Fashion

When It Rains…

One of the things I have learned in my three months living in London—which life in the San Fernando Valley never taught me—was the many ways to dress for the weather; namely the rain.

Living in the valley, rainwear was a simple thing: whatever would get you from the house to your car with minimal damage. This usually meant some kind of hoodie or if you couldn’t manage to pull a hood over your head, an umbrella (though, more likely, a quick sprint to the car door).

In London, it’s a whole other story. Not only do I not have a car to run out to to get where I want to go, any old hoodie doesn’t make the cut here (for both fashion’s and freezing’s sake). This means I’ve had to discover some new options to get you through those cold weather woes:

Option 1: The hat.

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A hat is a great option for a few reasons, but also has its draw backs. For rain, you’ll be looking for a hat with a brim wide enough to keep to the rain off your face and a stiffer brim works better for this than a beachy, floppy hat (save that accessory for the summer!). A hat like this keeps your exposed parts dry, your hands free to stay warm in your pockets, and the benefit of looking fashion forward in a fashionable city. Also, if you are going through crowds, a hat is much easier (size wise) to dodge though crowds with without getting caught between a million other umbrellas!

The drawbacks are, however, when the wind picks up, wide brim hats have a tendency to try to take flight so keep your hand ready it you start feeling a breeze. Also, if you aren’t keeping your hat on the whole time you are wherever you are going to, you’ll have to figure out where to keep it while you are doing what you are heading out to do.

But, whether you choose to wear a hat to protect you from the wetter elements or not, covering your head with a beanie, cap or whatever else you may have on hand is a great idea for keeping warm in these cold months. Your head is where (walking around at least) you’ll lose most of your body heat, so keep it covered and your one step closer to looking a bit more chic and feeling a whole lot warmer!

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Option 2: The umbrella.

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An umbrella is a classic option for rain protection, after all, that’s why they were invented, wasn’t it? An umbrella tends to give the largest protection as it had the largest cover area. An accessory that has both fashion and function. If you are living in an area that gets rain on the regular (or not!), it’s an option you shouldn’t skip out on. Plus, an umbrella (unlike the other options here) has room for two and a built in romantic edge (it wasn’t a major player in CBS’s How I Met Your Mother for nothing!).

For all its obvious benefits, however, umbrellas can also be a major pain. Unlike a hat, an umbrella I not a hands-free option, so if you’re hands get cold, you’ll also want some gloves. You’ll also want to check the forecast before you head out as wind is the nemesis of the umbrella. Paired together means two hand navigation, blocked views for head-on wind, inside-out umbrellas, or getting partway to your destination and forced to walk through the wet without any coverage. Don’t forget, you’ll have to look at size when closed as well as open as you’ll be carrying the umbrella with you wherever you go on days you bring it with you.

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Option 3: Hooded coats, jackets and sweatshirts

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Some kind of hood is the simplest type of weather protection. There is no added burden with a hood since you’ll either never take it off or, if you do end up carrying it, it’d be no more of an issue than carrying any coat you’d have any way and, like wearing a hat, it keeps your head dry and warm.

A hood however, gives you the least protection form the rain. Your face tend to have no coverage, the wind can still knock it back (though this stands up best to the wind!) and, while you are dry under the coat, depending on the rainfall and the time you are out in it, you’re still going to end up more wet than dry. For me, a hood is more a precaution if it may rain and I don’t have room to carry my hat or umbrella or if I’m taking a really quick trip outside for something like taking out the trash.

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So there you have it, a few fashion forward ideas for a girl on the go in the wet, winter seasons. And don’t forget you can pair these option up as well for some extra protection!  Let me know what you wear out in these harsher months and the pros and cons you’ve found with them.

–Taylor Gallagher

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