Lightweight rainy day fashion solutions

Stay dry and fashionable, despite any downpour.

By Denise Roco

JULY 2013

The wet season is kicking in, so battling the elements while making a fashion statement is quite tricky. But there's a way to make it work without sacrificing style over substance. It may be time to break from the routine of unearthing bulky sweaters, jackets and pants that we've had since forever to cover up from the rain. And with fashion's quick pace, staying dry no longer equates to wearing heavy uncomfortable clothing.

Bright colors vs. dim weather

With the advancement of technology, rainy day fashion now includes several waterproof fabrics—natural or synthetic—to select from. These have been treated through lamination or have been coated with waterproofing material. Stylist Nasia Cammayo suggests, "The best lightweight rainy day fashion can be a variety of looks consisting of a knit sweater, hoodie jacket over a shirt, long-sleeved shirt. You can still wear denim or cotton twill pants as long as they aren't too long or are tucked in your boots. Hi-cut sneakers and shoes that come in rain-proof material can also be added to your look. The key is to still be comfortable despite the rainy weather."

On the other hand, fashion designer Roxy Roco opts for leggings, which could be lighter than pants, and reminds us that, "Color is great! Dressing up should still be fun, even on a gloomy day." Veer away from dull earth tones and go for bright colors and loud prints if you're more daring. These mark a true fashionista and can set one apart from the crowd. Ideally, you wouldn't want to blend in with the mood with plain dark hues.

Some of's Rainy Day Fashion Essentials are the parka and the ever-trendy trench coat. Yes, they've been given an upgrade in design. There are new lightweight options in many brands out there. And there's also the classic sport jacket, which could easily be stuffed in your purse and pulled out when the need arises.

Repelling the rain, in style

"You are not limited to jackets and windbreakers anymore. There are shirts, pants and even bags that are dry-fit or water repellent," Cammayo gladly shares, adding, "Sports brands usually offer this but other retail brands have also introduced this to their lines. There are of course the hooded jackets, and shirts with a detachable or hidden hood." Speaking of which, Roco excitedly shares her latest online discovery: "Great looking reversible jackets are not the easiest to find so if you want to be your own designer, makes really cute hoodies. You can create reversible designs so you get a two-in-one outfit."

If you're absolutely positive about the chance of rain, it's advisable to get those easy-to-fold-and-store translucent raincoats and eye-catching umbrellas that can jazz up any outfit. Umbrellas have come a long way from the simple monochrome choices from yesteryears. They now come in different shades, prints and styles. The funky transparent neon plastic ones are very attractive, but nothing beats the practicality of a foldable umbrella in your bag. Hats such as fedoras are cool accessories that provide more protection versus the beret, which has no brim. Then, there's also the magic of scarves in various rainbow colors that you can have in your bag any day.

Not all that glitters

When it comes to most fashion accessories, it seems that it's better to keep them safe than be sorry you wore them. "With jewelry, the tendency is that they'll rust or darken. An option would be to wear plastic or stainless steel accessories. For bags, it's better to use bags with rainproof material instead of risking your leather ones. Designer brands offer casual bags in rainproof materials such as neoprene, polyester, etc., and these come in great designs, too!" Cammayo exclaims. Roco offers another solution if you really don't mind risking your accessories. "You can buy thermal bags with plastic coating inside. They seem to be in nowadays as well. Your accessories will surely be protected inside just in case it rains. But honestly, the last time the rain caught me by surprise, and I was in London, unprepared, and using my LV. I desperately borrowed an umbrella from a stranger at a random coffee shop. The bag stayed dry!"

Your feet need protection from the elements, but so do your shoes. "The best way to protect your shoes is to brush, wipe and clean them after use with the appropriate shoe cleaner. Not all shoe cleaners are for all types of shoes, so read the label first and double check the materials of your shoes," Cammayo instructs. Her top pick shoes for foul weather are rain boots. The website gives rain boots a big nod as well, stating, "On days when the deluge seems hopeless, pull on a trusty pair of galoshes and cease worrying about errant puddles. The style range is huge, extending from all-black versions to dotted, spotted, brightly colored pairs." You have permission to finally break in those boots, for as long as they're rain boots.

How about the perfect clothes for working out on a rainy day? Denise gives more tips in the July issue of HealthToday, out now in newsstands and bookstores.

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