By Andra Naylor
I had originally planned on writing about how to stay warm during winter without dressing like a snowman. But upon arrival in NYC, where it was raining for its seventh consecutive day, I realized it was more important to write about that in between time – fall. Let’s face it: before winter descends upon Chicago for good, we have a period of not-too-cold, but ultimately dreary and often rainy weather. And we need to be prepared for it.
I venture out of the Bryant Park Hotel and look longingly across the street at the park where one month earlier it was filled with the white tents of Fashion Week. Then – SPLASH – I’m sprayed with water from a speeding cab and there’s nothing my oversized hotel umbrella can do about it. But I’m in New York and a little water isn’t going to stop me. I head down 5th Avenue and two blocks later I’m completely drenched. And confused. I have an umbrella. An unusually large one. I duck into a deli and observe the Manhattanites on their lunch break. Why am I the only drowned rat?
All the women are sporting galoshes in an array of colors and patterns with their pants tucked dryly inside. Others are wearing one of the many styles of tall boots popular this season and are keeping their feet toasty and warm. (Unlike the puddles that have formed in my pointy-toe pumps.)
The great thing about galoshes is that they’re made of plastic. This means you can buy designer duds at reasonable prices. Bluefly.com offers Polo Ralph Lauren rubber rain boots in every color (I like lime) for $36.99. Pucci rubber rain boots are only $145 at Nordstrom.com and the tall version is $160 at neimanmarcus.com.
Back on the street I realize that I’m catching a cold and that I’m wearing a short, motorcycle-inspired leather jacket while every other woman waiting on the corner is wearing a long coat.
No, the women of New York City aren’t sporting yellow rain slickers (leave that to the tourists) or their winter wools, but they all don versions of a between season coat that keeps them high and dry. Some chose the classic trench while others opted for more stylized looks, but they all look dryer than me. If your wallet can’t afford the trench of all trench â€” the double-breasted Burberry – $1165 at burberry.com, opt for the double-breasted cotton trench at gap.com, on sale for $44.99 (at the time of publication). The key is to go long, but in a lightweight material. For an edgier look, Ya Ya’s vintage ivory linen coat with leather trim ($656) at shopbop.com is sure to keep you dry and chic. I’m eyeing a sweatshirt-inspired jersey fleece â€œscarf dressâ€? by Grey Ant at activeendeavors.com. It falls below the hip, has a built-in scarf and looks as cozy as can be for only $188.00.
I arrive at Bergdorf Goodman and push through the revolving door as a must-be-from-here woman exits.
She’s wearing a stylish pageboy newscap pulled low over her ears that gives her city style even in the torrential rain. Check out eugeniakim.com for a wide selection of beautifully made caps. My favorites are the Molly2 for $125 (olive and pink stripe cotton snail cloche cap) and the Gary1 for $295 (brown tweed braid cap). Juicy Couture’s fall line of fedoras will also do the trick â€” you can find their boucle fedora with satin bow and charm at Nordstrom.com for $85.00.
After much window shopping and little buying, I head back to the hotel. After a warm bath, I decide there is nothing else to do than to learn from the women of Manhattan and pass their style knowledge on to you. And the best part is that you can make these rain-worthy purchases from home. Where it’s warm. And dry.
1. Pucci rubber rain boots tall $160
2. Pucci rubber rain boots $145
3. Burberry Trench $1165
4. Gap Trench $44.99
5. Ya Ya linen and leather coat $656
6. Grey Ant $188
7. Eugenia Kim Molly2 $125
8. Eugenia Kim Gary1 $295
9. Juicy Couture $85