How to dress for the April showers

Lisa Lennkh

The ever-switching, indecisive weather is upon us and that can mean a fashion failure if you're not equipped with the right garments—here's how to dress for spring

I f April showers bring May flowers, then it's time to address rain coats. The humble rain coat may be one of fashion's most utilitarian items, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. I have a traditional khaki trench coat and I hardly ever wear it. The paper-bag-colour is draining on my pale skin and the shape isn't flattering either. I feel like it ages me ten years from the second I put it on. Some women are good at styling a khaki coat in a chic way; I just can't pull it off with any real panache. So my trench coat, the colour of dreary disappointment, hangs in my closet. Like all my fashion mistakes, it will be donated to charity.

Style-wise, on a rainy day I want to be more rainbow, less cloud. Cue the statement coat. This red vinyl one I’m wearing is an inexpensive piece from ASOS. It won't come as a shock that I'm mad about shiny things, and vinyl is no exception. Like any other coat, I look for a colour and a shape that work on me. Red, metallic blue, rain-slicker yellow, a vintage brown, or black all look particularly fabulous in vinyl; I chose the colour that slots into my wardrobe the easiest. The coat I'm wearing features traditional trench style details (double-breasted, shoulder storm-flap, belt, pockets, buckled wrist straps) but in a decidedly non-traditional colour and material. It gets extra points for being a perfect rich shade of red; nothing makes me feel better than a bolt of colour on a grey day.

We have the mod style of the 1960s (my favourite fashion era) to thank for glossy vinyl and patent clothes. Several designers have recently taken inspiration from that period and worked vinyl pieces into their collections. Luckily, the vinyl trend has filtered down into the more affordable high street brands too.

Somewhere in the middle of high fashion and high street is Danish brand Rains, which makes stylish yet highly functional rainwear. Every season they have several shiny and colourful options to choose from.

There are so many beautiful shiny rain coats around this season that you should easily be able to find one to suit your style and budget. Be sure you don't save it just for bad weather; a colourful glossy coat over jeans or a dress ensures that you'll always look right as rain.