I thought today would be a good day to repost this essay…just in case it’s pouring where you are like it is here!
I’ve never worn a rain hat (unless as a child my mother put one on me, which is how I used to think of rain hats, as something meant for children sloshing about in the rain, unable to and uninterested in holding onto an umbrella). Then, not long ago on a particularly gloomy Sunday in the pouring rain, I met a woman (we happened to be at the country estate of Harvey Ladew) wearing a charming, colorful rain hat. I remember thinking how useful it was for country life (she folded it and stuck it in her rain coat pocket), much more so than an umbrella. Since that day, I’ve misplaced or given away or left behind all of my umbrellas, and we have had record rainfall and what has seemed like endless days of rain and dreariness. So—the rain hat has stayed in my mind.
The hat that I saw on the woman that Sunday was playful but also chic. And I’m okay with that because we are talking wet, dark, soggy days that call for a little cheerfulness (I’m not going for the understated or uninteresting or Private Eye look here). Besides, you could always pair it with a trench or a plain rain jacket to keep from feeling like a child. I prefer the bucket or cloche shape hats as opposed to the wide brim, but choose according to what suits you. Totes has some colorful bucket-shaped rain hats, and I found a nice one here as well. If you can’t quite get into the louder vibe, Nine West has a very fine crocodile skin reversible rain hat in taupe and Eric Javits has a smart one in tan check.
And while we are talking about rain gear, we must admit that the British have it down to a science with their Wellies and their Mackintoshes. The British company Boden offers a casual mac in colorful patterns that I wouldn’t mind wearing on a rainy day. On my feet, I prefer clogs (one step away from galoshes I know). I wear my red paisley clogs from Sloggers in the rain and my mother-in-law wears the animal print. Mood lifters for sure.
If you think about it, the rain hat is the perfect solution—especially during a long rainy season—because we have lost all of our umbrellas, we no longer care what our hair looks like, but we must carry on.
ps—The woman with the rain hat said she got it at the gift shop at Ladew Gardens and it was one of a kind. I suspect that gift shops of gardens and museums, and small boutiques are the best places to find a chic rain hat.
Hope for sun!