Back To School Solutions For Bad Weather Days

You know those days that you forget to look at the weather report, and you end up cowering in the doorway of your school, waiting for a break in the deluge so you don’t get your suede shoes waterlogged? Everyone has those slip ups, and, honestly, there are also times when you know that it’s going to rain but you just don’t want to believe it. We often feel like it’s way too hard to dress nicely when it’s crappy out, but we also know that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a spate of super cute, super functional raincoats, rain boots and umbrellas that can be added to any of your fave outfits and not only keep you from getting soaked, but will make you wish it rained more often. Quick story: a thousand years ago, I was an intern at Men’s Vogue. Every few days, an intern would be picked to bring “the book” (remember, in The Devil Wears Prada) to Anna Wintour’s office. I was picked once, and it was the day I had paired a plaid jumper with the plainest pair of black and green wellies you’ve ever seen. When I got up to those hallowed, rolling-rack-decked halls, most of the girls rushing back and forth were in similar boots, some even still wearing their anoraks. I. Rest. My. Case.

There will be no ponchos (well, besides cool ones) for our stylettes.
Photo: Modcloth/ASOS/Forever 21/Topshop

One of the nice things about rain gear is that you don’t have to wear it every day. It’s not like a pair of regular shoes, or a coat–where the wise thing is to get a relatively neutral version, so that you can pair it with a wide variety of outfits. We firmly believe that rain gear is an opportunity to branch out and wear colors and patterns that might not exactly be considered practical. Another consideration to take into account is that portability is key. Who hasn’t worn their raincoat to school or out for the day, only to find that come lunch, the sun is shining and they no longer need their once-necessary coat. Although many of the easily packed options are less that attractive, this Topshop Oversized Pac-a-Poncho (on sale for $24.00) fits neatly into its own little bag, making it easy to stuff into your purse once the clouds part, or even to leave in your locker in case an afternoon shower threatens your walk home. We also love the very Clarissa Explains It All quality of this Forever 21 Hooded Ripstop Raincoat ($22.80) in purple and green, and the Paddington Bear-ness of ASOS’ Plastic Rainmac with Rope Tie Detail ($85.15). Finally, since there’s nothing wrong with simple and classic, Modcloth’s Pretty Slicker Rain Coat in Blue ($129.99) is a fin, easy way to keep dry without losing your sense of humor.

Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, these boots will get you through any inclement weather.
Photo: Hunter/Sperry/Red Valentino/La Crosse/LL Bean/La Chameau

We actually love days when it’s raining hard enough to justify leaving the house in a heavy, comfy pair of wellies. There’s something so nice and cozy about them (or maybe it’s just that they were our golden ticket into the house of Wintour on that rainy day long ago…). Also they make your legs look longer. Whether you pair them with tights and a dress or skirt, leggings and a tunic, jeans, shorts or whatever else, you can work your wellies into any outfit. Also some of them can also double as snow boots, either by themselves or with the addition of liners. We love the slightly more equestrian take on the classic Hunter Boot with their brown and black Cece boot ($195.00), and the classic, high, hunter green of the Sperry Top-Sider Pelican Too ($78.00). If you want the protection of a rain boot without the style, the motorcycle-esque design of the Red Valentino Bow Trim Waterproof Rain Boot ($195.00) is just the place to look. For boots with the Middleton endorsement, look no further than the classic French styling of the La Chameau Iris 2, which we like in eye-popping vermillion red, but is also available in many more practical colors. If you live somewhere that rain isn’t your only bad weather obstacle and you’re looking for a pair of boots that can do double duty, we have two faves for you to look out for. Classic hunting outfitter La Crosse has recently expanded into the women’s market, and we can tell you first hand that their boots, which have unexpected detailing like laces and a wide variety of colors, are both totally rain proof and also super cozy thanks to their fleece liners. We’re particularly fond of the La Crosse Hixon Women’s Grey Boots ($120.00). The super cold weather go-to is really a no-brainer. The classic LL Bean Bean Boots ($179.00) are both super practical and ultra cute, and lined in sherling they’ll keep your feet warmer than you ever thought possible. Some have even said they can be too warm, but we think there’s just no such thing.

The umbrella: the most important foul weather accessory.
Photo: Gap/Forever 21/

In our opinion, finding an umbrella that you love is essential. We’re fond of whimsical prints, but also to sticking to colors that don’t totally overpower every outfit. Our favorite umbrellas are from Gap ($24.95). There might even be a member of the MTV Style staff who has been stockpiling them for years. Might be. Not naming names. We also like to get a little silly with our umbrellas on occasion, and for that purpose the Forever 21 Ruffled Polka Dot Umbrella ($6.50) adds a light touch to your outfit, and won’t break the bank. We’re also huge fans of having an umbrella stashed in every one of our bags just in case a storm strikes, and the J. Crew Pocket Umbrella ($26.50) is both compact and cute. And last but not least, we had to throw something clear in here, because whenever we think of rainy day fashion, we think of Thora Birch’s clear raincoat in the movie Now & Then. While we couldn’t find a sufficiently cute clear raincoat at the moment, we did find this amazing clear umbrella, the Urban Outfitters’ Bubble Umbrella ($14.00).

What are your go-to rainy day essentials?

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