Rainy Days

Feb. 4, 2010, 9:45 p.m.

Rainy DaysGrowing up in Seattle, gloomy gray skies often inspired my mother to announce “What a beautiful day!” So it was slightly shocking for me to observe, during my freshman year, how a few gentle raindrops could send a San Diego native spiraling into depression. I personally love it when it rains at Stanford. Not so much because the misty skies remind me of my natural habitat, but because I’m actually able to wear fun, rain-suitable apparel here without being judged as a total wimp or mistaken for a foreigner. The best rainy day essentials include:

1. Rain boots
At home, even a torrential storm complete with lightning and thunder is not a good enough reason to abandon the dreadful Birkenstocks and socks uniform. In fact, wearing rain boots is 99.9 percent likely to elicit a sarcastic “Nice boots.” Check out the Marc Jacobs accessory store for the cutest pairs – they are surprisingly super-affordable. They were so cheap that the pleading text I sent to my mom to mail them to me after I forgot them at home (for the third time) spurred the sassy response, “yes nina i will spend more $$ on box and mail than ur boots even cost.” Seriously, they are $3 more than the rain boots at Target.

2. Umbrellas
Having grown up in a household that never owned an umbrella, I’m a little mystified by the dependence that some Stanford students seem to place on these accessories. However, they can definitely be a fun way to add some pizzazz to a rainy day ensemble. MoMA makes an adorable one that’s black on the outside with sky and clouds on the inside.

3. Gloves
Gloves are a critical investment if you ever intend to bike in the rain – unless you like the raw, red knuckles look. I suggest the Winter Run Glove from Lululemon. Not only is there a nifty little palm pocket for your key, the thumb fabric is specially designed for nose wiping!

4. Bike covers
I’m all for the plastic-Safeway-bag-over-the-seat look, but for about $15 you can also get a nice little bike seat cover from REI. It’s not exactly trendy, but neither is looking like you peed your pants.

5. Coffee mugs
Nothing is better than carrying a warm thermos full of coffee on a rainy day. Then again, I’m from the city where Starbucks is on every corner and fro-yo is about as common as kohlrabi. (I don’t know what that is either, but it was the first thing that came up on Google when I typed in “obscure food.”) You can find lots of cute thermos designs at local coffee shops, or look at the “I AM NOT a Paper Cup” porcelain thermal coffee cup online to create a hipster/coffeehouse lurker look.

So while the forecast may look dismal, don’t despair! Sporting Marc Jacobs rain boots, a modern art-inspired umbrella and your so-sustainable porcelain paper cup – not to mention a dry butt and a snot-free nose – you’ll be sure to be looking chic this rainy season.

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