As I battled my way to work in a steady rainshower and then almost swam home in a downpour that literally had me wringing out my socks at home, it got me thinking about the value of having appropriate and cute lolita-esque “rainwear!” Personally, I am an advocate of rainboots/galoshes/Wellingtons/rubberboots/topboots/gumboots~ Having wet feet can really ruin a nice walk in the rain. (Besides, puddles are made for splashin’~) Rainwater can damage certain shoes, as well, whether it’s from dirt in the water or just from the moisture.
Lolita shoes, in particular, are really not intended for water. Man-made materials and glue compromises the majority of lolita footwear. Pleather does not hold up well to water, and walking through the run-off from a downpour could easily weaken glue or the soles of certain shoes. There might be some shoes that can hold up to getting wet, but certainly not every pair! Personally, I try to take very good care of my lolita shoes.
Cute rainboots are a fantastic alternative! They also are quite handy to have even if you’re not wearing lolita. Typically rainboots last quite a long time before they wear out, since they aren’t worn every day; so one pair can last for years! Printed and patterned rainboots have been very popular for the last few years or so–they’re quite easy to find if you just take a look around. Most shoe stores, department stores, and big-box retailers carry rainboots at various times of the year. I think they’re seen more often in the spring, but they’re not too hard to find during autumn. Target.com always has a wide selection of rainboots–most pairs for $25! Chooka boots come in some amazing patterns and designs, although they often retail for $60. Swimmer makes rainboots in all kinds of cute patterns, although you’d need a shopping service to buy a pair–after fees and shipping, they might be very costly! My rainboots were only $5 from a clearance display at Macy’s 2 years ago. You’ve just got to keep your eyes open~
Sweet lolita can easily find a cute pair of rainboots–maybe even something from the children’s section if your feet are small enough. (However, children’s rainboots are shorter than adult rainboots, which limits the depths of puddles you can safely stomp in.) There are lots of bright or pastel-coloured rainboots, often with patterns like ribbons, animals, or candies.
Gothic lolita need not fear–although Moi-même-Moitié hasn’t made a pair of rainboots yet, there are still suitable pairs out there! Black rainboots are very popular–especially from high-end designers who add their own touches that might appeal to a blacker heart. Skulls (with or without crossbones) are a very popular motif for rainboots.
Classic lolita might fancy floral-patterned rainboots, such as these Autumn Wellingtons from the Victorian Trading Company. Richer colours of solid-hued rainboots can also seem fitting for a classic lolita–especially if the rainboots come in ivory. A contrasting sole adds a nice touch without seeming too inelegant. Although rainboots do not have a sophisticated shape, wearing them is much better than ruining a pair of beautiful shoes.
Umbrellas are also important! Some parasols are also waterproof, thus doubling as rain protection. Otherwise, having a few cute umbrellas certainly cannot hurt! Museums, gardens, or art shops sometimes sell umbrellas with beautiful patterns that would delight a classic lolita. (Or perhaps scout around for a lovely antique–as long as it’s waterproof.) “Cute” umbrellas aren’t hard to find at all–especially with stores like as Sanrio or Swimmer catering to such a sect of umbrella-buyers. Gothic-themed umbrellas might take a little bit more searching, but they are certainly available. Crosses and skulls are fairly popular motifs–checking stores catering to punk or goth tastes often yields some results.
Raincoats would be wonderful–I regularly dream of a lolita raincoat that will fit a petticoat-fluffed skirt–but they are incredibly difficult to find. Trenchcoats can sometimes be worn with lolita, but typically the skirt of the coat is just not full enough to fully protect a bell-shaped skirt from the rain. Certain other cuts of coats might fit a petticoat, but typically these coats are very shapeless and look very unflattering when ballooned out at the bottom. (However, that’s certainly better than ruining a garment you really adore!) A poncho almost always fits over lolita…but it’s definitely not adhering to the aesthetics of the fashion~ ♥
I also make it a rule to never wear my favourite socks in a rainstorm. Even with a great pair of boots, some rain inevitably gets in there, and the friction and dampness of continued walking has killed many a pair of my socks. I get attached to cute socks, so I hate seeing a pair fall apart!