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Rainy day attire that keeps you dry, looking fly

January 19, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Rainy day street fashions
In Los Angeles, a rainy day can hatch a serious fashion conundrum. On average, it rains only 15 inches a year here -- compared with 47 inches in New York -- which helps explain why so many Angelenos are stumped when it comes to dressing stylishly for soggy conditions.

The fact that we drive everywhere -- only confronting the rain in parking lots and on brief sidewalk sojourns -- only confuses matters. Even in the middle of a deluge, dressing like the Gorton’s Fisherman feels wholly inappropriate.

"We are pretty much covered 90% of the day, in and out of our cars and offices," noted Julie Weiss, an L.A.-based stylist and judge on MTV’s styling competition, "Styl’D." "We don’t [need] to wear yellow raincoats and matching yellow hats or plastic ponchos and hard-core ski gloves."

So what’s the secret to staying dry without sacrificing style? "Putting things together the same way you do for a normal day," said Weiss, then mixing in a few classic rainy day staples.

"I think in L.A., people are so afraid of the rain," said local editorial stylist Monica Schweiger. "Personally, I look at it as a chance to have a little more fun with my wardrobe."

Weiss and Schweiger consider raincoats and classic slickers to be overkill in this parched corner of the world. Instead, mix in a great peacoat or a classic trench; keep feet dry with Wellingtons or L.L. Bean "duck" boots; and a great brimmed hat will keep rain off your face. Who needs an umbrella? Well, you might for the "Godzilla" storm forecast for tomorrow!

- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Karen Westbrook of Echo Park (left) and Lulu Brud of Silver Lake pose for L.A. Times freelance photographer Colin Young-Wolff. To see what other Angelenos model in stormy weather, check out Young-Wolff's photos of rainy day wardrobes.