It seems like winter in New York City is actually more like a rainy-season, and when it rains in New York City you definitely don't want to be unprepared! I check the weather every morning on my iphone to make sure I dress appropriately for the ever-changing weather.
Having lived way up north in snowy climes for the past 19 years, I've always had a good pair of snowboots. But, now that I'm living in New York City where a big snowstorm is few and far between but rainstorms are a-plenty, I decided it was time to invest in a really good pair of rainboots.
I used to have a pair of Hunter rainboots, but found them to be poor quality, a bad fit, and very uncomfortable (I once got blisters across the bottom of my feet from wearing Hunters all day!). When I arrived in New York City in mid-October, I started my hunt for the perfect pair of rainboots. At least once a week, I went into a store to try on boots. I even ordered several online. But, alas, they all had to be returned.
The criteria I set for myself was as follows: must be super comfortable to be able to walk 30 minutes to and from work everyday, must be warm enough to wear in city snowstorms, must be roomy in the calf, must fit with both tights and thin socks without needing to wear a super thick pair of socks, must look nice enough to wear to work and after work, and must be easy to slip on and off.
Finally, after a good long never-ending search and many frustrating shopping excursions, I finally happened upon the most amazing idylic pair of rainboots! It was meant to be - because I found them the day before we were hit with a big snowstorm in mid-January. After the storm had passed, I realized that the most important days to wear rainboots in the city is post-snowstorm, when huge puddles of water surround every street corner!
I found these rainboots from Coach at Macy's, and as soon as I slipped them on, I just knew they were the ones. They fit perfectly - I'm a size 10 in shoes, and the 10 in these boots is perfect (unlike Hunters which run 3/4 of a size too big making a 10 way too big and a 9 a tiny bit too small). They're lined just enough to be warm when it snows, and fit perfectly with either tights or thin socks (I prefer thin socks otherwise my feet sweat from my long walk to work and then get cold, and thick socks tend to have ribbing that are the cause of painful blisters).
The best things about these boots is three-fold: they look extremely elegant, like a leather riding boot from the front, so are extremely appropriate for the office and after work, and tie into a bow in the back adding a tad bit of femininity; the bow in the back means they're adjustable so perfect for muscular calves like mine; and, drumroll... they are super easy to slip on and off! At first I thought that I'd have to tie and untie the bow each time, but the bow material is almost like a shoe lace, so it has enough give that I don't have to untie them and they just slip right off! My old Hunters were such a pain to get off, but these Coach boots are such great quality that the rubber material fits and breathes the way it should.
I can't say enough about how happy I am with my Coach rainboots. I wear them everytime it rains, either with tights and a shift dress, or slim stretchy legging-style pants tucked in with a long blouse and blazer. Of everything I've added to my wardrobe since moving to New York City, they are definitely the best investment! And, they're so comfortable that I usually end up wearing them all day long, and even out in the evening after work.
In addition to a comfortable nice-looking pair of rainboots, it's also important to have a nice water-resistant coat. I have a 15-year old single-placket trench coat from Burberry that I always wear when it rains in New York City. It has a detachable wool liner so is great even if there's a chill in the air. It goes well with both dresses and pants. The one featured in this post is from L.L.Bean (as Burberry no longer makes the style I have) - it also comes in a beautiful cornflower blue which I have my eye on!
A good sturdy tote bag is course a necessity when working in New York City, but on rainy days I like using my Longchamp Le Pliage bag because it zips up completely to prevent everything inside from getting wet, and the fabric is water-resistant and won't get ruined in the rain like a leather bag would. The large tote has a long enough handle to sit on my shoulder, so that my hands are free to hold an umbrella. And it's big enough to hold all my necessities for the day. The Le Pliage in black goes with everything, so is quite versatile.I have several different Le Pliage bags from Longchamp and they're all fabulous - they last forever and are very classic and practical.
Last, but not least, a very good sturdy umbrella is a necessity when it rains in New York City. It gets very windy on certain corners, and the last thing you want is for your umbrella to flip outwards and break. Hence, may I suggest a "bubble" umbrella! They are made from sturdy plastic, instead of fabric like most traditional style umbrellas, and the shape resists being taken away by the wind. And, because they're clear, you can actually see where you're going, which is important on the busy packed streets of New York! The shape is also narrower than a traditional umbrella, and the spokes point downwards, so you're less likely to poke a stranger in the eye. I still usually carry around a small collapsible umbrella in my bag everyday in case of a sudden unexpected downpour, but on days when I know it'll be raining hard during my entire walk to and from work, I use my trusty bubble umbrella.
I hope you've found these tips helpful on what to wear when it rains in New York City!
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