Dear Lucky: Can You Recommend Functional Yet Stylish Boots and Raincoats?

Q: It rains constantly where I go to school. Can you recommend functional boots and raincoats that don’t look plastic-ish or too cutesy? —Caroline

Rubber booties, $165, loefflerrandall.com,
Rubber boots, $135, hunter-boot.com, Rubber “Skerry”
boots $70, Tretorn.com. Nylon windbreaker, $50, k-way.ca

A: Dear Caroline,
Accessories director Julia Kalachnikoff could not agree with you more. “Please!” she said. “Please no more zany polka dots! I don’t care if you look like a ladybug or a frog—why is that desirable?” Julia loves the short rubber boots from Loeffler Randall. “What I like is that they’re short and they’re cute enough to wear all day, but also if you don’t wear them all day, they take up less space in a bag than a traditional wellie.”

That said, if you like a wellie, the fashion department implores you not to go crazy with color. “Solid green, navy or black,” said Julia, solemnly. Tretorn makes an adorable short, utilitarian rain boot that I think is very Life Aquatic and fabulous. Especially the slate-bluish navy color. Julia approves.

As for coats, Anne Keane says sporty. “A raincoat-raincoat,” she advised. “A parka! Why try to disguise what it is? Sportswear is cute!” Cute, it should be noted, not cutesy. “I love a windbreaker with a pretty dress. Patagonia, Uniqlo, Muji—they all have them, and they’re great. It should blend seamlessly with the outfit—no logo or a smaller logo. ” Thinking in this vein, I wished aloud that they made an adult version of the K-Way parkas I buy for my kids on crewcutkids.com; they are just the über-parkas. Fashion assistant Leigh Gill sent me a link almost instantly: Adult K-Ways! The thin, chic, perfect parkas can be balled up into tiny, weightless pillows if need be, and they come in every color. I recommend going with a men’s one in small, as I do with practically every other “sport”-oriented line, because the “women’s” colors, no matter what the line, are invariably a hazy morass of creative teals, mustards and pinks. If you want perfect, classic color in a sports item today—a navy, a clear red—you almost always need to go to the men’s department.