Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 Spots To Score Stylish Rain Gear

I have never been so happy to see rain. Seriously. April showers bring those May flowers but more importantly, they send the ice and snow right down the sewers where it belongs. Still, the dreary-ness can get to a girl so I've been scoping out chic rain gear to make it through. 

Here my top 5 spots to score stylish rain gear:

Raindrops is a puddle jumper's paradise offering a wide selection of high quality and designer umbrellas, rain boots, and water resistant outerwear for the whole family. Though they do offer an online store, I'd recommend visiting the boutique inside The Holt Renfew Centre, Concourse Level at 50 Bloor Street West for a better shopping experience.

Sold online and at Holts in Canada, Trout Rainwear makes a mean slicker. And by "mean" I mean fabulous. Though they do fall into the investment piece category, the collection is made from breathable fabrics that are also 100% waterproof making them perfect for spring, summer and even early fall weather. Plus, a few of their spring / summer pieces are actually reversible. Two coats, three do the math. 

 Frolic in the wet weather like Suri Cruise and Emmy Rossum  with celeb fave, dӓv. Though many styles from this California based label are only partially waterproof, all are "splash" proof and all have the look of our favourite flat boot styles from moto to fringed moccasin to equestrian inspired. Shop a limited selection at The Hudson's Bay or online, though I must warn you that I've noticed their .com site has a much better selection than the .ca version. Fingers crossed this doesn't mean I'll be out of luck when I try to purchase.

I still remember being shocked a few years ago by the selection of stylish outdoorsy gear at Sporting Life and they continue to top my list whether you're in one of several stores in the GTA or shopping online. They carry suprisingly chic pieces from The North Face plus popular brands like Hunter or Fulton and yet you can always find a fun designer like Kate Spade in the mix. They've also got a great selection of cute, water resistant active wear so you can create double layers of dry.

Picks 1 through 4 have been focused on higher quality and therefore, higher priced rain gear, but that doesn't mean cheap and cheerful isn't an option. In fact, my usual strategy is to pair high with low so that I can stretch my  budget over the rainy season to build a wardrobe that lets me mix and match without breaking the bank. You can deploy the same strategy with one of my fave wildcards:

  • Marks for fun but functional boots
  • Target for funky umbrellas 
  • The Hudson's Bay for a wide selection of well known brands that are often on sale  
  • Winners for a treasure hunt style selection designer labels for less
TIP:  If you walk to work or are active outside on the weekends don't skimp out on your rain coat or boots. There's nothing worse than being soaked when you expected to be comfortably dry. I do notice more expensive umbrellas tend to fare better in windy weather, but they're not immune to the wind gust flip out so feel free to go cheaper there and ditto for rain boots if you're not walking far distances in colder temperatures. 

Now, get ready to shop your own little sunshine for the stormy weather ahead. 

-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert. 

Image Credits: Trout Rainwear, Raindrops, Dav and Sporting Life. 

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