"Evening red and morning grey, sends the traveller on his way.
But evening grey and morning red, will bring down rain upon his head..."
This sonnet from school time comes to mind as I contemplate the rain clouds gathering steadfastly on the horizon. The monsoons are here, bringing with them colossal cloudbursts, clamminess and general mayhem.
With the rain in your hair, and puddles at your feet, managing to look presentable - let alone stylish - can prove to be something of a challenge. So how do you manage your wardrobe in this season? The answer is somewhat tricky, but nonetheless very achievable. Some rules of logic combined with rules of physics apply.
Get your basics right
Come rain, the fabric you sport can make all the difference between soaked-and-quickly-dry, to soaked-and-quickly-got-the-sniffles. Moisture management is important. Fabrics such as poly-cottons and cotton-blends are best suited to the monsoon weather. These are less moisture-absorbent than their pure cottony cousins and thus more predisposed to quick drying. They also need less ironing so that's an added advantage for the rainy spell. Light weight jerseys in cotton or poly-cottons are also suitable.
Indulge in colour therapy
Rainy blue-grey skies are known for bringing on the blues. Combat their mood-altering quality with colour! Inject your wardrobe with doses of electric and virulent hues. From electric green to vermilion, sunshine yellow, magenta and deep red splashes of rich vibrant colours will ensure your mood stays buoyant when it pours. Don't wilt like a plant longing for the sun; just create your own warmth with cosy and energising colours.
Whites are best kept away during the rains, as they turn noticeably translucent when wet. Beiges, fawns, creams and other colours of the white family too are avoidable. While blacks work for most people, other dark and dreary shades are best kept away from, as when the skies darken they can bring your energy levels down faster than you know.
Good old capri pants, the new cropped pants that hit at the knee and knee-length skirts would ensure you sail through those thunder squalls. Tunics, that end mid-thigh coupled with solid colour leggings that match, are ideal as well. Heavy-weight denim jeans and capris are not the best monsoon togs as they get unreasonably heavy when soaked and take a long while to dry. Knee-length shift dresses are a fabulously updated look if you can pull it off. Stave off the monsoon wind chill with a sporty jacket or a cosy jersey shrug. Colourful stoles or scarfs too would be handy accessories to warm as well as dress-up your outfit.
For the guys, 3/4th cargo pants give a cool, almost military, ready-for-anything look. Couple these with tees in bold graphic prints and you're all set.
The retro style prints of the 60s and 70s are really in fashion at the moment, along with multi-colour abstract prints. Wear these as tunics, tops, blouses or t-shirts for best effect. Choose a print that suits your mind- frame, and flaunt it with chunky wooden bangles in funky colours.
In order to take pleasure in the monsoons, you need to be geared with rainwear that not only does the practical job of keeping you dry and warm, but also looks suitably stylish.
Crocs [footwear with holes] are the international favourites in rain footwear these days, but you can always sport home-grown or imported floaters, sneakers or sandals. What's important to keep in mind is that leather does not weather well in the rain, so non-leather shoes would be a best bet.
The all-essential umbrella has many an avatar in the present times. From the simple and practical folding umbrellas that neatly disappear from sight into the confines of your handbags, to novelty ones made of fabric that reveals designs when drenched in water, or those with lacy patterns cut out in them, the choices are close to limitless. Express yourself with the style of umbrella you choose to flaunt, and show-off your attention to detail.
Raincoats and windcheaters have always been colourful and fun rain accessories. They should be used to chase away those gloomy Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] blues! Choose colour combinations like orange with cerulean blue or yellow with highlights of red and black to make the most of your protective clothing.
Enjoy the season.
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