The art of rainy day dressing © Burberry

The art of rainy day dressing

Don’t let a little bit of rain cause a wardrobe washout. Instead invest in these stylish wet weather essentials

It doesn’t take an expert to know that when it rains, we need to keep dry. There is nothing worse than turning up your 9am board meeting or 8pm dinner date, resembling a drowned rat. Yes, grey blustery skies and sodden pavements might hamper your spirits, but they needn’t rain on your fashion parade. All you need is a sophisticated waterproof coat; a pair of chic wellies, an elegant umbrella and for those really wet days, a nifty waterproof hat.

Cover up
We all like to think our favourite winter coat will keep us dry, but when the rain really buckets down, only a hardy waterproof number will do. The British heritage brands do the best wet weather gear, and well, what beats a Burberry trench coat. This lightweight packable version is ideal for the daily commute or slim line jet setting. For those weekends in the country, this sturdy waterproof Barbour jacket is country chic at its best. And for those days when a fun and kitsch alternative to a sensible coat is called for, a quirky patterned poncho is ideal, to keep the water at bay but style still high.

CoatsFrom left: jacket by Barbour, trench coat: Burberry Brit, poncho: Moschino Cheap & Chic

Keep your feet dry
Depending on the severity of the downpour, a pair of regular chunky leather boots will suffice (be sure to have treated leather with a protective waterproof spray), but for the ultimate foot protection a pair of wellies is the only way forward. British brand Hunter has made wellies cool again and the designers are following suit. Hunter’s new season styles and colours include these Original Refined Boot wellies in gorgeous autumnal burgundy. Michael Kors’ sleek and chic black leather wellies are ideal for style conscious city sorts, and for wellies with a tough luxe edge, go for Mulberry’s unique biker boot inspired pair.

Wellington BootsFrom left: padded boots: Michael Kors, wellingtons: Hunter, wellingtons: Mulberry

Get jolly with a brollie
An umbrella is a wet weather pre-requisite. Leave without your umbrella, well you are asking for unruly frizzy hair. Think of your umbrella as another accessory. Every woman needs good shoes, a good bag and a good umbrella. Go for bright shades and lively patterns to perk up dreary days, such as this black and white striped and red umbrella from Lulu Guinness. Dolce & Gabbana’s black and white polka dot brollie is super chic, while Cath Kidston’s Kensington design for Fulton is utterly ladylike and with a slight 70s feel, perfect for the new season.

UmbrellasFrom left: Lulu Guiness, Dolce & Gabbana, Cath Kidston

Hats on
An umbrella will keep your head and hair relatively dry, especially the birdcage designs, but for the ultimate in hair protection, wear a hat. Hats are a polished finishing touch to autumn style too, whatever the weather. A classic baker boy, cloche or wide brimmed fedora will do the job and look super stylish, but a waterproof fabric will be most practical. Maison Michel’s PVC rain hat not only does the job, it is super cute.

HatsFrom left: PVC rain hate: Maison Michel, baker boy hat: Etoile Isabel Marant, waxed hate by Olney

If all else fails...
• Wear a hood.
• Layer up.
• Don sturdy knee high leather boots.

The don’ts for wet weather wear
Forget silk, the water spots will stick around all day, ditch the floor skimming wide leg pants and anything else maxi for that matter and if you wear denim make sure you go for drainpipe jeans and boots, as once denim gets wet it stays wet.

One final tip...
Carry a hardy weather resistant oversized tote so you can put your smaller ‘real’ bag inside to keep it dry, as well as hair serum to tame unruly frizz and your change of shoes.