Ask CF: What Do I Wear in Cold, Rainy Weather?

Rain, rain go away, I'm trying to look cute today!
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girl with umbrella

Photo: ELLE

Welcome to the latest edition of Ask CF! Every two weeks, we select a reader fashion question and answer it here on the site. Do you have a specific fashion question for us? Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to send it our way!

Ask CF Question

I am a recent high school graduate from dry California, and in the fall I'll be moving up to rainy Oregon for school. I'm having trouble coming up with ways to look cute, but also be practical for the upcoming rain.

What do I wear when it's pouring? Where can I find a good rain jacket? What advice do you have for moving to a new climate? Thanks for any help you can give!


Drought to Downpour

Our Response

Dear Drought to Downpour,

This question is awesome because there are so many students who make a big change and move far away from their hometowns for college. I live in Michigan, and there are many students who have to completely change their wardrobe to adjust to our freezing winters.

Since you're moving to a rainy climate, my advice is to invest in three things: rain boots, a raincoat, and a good, sturdy umbrella. When it's pouring, these three items will keep you dry while you're trekking across campus.

Also, going from a warm and dry climate to a chilly one means one thing: layers are your friend. You don't have to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe, but purchase a few key pieces– like sweaters, thermals, and versatile jackets– that can be mixed and matched with your existing clothes.

Below are four outfit ideas you can wear on cold and rainy days. Each look includes rain boots, so they are completely waterproof. (And for our readers who don't live in rainy climates, just swap 'em out with your favorite shoes.) Enjoy!



Outfit #1

rainy day outfit 1

Raincoat, Jeans, Shirt, Rain Boots, Umbrella

This casual outfit is perfect for a walk across campus on a rainy day. Jeans are going to be your BFF in cold weather, so pair your go-to skinnies with a sassy, long-sleeve graphic tee for a cute, classroom ready look.

As mentioned above, rain boots are a must-have for rainy climates, and for this outfit I chose an olive green pair that look just like combat boots. When it comes to raincoats, making a slight splurge (around $80-$100) is worth it, because you'll be buying one that's well-made and will last you for years to come. In fact, this classic tan raincoat will never go out of style.

Don't forget your umbrella! This Hunter umbrella is a little pricier, but again, a sturdy one is splurge-worthy. After all, you don't want an umbrella that breaks or flips inside out after a strong gust of wind.

Outfit #2

rainy day outfit 2

Rain Coat, Sweater, Leggings, Boots, Necklace, Earrings

Burgundy is my favorite fall color, and it is popping up in stores everywhere right now. Pairing this adorable oversized sweater with leggings makes getting ready easy and the stroll to Math 110 much more doable. Make sure to choose thicker leggings when you're walking to class. If you wear a thinner pair, you may get the chilly.

To make this outfit rainy day-ready, add your raincoat and boots. Here, I chose a London Fog raincoat. Again, it's a pricey, but London Fog makes some of the best raincoats out there, so it's a great investment. And how adorable are these rain boots? They're completely waterproof, but look just like a pair of chic leather riding boots.

For the finishing touch, accessorize with statement jewelry that stand out against the darker colors found throughout the look.

Outfit #3

stylish rainy day look

Jacket, Flannel, Jeans, Rain Boots, Beanie

This outfit is geared more towards those days where it isn't really rainy, but it's still chilly and slightly drizzly outside. These red ankle rain boots will keep your feet dry and give the outfit a pop of color. Wear them with distressed jeans and a warm, fuzzy (and funny) flannel shirt to keep your teeth from chattering during lectures.

Be careful with the distressed denim though– if you wear a pair that is too distressed, your legs may get cold (or even wet) from the cold wind and rain. Since it's only drizzling out, layer on faux leather jacket to keep out the chill and a black beanie to cover up any frizz.

Outfit #4

cold rainy day outfit

Jacket, Pants, Tank, Rain Boots, Backpack

The last look is also for a day that may not be rainy, but it's still wet and muggy outside. A medium-wash denim jacket is perfect for a day like this, because you can easily take it off if you get too warm, or layer a cardigan underneath if it's extra chilly outside.

By pairing the jacket with black high-waisted pants and a tucked-in green tank, you'll look effortlessly chic for class. The shoes and backpack are my favorites because they are both waterproof, plus the colors are perfect for fall.

And, I will repeat myself. Don't forget your umbrella. Seriously! Walking out of class and realizing you don't have one when it's pouring is probably one of the worst feelings I've had as a college student.

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What do you think?

Do you attend school in a rainy climate? What are your tips for adjusting to a new climate? What are your rainy day must-haves? Let us know in the comments!

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