Fashion Trends

A Few of My Favorite Rainy Day Things.

By: Jen Shoop

I posted an elevator selfie on Instastories yesterday on my way back from dropping mini off at school and stopping by Eataly that I wanted to footnote (headline?) here. Though I avoid athleisure most days of the week, it was 52 degrees and raining when I woke up that and it was my turn to take mini downtown, so I leaned into a leggings look. When I glanced at myself in the mirror on my way back, I realized that I was wearing several of my absolute favorite products: all exceptionally well-designed, reasonably priced, and built to last. Interestingly, many of them are true investment pieces (even though none are very expensive) in the sense that they have been or will be used and loved for years and years and years to come. I am borderline evangelical about each of these items and had to take a moment to rave about each in turn. Note that all of these (all!) would make great holiday gifts, too. And if you need an explanation, just copy and paste my glowing reviewd below into the card you affix to it!

1 // Hunter Refined Short Waterproof Rainboot. I owned tall wellies for many years and I always disliked the way they hit at the top of my knee-cap. I am short and they looked so strange on my leg, almost like a halfway-over-the-knee style that made no sense and was frankly uncomfortable. I bought Hunter’s refined short pair a year or so ago and I am in love. I wear rain boots frequently nowadays — if there’s even a chance of rain in the forecast, I wear them while taking mini down to school, as there is nothing worse than slopping around New York City’s rain puddles and overflowing gutters and slick Subway stairs in shoes not built for rain. And these are awesome. The short, refined shape is more flattering and less overwhelming on my petite frame and this particular pair is made of a more flexible material than the Hunter classic, which I think makes it a lot more comfortable.

2 // Davek Mini Auto Umbrella. Mr. Magpie gifted me this mini umbrella maybe ten years ago in my Christmas stocking and — OMG. You don’t know how amazing it is to have a good umbrella until you take the leap. This one is tiny — it can fit into the pocket of most of my coats — and exceptionally sturdy. It never inverts in wind! I love that you can toss it in your bag or pocket when running out the door if there’s even a chance of a rain because it’s so small and lightweight, it doesn’t add much bulk to your bag! I’ve given this as a gift to my mother-in-law and a few friends and it is always well-received. Davek also offers a lifetime guarantee, so you can ship it to them for gratis repair in the unlikely event it breaks.

3 // State Bags Fanny Pack. I cannot believe I lived without a belt bag for so long. I use it constantly, but especially love it when trailing my children at the playground or on a family excursion, as I can keep my phone, keys, credit card, and hand sanitizer on my person and leave bulkier items in stroller/car while remaining totally hands-free. I can’t tell you how many moms have stopped me at the park asking what brand it is — it’s a smooth, luxury-looking leather but the price is right at $150. I like that it has a nice defined structure, too, rather than the shapeless pouches you see elsewhere: it feels higher-end, more defined. It’s a belt bag with perspective. A small wonderful detail: it has an inside pocket that I often use to keep my credit cards all together in one place if I haven’t had time to transfer them to my card case.

*While we’re talking State Bags, note that this feminist toile backpack that I bought for mini is currently marked down to $29! Check out the design up close — it’s hilarious! The ducks are burning bras 🙂 It’s small enough to be appropriate for a child but could also work for a lady!

4 // Colorful Koala Leggings. This was sort of a slow-burn surprise for me — I got them after reading countless rave reviews and thought, “OK, they’re fine. But they’re not, like, Lululemon Align great.” Over time, I’ve become more and more enamored of these. They will still never dethrone my beloved align leggings (the softest and most comfortable and most flattering EVER), but for $23? They are pretty damn good. Comfortable, stretchy but slimming, come in great colors, and have held up really well in the wash. I find that I reach for these over many other more expensive pairs that I own!

5 // Feetures Cushion Socks. I am obsessed with these socks. I love the way they contour to the foot (it feels like the sock is hugging my foot!) and live for the slight cushion at the footbed — so luxurious! I truly don’t think I gave much thought at all to socks (except for in the winter, when I swear by the thickest, warmest socks I can find, and those are SmartWool or Vermont Darn Tough) until this year, when Feetures sent me a couple of pairs of socks and I will never, ever, ever go back. I have already ordered five pairs on my own from Amazon! This particular pair is fantastic for boots/rainboots because they are non-bulky but warm, soft, and snug.

6 // Everlane French Terry Hoodie. The perfect layering piece. I always liked the Parisian chic look of a lightweight hoodie under a long topcoat (see above), and this is the style that can make it happen. It’s slim-fit but not tight or formfitting and made of a lightweight (non-bulky!) cotton that you can actually fit underneath a coat without feeling like your arms are restricted/Michelin-Man-Esque.

7 // Talbots Quilted Long Coat. Talbots generously sent me this chic transitional coat in black earlier this fall and I had no idea how often I would wear it. I reach for it most mornings — it’s not marketed as waterproof but it is definitely water-repellant; I love the length (hits just above knee, creates a long line!); the hood comes in handy on rainy days when my daughter co-opts my umbrella; and the pockets are nice and sizeable (can hold phone, sanitizer, random detritus that you accrue as a mother, and even these Dover sticker books, which I almost always have on me as toddler entertainment on the subway). It is also the perfect weight. I can layer a hoodie or sweater underneath if it’s cold or just throw on top of a Kule tee if it’s milder and feel totally comfortable. Somehow, I am always the perfect temperature in it? I’m in love!

8 // Not seen in picture, but on my person that morning and also well-loved:

+Eo Hand Sanitizing Spray. I love this not so much for myself (honestly, it’s kind of hard to use spray on your own hands since one is always holding the spray bottle) but for the children. Amazing way to cover their little palms without the gel sliding right off. The lavender scent is amazing!

+Calvin Klein Modern Bralettes. These make my inner-90s-teen-self’s heart sing. I love the throwback styling and they are just so incredibly comfortable. Perfect alternative to a sports bra on athleisure days.

Tell me about your favorite rainy day (or every day!) products — the workhorses that are thoughtfully-designed and built to last.

P.S. Liberty floral finds.

P.P.S. Great layering pieces for fall.

P.P.P.S. Musings on flanerie.

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13 thoughts on “A Few of My Favorite Rainy Day Things.

  1. I love these recommendations. I am in the market for an umbrella and will investigate your Davek recommendation. I do adore my Align leggings and am skeptical of anything that is touted as similar, but I trust you! My rainy (or snowy) day go-to is anything in my Dudley Stephens fleece collection. DS is a small, women-run company, and their fleece turtlenecks (and now other styles) never fail to earn compliments. Stylish, cozy, versatile, crafted from recycled materials…there is nothing I do not love about them. I am wearing one now with my Aligns as I watch the snow fall!

    1. Hi! Yay! I am VERY confident you will like the Davek if you take the plunge. Definitely an unsung hero in my closet! Totally agree with you on the Aligns — they are THE BEST THE BEST. Nothing will ever dethrone them, but those $23 Colorful Koalas are a pretty solid second. I find them much less constricting than my pairs from Alo and Outdoor Voices (the latter I really hate — so uncomfortable), and for like 1/4th of the price! The price is compelling for me because I am now exercising every other day and occasionally, on rainy days, wearing leggings to drop mini off at school so they all go through the wash A LOT.

      Anyway, have heard such good things about Dudley Stephens! Some of my readers complained about the pilling and also the inconsistent sizing but many are HIGHLY enthusiastic, just as you are!


  2. This is a good reminder that I need to order a raincoat ASAP! It only took one rainy morning to realize that my business lady trench raincoat with no hood was not going to cut it for preschool drop off while pushing a stroller and wrangling a toddler and definitely not holding an umbrella! I’ve had the jcrew raincoat in my cart for a while and just need to pull the trigger. Rain boots would be nice, too. I like those short hunters but also intrigued by a Chelsea boot style.

    1. Oh yes! So funny you said this because we totally outfitted Landon with rain gear last year after he kept coming home from work / dropping our daughter off totally soaked to the bone. We’ve since adopted that Scandi mentality — “no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Now Landon has Chelsea rainboots (also Hunter), rain pants (Marmot), rain jacket (Marmot) and rain doesn’t phase him AT ALL. Such a great investment in your own happiness/comfort!!


  3. Great recommendations, thank you! I, too, am petite, so will likely switch to the shorter Hunters. My LL Bean lambswool inserts will make the switch also: terrific for chilly days. Highly recommend. And I love the idea for umbrellas for stockings!

    1. Yes! I think you’ll love them. I’ve had to wear my rainboots almost every day this week and so I’ve been so grateful for them. I didn’t much emphasize this above but I love the more flexible / less stiff rubber in my pair, too. Much easier to move in / doesn’t cut into shins / etc. The umbrella is LE BEST. xx

  4. I LOVE the State toile backpack with the feminist messages in the design! That’s exactly what sold me on it when you recommended it before. It’s what I use primarily now on outings with my almost 3 y.o. (I used to carry the MZ Wallace metro backpack but no longer need so much stuff, yay!). I love that it’s interesting enough for her with the animals in the print, but not too cartoony for me to carry.

    That umbrella sounds intriguing. I’m up for anything lightweight!

    I was also considering the small MZ Wallace metro belt bag (can you tell I’m a fan of the brand?) but ended up with Dagne Dover’s “Mara” phone sling which I believe I mentioned in a comment a few days ago — it arrived recently and I have really been enjoying it the past few days. Just enough space for my card case (it does have card slots too, but I like using a slim card case that I can transfer to a different bag when needed), phone, a small bottle of sanitizer, and a small pack of Kleenex. I had also been considering Cuyana’s convertible clutch/belt bag/shoulder bag/crossbody because I have been impressed with their items, but the Dagne Dover one is perfect for everyday with an on-the-go toddler.

    1. And I hear you on the issue with the knee high Hunter wellies — I had the same problem with them (I believe we’re both 5 ft?) and ended up selling those and buying shorter ones!

    2. Yay!! I love the idea of a phone sling — so brilliant. Anything that enables us to carry our essentials in a sleek, non-obtrusive, convenient way. xx

  5. I am enamored of Everlane’s rain boots — SO comfortable and I love the shorter Chelsea boot profile with the slight lug sole. I have them in pink/black and the pink is so pale as to read neutral, IMO!

    I can co-sign the utility of a belt bag! I have a few options from Baggu, Everlane and COS that I love. I also adore that State backpack and am very tempted to snag it for such a good price!

    Other rainy day essentials of mine would have to include my rainbow-paneled umbrella from MoMA (it’s a model that can’t collapse, so it’s not good when I have to stash it, but it’s generously sized and perfect for walks around the neighborhood — and I was once photographed with it in NYC by someone who then sold the print on Society6 and I happened to spot it in a newsletter … SO STRANGE and one of the odder stories from early adulthood!)

    In terms of outerwear, I have a Penfield raincoat that is not the best — I want to upgrade to a Stutterheim, I think! We shall see … most days I stick it out under the umbrella in a slightly-repellant Gap liner jacket.


    1. Oooh! That story about your picture with the umbrella being sold on Society6? So crazy! That’s fun! Hopefully you bought a print?


    2. My mom bought prints for everyone in my family! (hahaha) — I found a stash of them when I cleaned out my stuff from their house last month! It was truly so surreal to see myself in that way (the initial discovery, I mean)


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