Sunday, February 6, 2011

Urban Practicality (Ladies' Edition): Rain Skirt

Griping about the weather and the Celtics/Bruins/Patriots/Red Sox is one of the more tedious methods by which some New Englanders attempt conversation.  The local news has ensured that our courage-producing organs are effectively shriveled, and our political leaders tell us to stay home when it snows (these are people who get paid -by taxpayers- regardless of whether or not they show up).
For the rest of the city, clients still need advisors, committees still need to meet, children still need daycare, and all manner of business still must happen.  In the city, everyone walks.  Even a few blocks to a subway can drench or sleet-fill clothing if the weather is foul.

Wife Dearest has a strong aversion to cold air and anything cold falling from it.  Her raincoats got longer and longer, and her wellies got taller and taller, but she would still arrive with the elements having found their way through her coat and breaching the boot-tops.  Reaching her office/appointments/parties/meetings feeling disheveled, soaked, and having all prior preparations ruined can now be avoided.

When the weather reaches a level which provides genuine and substantial threat to her put-togetherness, in addition to her raincoat, and over her existing dress or skirt, she puts on a rain skirt.

Rain Skirt

A lightweight breathable over-skirt that velcros around the waist, and has a midway fasten provides a guaranty of a dry arrival.  Unlike 99% of outdoorsy "technical" clothing, it is actually flattering to the female form.  In fact, the old Saville Row and Jermyn Street clothiers also made waterproof clothing for the boys in the trenches during World War 1, and one advertised substantially for womens' waterproof over-trousers, which were similar to very baggy plus-fours.  I have an old vintage magazine ad featuring it... somewhere.

A dress or outfit of any sort is kept dry and safe by the over-skirt/wrap.

Under a long raincoat or even a shorter parka:

It provides enough extra length to close the boot/coat gap.

A brisk twenty-five minute stroll or trudge through the city is made painless, and more importantly, her arrival is kept comfortable.  Rain-pants look terrible on women, but are also very uncomfortable for walking.

An LL Bean Jones Cap (in ladies SMALL).

Waterproof, wind-proof, weather-proof, and still perfectly maneuverable.  Best of all, she doesn't feel like a camping store blob, or look like of the many tourists who outfit themselves for a walk through the city like they're running the Eco-Challenge.  With this one, its removed in seconds, and stows away easily its own pocket once one has reached their destination.

The wrap works beautifully for canoeing and hiking, and if the weather is mildly bad, they can serve as a placeholder for foulies when it's not likely to remain ugly out for too long.  She has found it perfectly comfortable and fully effective while indulging me in trout trickery, coastal sailing, or a stroll through the city during blizzards, and she doesn't have to sacrifice her style.

Emergent Designs has picked up this post as well.


  1. Well that is exactly the sort of thing that Mrs.E. should have for the cool months. Where does one find one? Off to google. Thanks for the tip!

  2. They are available here: Send a photo if you get one!


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