Women rejoice: There are options for looking good when the weather's looking bad.
Thank God for Uggs – words I never thought I would say. But we women have a reason to thank these hideous, giant boots. They opened the door for functional fashion and made the rubber rain boot acceptable attire. This resurgence of the boots, called wellies, wellingtons, muckboots, waders, galoshes or gumboots, depending on where you are from, have helped answer the age-old question – how do you look cute while getting soaked by rain?
“I think it’s no longer a faux pas to put a practical piece with something feminine or trendy,” said Sue Payne, owner of the ultra-hip Plymouth boutique Crossing Main. “I know that those (boots) are very, very hip with sweet little sun dresses.”
Pembroke shoe designer Kristina Kozak shed some light on the cutest versions of these rubber sock-savers.
“Seems everyone is kind of making a boot from the typical Wellington to Kate Spade to Burberry and they are pretty reasonably priced, and obviously with the weather we’ve been having, you get a lot of use out of them,” she said.
While she hasn’t designed a version of her own, she says she may tackle one for the Spring 2009 season. Her top pick for a rain boot this year is a new design by Burberry that is a black rubber boot that looks like it has a Burberry-plaid sock folded over the top.
But, she said, you can’t go wrong with the bright patterns and stripes all the designers are trying this season.
“Marc Jacobs is making the plastic jelly shoes, which are a great option, too,” she said. “They have the plastic jelly sandals and the little ballet flats made out of plastic.”
She said these options are a perfect rainy day substitute for a classic ballet flat because they are still adorable but won’t get wet.
But what of the knees up?
Payne said peasant dresses and skinny jeans are both perfect pairs for the Wellies. But to keep dry, she said, a trench coat is a must-have.
“The new trend in trench coats is shorter,” she said. “Kind of swing trenches as opposed to the tie front.”
Her boutique is offering a short version by Shin Choi.
The classic trench will always be in, but to spice it up, designers are adding a metallic sheen, Payne said.
“The newest fabric is a metallic and in the rain wear. It’s kind of pretty,” she said.
There are also fresh and fun accessory options for rainwear. Designers have put out a variety of delightful rain hats this year, including reversible bucket hats by both Juicy Couture and Burberry.
High-end designers have even started putting out their own umbrellas. A popular one this season has been Coach’s scarf print umbrella or Burberry’s logo umbrella.
There are also fun options without the giant price tag. Huge, clear bubble umbrellas are in and allow all the other cute accessories you’ve picked up to actually be seen through the blowing rain.
Also, following the rest of fabrics this season, anything brightly patterned – from leopard prints to art reproductions – will make you stand out even more against the weather.
And if you are headed to a fancy event with only a small clutch for a purse, check out Brookstone’s mini umbrella that folds down to 6 inches but out to 40 and can actually stand up to wind.
Contact Eleni Himaras at email@example.com.