Rain never fails to dampen the mood (as well everything else) and with it often comes a lack of creativity and spark, which can seriously dent both the level of consistency and effort you put into how you dress.
In my last article, I put together a list of three common style mistakes which I often see occur on a day to day basis. Very closely missing from this list was failing to dress appropriately for the weather. With Britain in the midst of a drought (read: downpour), not to mention the notoriously unpredictable spring weather patterns, I felt it would be an apt time to put together a couple of tips on how to beat the rain in style.
Overcoming a style slump when the weather turns sour is difficult in itself, so today I’m going to focus more on quick fix solutions, rather than an overall mentality change.
The most obvious way to beating the rain is an umbrella. My personal recommendation would be to go for a full sized one, although compact brollies definitely have their merits.
I endorse a full size umbrella for the simple fact it can act as an accessory on it’s own, even when it’s not being used. Not to mention you have the opportunity of adopting one of this season’s key print trends through the canopy as well.
A compact umbrella on the other hand oozes practicality and can be easily tucked away in your man bag of choice when the weather makes an effort to be somewhat seasonal.
A key thing to remember when buying an umbrella is that you generally get what you pay for and they can be worth investing the extra pennies in. Buying an excessively cheap one can often mean paying twice, or even thrice. The FashionBeans, and gentleman’s, umbrella brand of choice? Look no further than London Undercover.
The timeless trench coat is a FashionBeans favourite and there has been a plethora of articles written on or about it. Ben penned a double header on how to wear it in spring/summer and in autumn/winter, while Ashley Cover has previously written an all-encompassing ultimate trench coat guide.
With these articles covering all the bases there is very little more than I can add about the trench coat except that it is a great choice for wet weather – whether you are undertaking the office commute or on a day out shopping. I’ve certainly spent the last fortnight or so in mine in an effort to keep dry.
Similar to an umbrella, a pack away trench or mac can be a fantastic practical option if the weather and the forecast are both looking ambiguously suspect. Easily tucked away in a man bag or on a back seat, they certainly shouldn’t be discredited.
The Parka has undergone somewhat of a resurgence recently, rising from nothing more than a style minnow to the fashion front line in a matter of seasons.
Like the trench coat, the parka has military derivations and is just as suited to the wet weather. However, the parka often lends itself to a more utilitarian approach – unlike the trench, which has an air of business like respectability.
These roots make the parka a great casual option when tackling the downpour, although there is nothing stopping it being used as the outer layer during the morning commute. The hood and insulation – often coming in the form of fur – traditionally associated with the parka make it especially useful for when the climate is more akin to deep winter than the midst of spring.
If neither the trench nor parka takes your fancy as your preferred outerwear choice to combat a downpour, the seek out a water-resistant alternative – waxed fabric or waterproofed nylon-blends are often given precedence. Last year’s spring/summer fisherman trend threw up some great examples of stylish waterproof wear that was perfectly acclimatised to the spring.
Lightweight duffels and fisherman style jackets proved to be the cornerstone of the aforementioned trend, but their practical usage gives them a far more lasting appeal. In fact, more utility jackets than ever are being included in lookbooks and campaigns for this season as well, proving that they should be one of the mainstays of a UK spring wardrobe.
These utility jackets are also a great place to bring in a pop of colour that might be missing elsewhere. The fact they are not considered to be staple outerwear gives you that opportunity to play around with colours that usually wouldn’t prove so pragmatic for daily wear.
It’s probably best to keep these rain jackets confined to casual wear, as wearing a bright yellow rain coat on the commute to the office could look a little ridiculous.
Shoes, as we’ve mentioned many times before, are a vital component of any outfit. When you’re faced with spring showers, your footwear choice should be as pragmatic as your outerwear.
Leather soled shoes will not do well in the rain, especially if they’re brand new, and you risk damaging the sole when the leather gets wet. Shoes with a rubber sole on the other hand will fair much better in the rain, although the aesthetic isn’t always to everyone’s ideal.
If you’re a leather sole kind of guy and don’t mind running the risk of wearing them in the rain then it is crucial you care for your shoes after they’ve been subject to the elements:
While it’s definitely best for the longevity of your leather soled shoes that you avoid wearing them in the rain, sometimes it’s unavoidable, especially at this time of year.
When it comes to more casual footwear, the rain is a great time to reprise those hiking and duck boots that were a big trend last season. White trainers or desert boots wont fair well in the wet, whilst suede and loafers would be incredibly ill-advised – having been caught in an unforecasted shower in mine, I can safely say it doesn’t end well.
Dressing inappropriately for the weather is a major style sin.
While suede monk straps and white trousers create a superb outfit, they are tailored more towards the French Riviera (in all its glory), rather than gloomy London spring showers.
Remember, bad weather doesn’t have to equate to bad style.
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