inevitably break and leave you upset to have lost it. If you fancy avoiding this, you could invest in a quality brolley. Fulton Umbrellas are generally regarded as the best of the best, mainly because they supply the queen with hers. They are normally available in Debenhams, but aside from these there are plenty of places in Winchester where you can buy an umbrella, because any shop can sell you one when you’re desperate for cover. The patriotic Emma Bridgewater number in the picture above is available from Waterstones of all places! You could buy a cheap one from Primark or the pound shop, a trendy one from Accessorize or a posh one from Hobbs. But to be fair, it doesn’t particularly matter what kind it is, just as long as it works!

words and photograph Alys Key @FashionMoriarty

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