Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear Daddy Likey: Style in a Soggy State

Dear Daddy Likey,

I'm a high school senior in warm, sunny California, who will be going to college in cold...rainy....Washington state. I love rain, but I have very little to shell out on a new wardrobe. I'm a poor college student here! I need a glorious warm coat and some knee-length leather boots to keep out the rain... and I need to be able to afford it all. Any suggestions? Please and thank you.

Signed,
Soon-to-be-Soggy

Dear Soggy,

Congratulations on coming to the Pacific Northwest! I'm sure you'll like it here. Yes, it can be a bit damp, but the people are super friendly, the food is super tasty, and you can't say we don't appreciate a hybrid vehicle or an Obama bumper sticker.

Let's talk about the coat: Yes, you'll need a warm coat. Not as warm as you would need, in, say, Chicago, but it definitely gets chilly here. My favorite glorious warm coat is a wool peacoat. Some people might say this is a boring choice, but I say it's a classic, and there are so many variations and unique details that can set yours apart. Try one in a rich color, or with a belt, bold buttons, pretty lining, attached bedazzled cape, whatever. A peacoat goes with everything and will keep you warm and stylish--that's a Daddy Likey guarantee!

St. John's Bay Cashemere-Blend Classic Pea Coat, $99, here

For most of the cold/rainy months, you can get away with a fabulous, bright-colored rain coat with a warm sweater underneath, which I highly recommend. This one is adorable:

Puff Sleeve Rain Jacket, on sale for $44, here

An important note for Pacific Northwest* transplants: Buying a black North Face fleece jacket in Oregon and Washington is like 3 years of national military service in Israel: required, although exceptions may be made on religious, physical, or psychological grounds. I tried getting through my freshman year of college without one, and I think I made it three months before I cleaned out my savings account and procured one for myself. Yes, this was the same year I so easily caved to the baggy OSU sweatshirt craze, in addition to carrying on a 6-month flirtation with a guy in my French class because he offered to combine shipping costs on an order of Converse All-Stars, but still, I want you to know the North Face fleece pressure is there, and it's tremendous--be ready.

As for those leather boots, I think your best bet--if it doesn't gross you out--is to hit up some thrift stores and/or ebay. Cheap, cute, new leather boots are tough to find. Cheap, cute, vintage leather boots are not. And as a bonus, secondhand (secondfoot?) boots are already worn in, so your chances of becoming known as "limping bloody blister girl" around campus are less.

If you're set on a new pair, here are a couple semi-cheap options:

Clarks March Boots, $80-$192, depending on color and size, here

RSVP Billie Boots, $48, here

These are manmade material, but they're really cute and come in wide-calf sizes:

Naturalizer Scurry Boot, $72, here

Also, these are pretty badass.

And don't forget that if you're looking for cheap, waterproof, and eternally cheery (even on the dreariest of northwest winter days), you can't beat a pair of bright red rain boots:

RSVP, $10, here

*Wasn't sure if I should include British Columbia in the North Face fanatics category--does the obsession with expensive water-repellent fleece jackets extend across the border?

16 comments:

Kylie said...

Great advice and hilarious commentary, winona!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Washington, this is great advice! and yes, it can be done you can survive without a North Face. They are ridiculously overpriced.

Ali-bell said...

ooh I love those rsvp boots and they are such a good deal! they don't ship to australia though :(

Mishabelle said...

Hmm.. I live in BC and was never ever tempted to get a North Face jacket... too outdoorsy for me! Everyone I know just wears snowboard jackets... even if we don't snowboard. I might invest in a wool peacoat this winter though... it's just lame since I live in like, the Rain Capital of Canada :\

Michelle said...

Love the vintage boots suggestion! I'm looking for a basic pair of knee high black boots and have found several classic pairs on eBay for $20-25. Can't beat that and definitely a lot better construction than you can get in modern boots for $25!

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisa said...

Great advice! I get by in leather boots and wool coats all the time--I just invest in a good quality mini umbrella that can be stashed in a large purse. And yeah, Vancouver does like its share of expensive fleece, although there are just as many devotees of local label Mountain Equipment Co-op as there are of North Face, I think.

Allison H said...

Oh man the North Face obsession extends all the way down here to Texas college campuses. We live in TEXAS people! There are no "faces" to speak of, much less any north faces. I'd be surprised if any of these students knew that "face" was referring to a mountain.

Amanda Nicole said...

Yes, wellies are essential! They're cheap enough to buy a cute new pair every year, and they're excellent for trudging through ankle-deep puddles and snow sludge. Just layer thick socks underneath for warmth. Here in Vancouver, we have more of a Taiga jacket loyalty. In fact, every child born here is wrapped in a Taiga jacket instead of a receiving blanket.

Hammy said...

Cute umbrellas too! I live in England, which is pretty much The Nation of Drizzle and you cant leave the house without one. Just make sure they're cheap enough so that it doesn't matter if you leave them on the bus. Cos, you know, some people do that...

nadarine said...

If you can find a rain jacket with a hood, your life will be COMPLETE. I bought a trench coat at H&M years ago and when I put it on and found it had a hood, you couldn't pry me out of it. I think I wore it to the cash register to pay.

Erin said...

LOL. Vancouverites are a lot more outdoor-sy than most people. We don't so much rock the fleece, but rather the ski jacket, gortex. it's pretty haute couture. haha. i don't like winter, or winter sports so i don't own any, thank god. but i feel that i may have to soon - but luckily there are some pretty cute colours and more feminine styles.
i should post about that. i call dibs

alixrose said...

I am happy to say that I never bought a North Fleece coat and it doesn't look I will anytime soon. Those coats don't do anything for a woman's figure. I need those wellies!

do dah said...

colorado is not contiguous with washington and oregon, but everyone owns the black northface. unless they felt wild and bought a colored one. can we join your in-crowd?

Anonymous said...

every girl between the ages of 14 and 23 in new england is required to own a black north face. special paper work must be filled out in order to be allowed to get a special color.

beshoe said...

Ahh, I am a washingtonian transplanted to the midwest and my northface is useless here and it makes me so sad....

Seriously, Invest in the Northface. It will become your new favorite item, and in WA they are appropriate for everything but a wedding, funeral, and job interview.

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