Singin' and shoppin' in the rain
Chooka womens top solid boot in berry, $65. (CHOOKA / March 27, 2013)
The fanny pack is a great example. Listen, we all see the appeal of tooling around town hands-free without a hundred-pound tote weighing us down. Carrie Bradshaw even rocked a metallic fanny pack on her season three trip to L.A. So the moral of the story there is, if you're going to wear one, it better be Gucci and you'd better be strutting your stuff in it.
There's also the popped collar. I don't universally advocate the popped collar, but there is that rare person who can pull it off, and it's mostly about the confidence to say, "Yeah, that's right, my collar is popped. What about it?" The same philosophy applies to Speedos, pink hair, suspenders, mismatched patterns and pretty much anything that's normally considered a fashion faux pas. (Except in the case of see-through items, too-tight items or overalls. I can't get behind any of that.)
Functional pieces fall into this category as well. For example, a long, puffy coat isn't the sexiest, but sometimes in the winter you really need it to survive. I often think about this when shopping for rain boots. Lots of rain boots like to pretend to be real boots. I have a pair of gray quilted Sperry rain boots that strike a nice balance, but at the end of the day, they still just look like cute rain boots.
So my new philosophy is to embrace wonderfully tacky, regular old rubber galoshes. You know what they say about April showers, so here are some tips for choosing a pair of boots with maximum puddle-jumping performance.
First and foremost, rain boots should keep your feet dry. That's why you're wearing them, after all. That usually means you want to go for a tall pair that come at least to your mid-calf. In addition, make sure that whatever material they're made of actually looks waterproof. You won't have to worry about this with a pricier pair, but if you're going economical and looking at rain boots posing as real boots, you risk choosing flimsy ones that don't do the job.
On that note, regular old rubber rain boots don't need to be expensive. That's one of the reasons I like to embrace the classic galoshes look. Some people embrace the cache of Hunter boots, and those people probably are never disappointed in the function of their boots, but if you're not looking to spend that much, $50 to $75 will buy you a great pair of rubber rain boots. The Chookas pictured run at $65.
If you're going rubber, don't go with a black boot. They'll just look sad and depressing. Even navy is a better choice, but I advocate a bright, trendy color, like the berry on the Chookas. Emerald happens to be an excellent color for rain boots, and I also like yellow. I consider it a classic hue for rain gear because it reminds me of rain coats and rubber duckies. If you actually own a rain coat, make sure your rain boots coordinate, but don't match exactly.
Always try on a pair of rain boots -- and if you order them, don't keep them just because you're not in the mood to ship them back. The ideal fit for rain boots is a little wide in the calves and at the top, which is not always feasible for those of us who weren't blessed with bird legs. But, it makes them a lot more flattering, and you don't usually have the nuances you'd get with regular boots. Maybe you get a pair of riding boots that fit perfectly but you hate the buckles. That's less likely to happen with rain boots, so you have more options for the right fit.
(E-mail Kristyn Schiavone at Kristyn@simplestyleguide.com, follow her on Twitter at @KKSchiavone or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 1400, Chicago, IL 60611.)