Weathering the storm: What to wear in Manchester

Please welcome  Helen Le Caplain, with her take on dressing for the dreadful summer weather we are having at the moment!

It’s something of an art-form working out what to wear when the weather is like it is at the moment. In the last few days us Mancunians have had to contend with torrential rain, hailstones, and incredibly humid conditions. Nice. We were teased with glorious shorts and t-shirt weather back in May, but now we seem to be hurtling towards winter weather territory.

The unpredictability of the weather means that getting dressed in the morning is a tricky task. When it comes to deciding what to wear it’s a toss-up between staying cool and getting soaked to the bone, or donning the waterproofs and subsequently sweltering. It’s a tough call to make however with the practise I’ve had over the last few days I think I might have just cracked it; the key to staying cool and dry is layering.

I’ve deliberately stayed away from jean as denim is incredibly warm and takes ages to dry, so in a humid downpour they’re the last thing you want to be wearing. Instead I’ve been wearing floaty vintage-inspired dresses layered up with a thin cardigan, to take the edge off my early morning walk to work.

As it’s been so warm I’ve not bothered with tights, and in any case bare legs dry quicker! But if the weather takes a turn for the colder, there’s no harm in carrying a pair of tan tights around with you. My dress/cardigan combo has been topped off with my trusty vintage mid-length trench coat. I love the cut and colour of this trench and I’m amazed at how quickly it dries. It also manages to resist creasing even after it’s been rolled-up and stuffed into a tote bag. Impressive stuff.

To avoid soggy feet I invested in a pair of Wellington booties from Primark. Hardly vintage, but they do the job when it comes to keeping your feet dry and aren’t too clumsy to walk in. And they have a glitter bow, enough said.

I love injecting a bit of colour to an outfit, particularly when it’s gloomy, which makes this red leather satchel a perfect addition. Not only does the shoulder strap keep my hands free to hold a brolly and a copy of the Metro, but it adds a shot of red to an other-wise neutral outfit.

The crowning glory of this look is my parasol umbrella. Not only does it keep me dry from the elements, and other dripping brollies, but it also looks fabulous. I feel very glamorous pounding the pavements with this, even against the driving rain, as it never fails to turn heads. It almost makes the bad weather worth it. Once I’ve made it to work I swap my wellies for a pair of ‘indoor’ shoes, usually a pair of brogues, which add a masculine edge to this predominantly girly look. It also makes the mad dash to the nearby bakery for emergency cupcake supplies much easier, which is always a bonus.

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