Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When It Rains, Most People Suck (Or Just Because It's Raining Doesn't Mean You Have to Be an Asshole)

Ok, that may sound harsh, but I bet you, my gentle reader, are saying "fuck yeah!" under your breath while trying to demurely sip your cappuccino across the street from Lincoln Center. Golf umbrellas? On a crowded sidewalk? Is that some sort of deliberate powergrab, trying to control personal space when life is spiralling beyond that feeble grasp? Even that fattest ass among us does not need 6 feet of umbra' to be 'ellaed.

Now this all seems particularly relevant based on this odd (meaning psychotic) weather that we are having. Stupid global warming! If you are one of those naysayers who denies climate change and refuses to look beyond the weather STOP READING NOW! Go sacrifice some coconuts to your monkey god or do your interpretative dance to wake Mothra so that she will finally defeat Hedora and we can all go about our business. Do that or perform your equivalent and equally reasonable ritual.

I said shuffle, chasse, feather step, ball change, ball change, chasse, heel pull! I don't know what you were doing.

Are they gone? Good. Now I can get back to it. I don't actually address climate science at all from here on out. Anyway...

We all know that I am not the sort to simply curse the dark without teaching a man how to set a fish on fire, so I want to remind the world about raincoats, trenchcoats, and hats; all of which can be both stylish and functional. This isn't to say that umbrellas are completely out (we all love a clear, bubble umbrella or not-so-secretly want to be the Morton Salt Girl) but we do live in a society here.
So that little bitch only had to bring home one thing from  Kroger's and she couldn't even do that right.  I won't even show you what happened when I sent her out for Faberge Eggs.
So clearly the better option to explore is a little less intrusive and provides more opportunity to show a little flair. Why not raincoats? I admit that I had a love-hate relationship with those so-called slickers since childhood. Much like most of you I suspect, I grew up with my mother forcing me into an ill-fitting Gorton's Fisherman-style yellow raincoat and matching hat. (For my younger, less fishsticky audience, think I Know What You Did Last Summer.)

I am not absolutely sure, but I vaguely remember posing for this. 
At the time I was teased mercilessly on the school bus by the cool kids for wearing that, but in retrospect I was the one who showed up dry to school and not the one with plastic bags affixed to my sneakers with rubber bands. In fact, I would be thrilled to have a rain set like that in my adult life. Those industrial closures were so fashion-forward that it makes my head spin. (I hope you know the ones I am referring to, because there is not a single picture of them online, which I find odd since you couldn't swing a wet cat without hitting one back in the 70s.) I wish I could get some of that classic rainwear now, even my sister's purple raincoat that my mother once made me wear to punish me for leaving my yellow one in a wet ball on the garage floor. Does that explain why I am like this now? Maybe. By high school I had at least developed the good sense to know what chic was all about, and I spent quite a while trying to find a clear plastic trenchcoat. Unfortunately, by the mid-80s they only existed in little girl sizes. You would think Zhora would have made them popular, but that was not the case. In the early or mid-90s I did finally find one made by Tripp and bought it without a moment's hesitation. The lesson I learned from that is to always consider HOW you are going to wear a fabulous piece. In this case, your outfit and outerwear do become one, and that is much harder to coordinate than you might think. I realized that I am no Zhora and hardly ever wear it. Also, clear plastic does steam up inside. However, I did make a very convincing Dale Bozzio in it.

So what do I wear now? In warmer weather a short trench keeps me surprisingly dry and well put together. A long, black raincoat keeps me dry in cooler temperatures without looking too Columbine... whatever, it has been long enough.

This is actually belted, but you will have to use your imagination.  Forgive the background,
but the gobos were moireing and you just can't see that the jacket is that very same grey-on-black glen plaid.

This groovy piece of glen plaid
set me back a cool $15 at H&M,
so I don't want to hear excuses.

Hmmm... it seems I really do have
a preference for glen plaid in my
rainwear. What does that say
about me?

I have a certain fondness for hats (have I mentioned that? I am pretty sure I have. Perhaps I will write all about that later) so I do wear my uncle's old-man hat to keep my glasses dry. There is nothing worse than water droplets all over your glasses. Those novelty windshield wiper glasses from Spencer's Gifts in the 70s were not that ridiculous after all, but I can not find an optometrist willing to install them for me. I am sure I could use more wet weather hats. Perhaps some sort of Rex Harrison hat. (Technically a tweed Trilby, but if you say "Rex Harrison hat" everyone will know exactly what you mean.)

I hope you know better than walk into someone's house and start hitting people with your Rex Harrison hat.

Now I am not some sort of umbrellaphobic monster, smashing everyone that I see in some sort of blind rage. I do have a number of human-sized umbrellas in just enough colors to complement any outfit without taking out the eyes of those I pass on the sidewalk. My beach umbrella does not double as a rain umbrella. I trust you noticed that in a particular picture above, the accessory is indeed coordinated.

Trust me: if it looks grey, it's houndstooth. Perhaps I will expand on that later.
By the way, I never did catch that bus.

Here is what you should take away from this: Oversized Umbrellas Are Destroying America. Wearing an Aquascutum is patriotic. Old-man hats are cool (not Kevin Federline hats or hipster, ironic trucker hats...those are douche-y.)

Coming soon (a related post): Underpants, and How to Keep Yours Dry When Your Whole World Is Damp.

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