Forgive me for boasting but I do know a bit about about dressing for the worst of weathers. For one, I’m a bad-weather-phobe and two, well I’m a Brit duh, we’ve seen a fair few downpours and oh how we love debating them. So here I present my failsafe arsenal of wet-n-wild weatherwear.
The Burberry Trench
Sorry to be a Burberry bore but the beauty of the Burberry trench is that it’s functional to the core yet has as much style as a couture coat. I favour the ultra classic knee-length gabardine version in black for my Disneyrollergirl-goes-to-Mallory-Towers look. This shower-proof trench is truly versatile as it’s hardy enough in a torrential downpour yet not too bulky on a spring – or even summer – day. Best of all this is a wonderful day-to-evening coat. I love the idea of it draped cape-style over the shoulders atop a billowing scarlet ballgown (Stella Tennant at Chatsworth much?) or tightly belted with the collar flipped and sleeves pushed up over a mid-calf prom dress – with vintage Vivier slingbacks of course.
SHOP: Burberry trench coat, £595, Net-a-Porter.com
The Knirps umbrella
OK, I have had a lifetime of £10 Totes brollies which I admit are pretty good; they’re affordable, lightweight and they fold to nothing. But they do eventually go the way of all cheap umbrellas – bent, broken and simply worn out. My last one got to the stage where it developed two leaky holes so in the bin it went. Knirps is a German company and its umbrellas are suitably no-nonense. They’re also indestructable. Mine comes encased in a standard nylon sleeve and a darling little zip-up pochette.
SHOP: Knirps minimatic straight-hangle umbrella, £49.95, James Smith & Co
The Woolrich coat
Sometimes when you get the kind of winters that we’ve had, a fashiony coat just doesn’t cut it. Once you’ve added your six sets of thermals, two jumpers, bodywarmer, snood and ten-ply cashmere scarf, the average COS cocoon coat has lost much of its charm (and pretty much all of its shape). When I tried on a Woolrich coat in The Shop At Bluebird last weekend, I instantly knew it was The One. Originally designed for freezing conditions in Alaska these jackets are water-repellent with down and feather padding to keep the heat securely locked in, even at minus temperatures. The pockets are flannel-lined to keep hands warm and the supreme practicality extends to special capacious inside pockets so you can almost live without a bag. The furry hood is the icing on the cake. Woolrich coats come in many varieties so you can choose whether or not to have fur framing your face but they’re so soft, warm and fuzzy it’s literally like walking around in bed with your head still cosseted in your pillow. I have been attached to my Woolrich to the point that I actually look forward to shitty weather. Can you tell me and mine are still at the honeymoon stage?
SHOP: Woolrich jacket, £615, Mytheresa.com