D'Style

Come Rain, Come Shine

Models looking chic while braving the elements at Burberry’s autumn/winter 2011 show

Good news everyone…it looks like the rain is here to stay for a while (I knew the glorious sunny days were too good to be true). Every time the weather takes a turn for the worse, I prepare myself for a serious fashion onslaught – what is it about the rain that makes people wear their most offensive pieces of clothing? Just because it’s pouring, it doesn’t mean that you should look like something the cat dragged in. So to save you from making some serious fashion errors over the next few days (and appearing in my What’s Not column), here are a few tips on staying dry while looking stylish.

Get the right shoes

I am the first person out there to admit that I love my Fit Flops even though they are not the most attractive shoes I own. They are, however, nowhere as ugly as Wellies.  While most of my fashionista friends swear by Hunter or Aigle rain boots, there’s nothing worse than looking like you work at the local fishmarket. Instead wear a pair of jelly shoes (try Brazilian brand Melissa, which just opened a store in Harbour City), or even better ,a pair of simple patent leather flats (my Rupert Sanderson’s work a treat, while Roger Vivier has ones with a rubber sole). Patent leather is more durable than regular leather and are much easy to clean after trudging through puddles. Waterproof shoes that are stylish are hard to find but Slow and Steady Wins the Race did some cool styles in waterproof canvas including red and black pumps and Oxfords.

Invest in a good coverup

This does not mean buying a cheap plastic raincoat from 7-Eleven - although Burberry‘s sculptural coverup is a much more stylish alternative. Also look into a waterproof jacket that is timeless and chic. A trench is top of the list and no one does them better than Burberry (for more affordable versions try A.P.C and Zara). The British also swear by Barbour for its durability – some of their new styles are quite fashionable. I recently bought a khaki parka by Moncler when I was in Rome that has a chic funnel collar and a drawstring waist so it looks stylish while keeping me dry. Parkas are a must-have for autumn by the way, so why not invest in a lightweight version now?

Make a style statement with your umbrella

Ok, I know that three out of four people loose their umbrellas on a rainy day, but it’s a great way to add some colour to your look and make a statement. I have this beautiful chocolate brown Ports 1961 umbrella from a few years ago that is made from a fabric that looks like leather and that comes with with hand carved mahogany handles. What’s more stylish than that? Try to think outside of the box – Shanghai Tang umbrellas are not imaginative, fyi. Go for vibrant prints  from brands such as Marimekko (available at Vein), while Marc Jacobs  always has some quirky styles. Leopard print will even work.

Go short

NEVER wear jeans when it’s raining – take it from me, it feels like you are carting around an extra 10lbs when they get soaked through. Capris or cropped trousers are perfect as they keep you cool and won’t drag on the floor.  Similarly don’t go too short – you don’t want to  look like you’ve just stepped out of the shower.  

Invest in a Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag

I know it sounds weird to cart around an extra bag but it’s worth it. These babies fold up into a neat square and are waterproof, so when the skies open you can safely store your expensive Celine bag inside and know that the buttery soft leather won’t get ruined. I’ve seen chic women in Paris do this all the time. Genius, don’t you think?

Go dark

Never wear white in the rain unless you want to show off your knickers or spend a fortune in dry cleaning bills. Dark colours hide everything so opt for a classic palette of black, grey and navy. Tres chic, no?

Essential rain gear (lfrom eft to right, clockwise): Marimekko umbrella, Burberry transparent cape, Longchamp Le Pliage bag and Slow and Steady Wins the Race rain pumps

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