Mood-lifting pops of color brighten up rainwear

L. L. Bean Signature union wharf jacket ($79) at www.llbean.com
L. L. Bean Signature union wharf jacket ($79) at www.llbean.com
Photo by L.L. BEAN
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, March 13, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Make a rainy day a little brighter.

“Rainwear should always be fun, and, preferably, colorful, to act as a great counterbalance to the mood you might be in on a dreary, rainy day,” says Michiel Roesdi, outerwear design director for Lands' End. “Emerging of rich colors such as teals inspired by the ocean and vibrant fuchsia are on trend.”

Prints are popular, and the use of contrast trims such as colorful zippers, draw cords and hardware is trending, too, he says.

Every woman needs a basic, packable rain jacket for protection against light rain, Roesdi says. Having a water-resistant finish makes raindrops bead up and roll off. She should have a second, more stylish raincoat with sealed seams that's definitely waterproof for heavier downpours.

Don't choose rainwear only for its hue, experts say. Make sure it's functional — which means buying one that does the job to keep you dry, says Dan Simon, L.L. Bean outerwear merchant manager. After you have done that, you can decide on a bright color, such as vibrant yellow.

“That color is great for your visibility and is like a ray of sunshine on even the dreariest day,” Simon says. “Rainwear in brights such as yellows, blues and reds are big for 2014. There are also many choices that offer slim, flattering feminine fit.”

Rainy days can really bring down one's mood, says Nicole Chapoteau, accessories director for Allure magazine.

“Wearing a colorful piece of rain gear makes you feel like a kid again … hopping in puddles without a care in the world,” she says.

New this spring is the non-Wellie-Wellie — it's footwear done in traditional Wellie materials designed to look like classic shoes and boots, so they are functional without sacrificing style, Chapoteau says.

Bright, colorful raincoats and rain boots are a great way to add a pop of color when you're dressed for dreary weather, says Jackie Nasser, ruelala.com's fashion director. “Take a risk and break away from the black and neutral colors. It's definitely a way to brighten your spirit on a rainy day.

“Spring is all about the return of the trench coat — classic, yet always on trend,” she says. “Pastels are also huge this season for women, so consider a pastel-colored trench to hit the mark on two trends this spring. Unique rain boots are in style, too. I have even seen some with heels.”

If you can buy only one piece this spring, choose a trench coat, because it's classic, Nasser says. Feel free to splurge on a beautifully made piece, because you will wear it forever. If you want to try one in a more daring color, there are tons of wallet-friendly options to explore and test out the trend, she says.

Chapoteau agrees the trench coat is a must-have.

“Instead of opting for the obvious red or yellow rain boots, which can sometimes look childish, go for a colorful trench coat,” Chapoteau says. “Bright red or a leopard print will add a touch of fun on a gloomy day in a more sophisticated way.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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