April showers may bring May flowers, but they also make looking cute much more challenging. There’s no way around it, a raincoat is a must, but happily, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. Ahead, stylists and fashion experts share the most important things to keep in mind when searching for stylish outerwear to protect you from all those spring showers.
Make a statement
Sure, a raincoat is a necessary wardrobe staple, but you can still look at it as an opportunity to think outside of the box, says celebrity wardrobe stylist Ali Levine. “Try something different and go for a more dramatic style or color. Think of it as a statement piece,” she suggests. The one caveat: Pass on prints. “When it comes to raincoats with patterns, unless you are going high-end, these can generally feel more cutesy than stylish. In lieu of a print, opt for chic details, flattering structure, and/or a unique color,” adds style expert Vanessa Valiente.
Like two coats in one, the Blank NYC Reversible Metallic Rain Jacket ($103; asos.com) lets you switch between two statement-making shades, a warm rose gold and classic silver.
Find a flattering fit
“Raincoats are inherently unflattering, so choosing a style that belts or nips in at the waist helps create a more feminine silhouette,” says Valiente. For a more casual look—perfect to pair with workout wear—stylist Moira Anne Rubino also likes styles that have an adjustable drawstring at the waist. Be sure to keep your height in mind, too: “If you’re under 5’4”, the coat should hit at your low hip or higher,” advises Valiente. On the flip side, taller women can get away with mid-hip to even ankle-length styles, she adds.
A cinched waist makes the Ann Taylor Anorak Jacket ($179; anntaylor.com) universally-flattering, while ruched sleeves and a ruffle collar add a feminine touch. Plus, it’s also available in both petite and regular sizes.
Photo: Ann Taylor
When in doubt, go with a trench
A classic trench is a worthy investment that’s perfect to layer over both pants and dresses, points out stylist Samantha Brown. But those same fit guidelines remain, especially a nipped-in waist or belt, notes style expert Christos Garkinos: “A trench shouldn’t overwhelm you or look shapeless. Make sure it works with your body.”
The splurge-worthy Burberry Amberford Hooded Trench Coat ($675; bloomingdales.com) features classic detailing, that must-have belt, and a removable hood.
Consider a cape
Want to make more of a fashion statement? A rain cape is a great alternative that’s more interesting than a jacket, yet still classic and timeless, Valiente says. Not to mention that it’s easy to slip on, no matter what you’re wearing underneath.
The Joules Right as Rain Waterproof Cape ($190; nordstrom.com) features on-trend color blocking, plus a hood to help safeguard your blowout.