Dazzle in the drizzle

Dazzle in the drizzle

MONSOON FASHION

The rains needn’t hamper your style sense, says Reethika Azariah Kuruvilla, as she gives you tips on looking your best even when it’s pouring

It’s that time of the year when everything outside seems this wonderful mix of green and grey with, provided you’re safe and warm indoors, the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops on the windowpane.  However, as comforting as it seems to stay indoors, preferably in sweatpants and socks, it’s more fun making the weather work for you instead, water-clogged sidewalks notwithstanding.

There used to be a time, decades ago, when the ultimate in rainy-day fashion was a choice between yellow ‘Duckback’ raincoats and blue ones with a pair of good sturdy black wellington boots, but no more!  Dressing up for the monsoons has so much more than what the local footwear store has on offer.

* It’s simple — if you want to feel like Paul Newman on a bicycle, cheerfully singing “raindrops keep falling on my head” — get yourself one of those awesome-looking coloured umbrellas, whether transparent or in bright pink, a dash of colour can certainly brighten a gloomy day.  Raincoats come in all shapes and colours these days, so there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t splurge on a colourful fancy one even if it does nothing more than get you safely from your front door to the office.  Don’t get those fancy suede pumps wet in the rain — carry them in your bag and put on a pair of much more durable plastic or rubber ballet flats (that come in some amazingly fun and vivid colours) and are easily available at the local shoe store.

* If it’s one of those days when you feel “just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed, and nothing seems to fit”, fret no more.  A little rain does not necessarily mean you have to dress to mourn by sticking to grey or black!  Bright colours work perfectly well, albeit in the right material. Think sensible, durable, waterproof (or at the very least breathable) material that doesn’t leave you soaking or sweltering (considering our lovely humid Indian monsoons)! Tiny shorts and vibrant camisoles or ganjis look great with fancy flipflops and can always be worked with a light jacket if it does get a bit nippy. 

Skirts and dresses are great options for rainy days especially since your legs aren’t stuck to soaking jeans that never come off, as can tend to happen when the city’s drainage system decides not to cooperate.  Ditch the suede, silk and untreated leather that tend to ruin and opt for more sensible weather-proof options.  Leggings and polyester pants might work better than thick jeans in the monsoons for the simple reason that they dry off faster.  If you must wear those skinny jeans, try them with thigh-high boots in treated leather or colourful Doc Martens.

* If there’s one thing that’s certain in this weather, it’s that you can “never stop the rain by complaining”! Feeling blue and gloomy is not going to drive those storm clouds away, no matter how much you mope around the house!  Brighten up and spread your own sunshine!  Put a smile on your face and accessorise to add some colour to a dark day!  From umbrellas and raincoats to hats or berets and handbags, the more the merrier, as it were.  Funky looking scarves and stoles are a great way to brighten up your outfit and fit just as easily in your bag in case your shirt does happen to get wet in the rain.  Bright bangles and fancy earrings can do much to cheer-up an otherwise drab outfit.  Custom-fit accessories for your smartphone, tablet or laptop in neon colours made from treated leather, plastic or carbon fibre don’t just look great but add that much-needed protection to your gadgets keeping them safe through dreary days. 

*Ultimately though, it’s always more fun on a rainy day when you know that there’s “nothing worrying me”. For instance, enjoy the weather and don’t sweat the small stuff — about whether your hair looks like the Chinese bird’s nest stadium or your mascara seems to be doing a trip down your face leaving you like an Adam’s family cousin!  Keep your hair tied up if it’s long to prevent it looking frizzy and scraggly and use a good hairspray or anti-frizz serum so it doesn’t get limp in the rain.  Use waterproof makeup, most importantly on your eyes so you don’t look like a racoon caught in headlights.  Keep a light hooded jacket in your bag if you’d rather not carry a raincoat or umbrella, spare makeup and a hairbrush, and stole just in case.

* Keeping those musical notes in the air in bad weather is a whole load easier than you think.  Put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, there’s absolutely nothing that could possibly get you down in bad weather, your sense of fashion least of all.  There’s nothing that can beat those rainy day blues and keep you dazzling in the drizzle more than a head full of optimism and a face with a big smile.  So go ahead, give Gene Kelly a complex and start “singing in the rain” this monsoon!

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