What Do I Wear There? Outfits for Cold, Rainy Days

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What to wear on a cold, rainy day

Product Information: Marigold Raincoat: ModCloth, Pleated Houndstooth Coat: FredFlare, Pink Trench: Oasis, London Trench: ShopRuche, Cloud Umbrella: Amazon.com

I am not a fan of the cold. I also really dislike getting my beloved clothes and poof-prone hair wet. Therefore, the combination of cold + rain = a pretty unhappy me!

Unfortunately, cold, rainy weather happens, and as college students forced to follow rain or shine schedules, we have to endure it. This is especially tough if you live in an area like Jeanie, who posted a couple weeks ago about her cold/rainy weather worries:

I was wondering if you could post a section on rainy days. I live in Shanghai, so it rains a lot during the spring, winter and fall (practically every day!), and occasionally during the summer. I know that Zephyr already did a post on something like that, but it was for much warmer weather. I have a pair of rain boots, but I’m not too sure if they would be good for the winter as well. I was wondering if you could give some ideas on how to dress during the fall and winter for rainy days.

Since even my roommate asked me about what to wear on these dreary days recently, I figured this may be a question on many of your minds.

And while, as Jeanie pointed out, Zephyr did already write an article about rainy day fashion (which I definitely recommend checking out, she has some amazing tips!), I figured it may help some of you to revisit the topic in the context of fall/winter weather.

So here are my takes on the best base outfits for a cold and wet day.

As always, I have not added specific coats to each outfit, but I have put a few samples up top! They're all trench coat shapes (I think these cover the most of your outfit and are therefore best for the rain) but range in fabrics from the waterproof, more light-weight yellow coat to the heavier wool houndstooth print jacket.

After the outfits, I've also included some "rainy day weapons," or products that are essential to keep you look great in this weather!

Outfits for Cold, Rainy Days

Look One: Day-Time Showers

Cold, rainy day outfit

Product Information: White Tank Top: Wet Seal, Military Style Cardigan, Faded Grey Jeans: AE, Black Knit Beanie: TopShop, Red Rain Boots: Piperlime, Geometric Umbrella: Debenhams

Just because the weather is less than lovely doesn't mean your look has to be!

Instead of going for the typical, structured military jacket, in this look, I chose a cardigan that has all of the great details of a military coat but none of the uncomfortable stiffness. Since the cardigan is black, it won't change color or become see-through if it gets a little wet.

Underneath, I kept it basic with a plain white tank, which could be swapped with a tee-shirt, long sleeve shirt, or even a different color tank depending on the weather and your personal style.

For jeans, I chose a relaxed-fitting, gray pair that not only keeps the focus on the military cardigan but also allow you to add in fun colored boots (if the jeans were blue, this look would be more Fourth of July-festive rather than day-to-day wearable).

For footwear, I suggest rain boots because they are the most functional option for this weather; however I do understand some people dislike them. If you aren't a fan of rain boots, Doc Martens are a great alternative - I have found that my lace-up Doc Marten style boots fair pretty well in the rain--and are really stylish for this season!

Because I know my hair becomes a disaster in rain (especially if there is wind involved!), I suggest throwing on a slouchy hat before you go out (I even bobby-pin mine down to ensure it stays on no matter what). This one is cute enough that you could even leave it on once you reach your indoor destination.

This past Sunday, I wrote a column on my favorite kind of umbrella, which I definitely recommend checking out for these types of days. However, for those of you that were not fans of that umbrella or could not find it to purchase, I tried to find some new cute ones that I liked as well. I love the simple geometric pattern on the one above and how well it ties all the colors in the outfit together!

Look Two: It Was a Dark (Cold!) Stormy Night...

Rainy day clothing

Product Information: Tunic: Forever 21, Black Glitter Leggings: Miss Selfridge, Textured Knit Cardigan: Topshop, Women's Circle Scarf: AE, Boots: Piperlime, Metallic Umbrella: Target

The only thing worse than trekking to daytime classes/work/internships in the rain is attempting to go out at night in the rain!

After all, going out is the number one time us college girls want to look cute and nothing kills that perfect combination of blow-dried hair and impeccable makeup faster than some freezing rain!

Still, I think it is totally possible to make the rain work to your advantage. Here's what I suggest: go for full out glamour goddess style with a shimmery look that will even shine brighter in the rain!

I am obsessed with the wonderful detailing on this tunic, which looks even better in person (my friend owns it and receives countless compliments every time she wears it). It also has a super flattering fit with that cinched waste and boatneck detail. I also love the metallic flecks in these black leggings, which really highlight the gold accents in the top.

To combat the cold, I love CF reader Alexandra's suggestion of wearing tights under leggings to keep your legs cozy!

I also added a knit cardigan and circle scarf on to ensure extra warmth. The scarf is especially great for nights like this when you want to protect your hair but not wear a hat, as you can easily maneuver the shape of it to cover your head.

For shoes, I chose a black faux-leather pair with a sturdy heel--I have a similar pair that have yet to let me down in the rain. However, I don't recommend wearing them in super slippery weather--when it's tough to walk outside, always go for flat shoes with a ribbed bottom or risk falling. (I know this from experience!)

Last and certainly not least, I picked an umbrella that would keep you looking golden and glowing. Since this look is all about the contrast of dark and light, I suggest going for golden makeup and big waves or curls (the humidity from the rain should only help this). You'll end up with a look that is undeniably gorgeous and will bring some much-needed dazzle to a dark and dreary night!

Rainy Day Weapons: Beauty and Hair Products for Rainy Days

Now that you've seen my cold, rainy day outfit picks, here's my list of Rainy Day Weapons. These products will help you fight the seemingly inevitable rainy day frizz and smeared makeup!


Product Information: Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Flashy Waterproof Eyeliner Set, Mini Wireless Straightening Iron, Waterproof Shadow/Liner Duo: Sephora, Waterproof Lash Blast Mascara: Target, Hold & Flex Anti-Frizz Spray: Garnier Fructis

  • Makeup: If it's raining during the day, I suggest going for as little makeup as possible--trust me, you'll look better with none on than with black smudges dripping all down your face! Of course, I do understand that we all like to put on a little something to look our best, especially when going out at night. Therefore, I suggest investing in waterproof makeup. Most mascaras also come in waterproof forms, so check to see if yours does, too. (If not, I recommend Lash Blast mascara!) Also, go for waterproof liner, either in fun colors like the Sephora set above (great for going out) or in a smoky brown (this Smashbox duo works as waterproof eyeshadow as well).
  • Makeup Remover: While many beauty products may claim to be waterproof, they might not hold up as well as they claim. If you are unsure of the waterproof strength of a product, carry makeup removing pads in your bag to quickly swipe away any rain-induced makeup mishaps.
  • Hair: Definitely, definitely go for some sort of anti-frizz spray or serum on a rainy day! Garnier Fructis has a new line of styling products specifically aimed at battling frizz that I have heard amazing things about. Also, if you are going somewhere and really want to ensure that your look is perfect, there are wireless, miniature flat irons that you can purchase. Charge one up and throw it in your bag so you can tame any frizzies or flyaways in the bathroom once you get out of the rain!

What Do You Think?

Would these looks work for the weather where you live? Do you have any favorite pieces, accessories, or beauty items for dealing with the cold, wind, and rain? What is your go-to bad weather look? Share in the comments!

And if you have any "What Do I Wear There" questions, let me know! Yours may be featured in next week's article.