I was highly unprepared, fooled by the 2 weeks of hot sun after landing in Portland. But as I looked at my weather app (HA CORRECTION AS MY IMPASSIONED METEOROLOGIST HUSBAND ANNOUNCED THE IMPENDING DOOM/RAIN like it was a 5-day countdown) it was time to shop and get prepared for the life unknown in the mud. My goal isn’t to look cool, it is to enjoy being outside with our kids (and dogs) for extended periods of time, and the only way I’m going to do that is to be comfortable. And remember it’s not summer (so I need to be able to layer) and yet it’s not cold yet – no parkas or sherpa coats. What we need are comfortable, movable, lightweight, layerable, weather-resistant clothes and shoes to play in the mud like the real moms we are.
I had a snow parka, but not a “rain jacket” (remember Oregonians don’t really do umbrellas unless running from the parking spot to the store) so I actually needed an education from my friends. They said – for fall you want a lightweight shell that you can layer under, but not a thin windbreaker or a rubber coat. It needs to be cozier, and at least one that ends below your bum so your pants (or at least seat) can stay dry. I looked online at Patagonia and Northface but they did feel more “winter” (too hot for now) but I found a couple that I really like thus far.
This L.L. Bean one is extremely lightweight (like throw in a bag easily) and has a drawstring if you are into that. It goes below the butt, is a nice color, and is sized nicely to easily layer over a sweatshirt. It has a good drape if you are into that. And listen there is something throwback about L.L. Bean that I love – it’s a heritage brand from Maine and that feels sweet and nostalgic to me.
Even though I had checked that box I was at the mall to find rain boots and popped into Lululemon like the MAM I am. It had been YEARS since I had been in, which I took as a sign of how great their product is (I loaded up in SOUPtember 2018 and have been wearing the same stuff since). I was disappointed in the colorways this time around and it just felt less cool in a lot of ways (I can’t get over their sizing – you have to size up like 3 full sizes). Now, this might have just been the buyer of this location, to be fair, but I just wasn’t attracted to very much at all (lots of teals and chartreuse). But I found this jacket in the men’s department, unbeknownst to me) and actually really liked it. Admittedly I’m not 100% sure I need both so this one might go back. This one has more structure and warmth than the L.L. Bean, is boxier, more oversized, and has a cooler pocket (???). It kinda feels like you are wearing your boyfriend’s coat, in a good way. I like the sleeves (little buttons that give the elbows volume). It has more of an athletic vibe…
1. Girl on the Go® Trench Coat | 2. Women’s Torrentshell 3L City Coat | 3. Women’s Rain Coat | 4. Women Blocktech Coat | 5. RainOut Forecast Shell II | 6. Oversize Water Resistant Rain Coat | 7. Lakeview RainOut Parka | 8. City Breeze Waterproof Rain Jacket | 9. Women’s Waterproof Packable Raincoat
My Favorite Rain Puffer
I blogged about this last year and it’s still going strong – My Uniqlo lightweight long coat. Now, this is not technically “waterproof”, but it is weather-resistant and more importantly like wearing a blanket made of air. It’s magical. In winter at the mountain house, I would layer it with a fleece underneath but it’s actually perfect for drizzly morning walks just over a t-shirt for fall. I wore it in the rain (but not pouring) and didn’t feel a thing (but you wouldn’t go “play in the rain” in it). I originally had the short version and the vest (still do) but this one, down to my ankles and not bulky is a DREAM to wear.
1. 2020 Skyliner Model Down Parka | 2. Katelyn Water Repellent Puffer Jacket | 3. Pack it Down Jacket Long | 4. Women’s Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood | 5. Palouse Down Parka | 6. Women’s PrimaLoft Packaway Coat
Waterproof Running Shoes
Now these I wanted to be super waterproof. I have gotten very into power walking the pups, in the rain and mud and I’m not stopping. My Nike friends recommended their Gore-tex line but their fall hasn’t launched yet and the rain is here so to avoid wet feet Brian actually found me these from Columbia on sale for $75 and I’ve been wearing them daily (3 times daily). They have good treads for traversing the roads and trails and my feet stay bone dry in the rain. Do I wish they looked cooler? Not really but I know that they could be cooler. So knowing that these are something that will get a ton of wear and tear I’ve still got my eye on what will be launching soon.
Rain Boots (The Better Wellies IMHO)
OH DID I FIND THEM AND I WILL NEVER GO BACK. These are like wearing Uggs, but outside and with a tiny bit of an edge. On the outside they look utilitarian and rugged, but they are so soft and comfortable inside. Not to mention how lightweight they are. They aren’t big cumbersome rubber boots that you have to layer like 4 socks under to have some cushion or warmth. They are insulated, but not fur-lined – so they’ll keep you cozy but not sweaty. DONE. And now that I know they make kids versions, as soon as my munchkins stop growing so fast that we have to buy two pairs of boots per season, I’m going to get some for the kids, too. (Although I do love a classic Hunter or Welly, for sure, especially for true puddle jumping)
Rain-Resistant Chelsea Boots (Low Rain Boots)
I bought these a couple of years ago for the boot review but never actually needed them til now. YAY. They are super simple and classic and yes, they are stylish. These are great for general rainy days where I want to go out shopping – in and out of cars, etc but want to look somewhat stylish.
The Duck Shoe – (A Couple Fails But I Still Really Want Some)
I may have gone on a bit of a L.L. Bean bender (and no, this was wine-free as it is SOUPtember) but I just got so excited to actually need a pair of these classic duck shoes (were these originally for duck hunting?). Neither worked out for different reasons but I wanted to show you anyway.
I knew I could style these to look pretty darn cool, which again isn’t the point but I pictured wearing them to the pumpkin patch with the kids or just, I don’t know, enjoying a fall day out with friends feeling a little less basic.
So here I am, ready (or trying to get ready) for life in A LOT more rain. Of course, I’d love to get any more recs from those of you who know the rain life. xx