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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

How to Stay Chic During an El Niño Winter

Kristen Berry

I’m originally from Michigan, so when folks in my adopted home state of California complain about “winter,” I usually roll my eyes a bit. However, based on stories my native Cali friends have told me, an El Niño winter is an entirely different animal. An animal in the form of near constant, flood-producing, monsoon-style rainstorms.

Which, while it’s not exactly a bad thing given the drought currently plaguing the west coast, it can provide a bit of a clothing challenge. While it’s only just begun, I can already see how easy it might be to slip into a pattern of unflattering but practical layers until the sun returns.

Instead, I’m going to put together a capsule collection of sorts to combat this weather system. Here are the pieces that will get me (and you!) through it. And even if your winter precipitation comes in another form, these items will keep you chic through that, too.

A Ready-For-Anything Coat

Definitely make sure you have at least one coat with a hood, because when the rain is coming at you at all directions, or you’re walking out of the grocery store with a dozen bags, you won’t want to have to fuss with your umbrella. Even a big shawl collar will at least protect your neck from the driving wind. Going for colors besides black will also provide a bit of cheer on the gloomiest of days.

ASOS Ultimate Parka, $95 at ASOS.com.

ASOS Ultimate Parka, $95 at ASOS.com.

Cole Haan Signature Belted Asymmetrical Wool Blend Coat, $170 at Nordstrom.com.

Cole Haan Signature Belted Asymmetrical Wool Blend Coat, $170 at Nordstrom.com.

H&M Hooded Wool-blend Coat, $99 at HM.com.

H&M Hooded Wool-blend Coat, $99 at HM.com.

A Pair or Two of Badass Boots

My knee-jerk response is to buy a new pair of wellies, but there are so many situations in which rubber boots just aren’t appropriate. A few sets of taller-than-ankle boots will keep you dry and stylish, so long as you aren’t actually dancing in the rain.

ZARA Heeled Rain Boots, $60 at ZARA.com.

ZARA Heeled Rain Boots, $60 at ZARA.com.

Vince Camuto Gravell Belted Boot, $110 at Nordstrom.com.

Vince Camuto Gravell Belted Boot, $110 at Nordstrom.com.

Vince Camuto Baldwin Over the Knee Boots, $129 at Macys.com.

Vince Camuto Baldwin Over the Knee Boots, $129 at Macys.com.

A Handful of Tights

You know about my lasting love for skirts and dresses. And it’s a love that even a soaking rain can’t squelch. All you need is a good pair of tights, and your fave frock is good to go.

Look From London Like a Diamond Tights, $30 at NastyGal.com.

Look From London Like a Diamond Tights, $30 at NastyGal.com.

Nordstrom “Everyday” Opaque Tights, $15 (2 for $24) at Nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom “Everyday” Opaque Tights, $15 (2 for $24) at Nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom Textured Open Knit Tights, $28 at Nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom Textured Open Knit Tights, $28 at Nordstrom.com.

Haute Hats

Whether it’s to keep you warm, keep you dry, or simply camouflage a bad hair day, a cute hat or three will be your best friend during a rainy (or snowy, or sleet-y) winter.

Catarzi Pom Riding Cap, $60 at ASOS.com.

Catarzi Pom Riding Cap, $60 at ASOS.com.

Topshop Knitted Turban in Red, $22 at Topshop.com.

Topshop Knitted Turban in Red, $22 at Topshop.com.

Corduroy Baseball Hat in Navy, $24 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Corduroy Baseball Hat in Navy, $24 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Umbrellas

Because, obviously.

Stripe Bubble Umbrella, $24 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Stripe Bubble Umbrella, $24 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Shedrain Geo Blossom Umbrella, $34 at Anthropologie.com.

Shedrain Geo Blossom Umbrella, $34 at Anthropologie.com.

Mango Studded Umbrella, $15 at Mango.com.

Mango Studded Umbrella, $15 at Mango.com.

Stay dry out there!

- Kristen