Monday, June 25, 2012

Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain: a love story 

Today is Monday & it is raining in New York City and when I say raining I mean lightening, thunder & gray skies. I woke up & saw the gray skies & I was so happy because it has been a while since I have been able to throw on my favorite green wellies. Having grown up in South Florida, there was not much need for shoes built specifically for inclement weather (even in the rainy season, the storms are brief &  you can just hop in the car to avoid wet feet). 

My first few weeks in college in New York City, I purchased the first pair of wellies I located, a pair of Tamara Henriques boots that were black with red hearts & that seriously limited the choice of outfits that one could wear on rainy days.

 In law school, I realized that I no longer had a pair of wellies to wear on rainy days and I wanted to avoid patterns & the resulting limited outfit options. My ultimate choice? Hunter wellies in my favorite color: green. I have spent years splashing around in my Hunter wellies & always found joy in rainy days after that purchase (I even added a pair of black & brown Aigle rain boots to my shoe closet, making rainy days almost preferable to perfect blue skies). 

Recently, however, I have felt tempted to "step out" on my rain boots...with a different brand in a different shade of green. The Le Chameau wellie that has been worn by the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on numerous occasions has caught my eye for its apparently high quality materials, its more neutral shade of green, & its outdoorsy vibe. The Le Chameau Chasseur wellies are hand-crafted in France and have leather lining & a waterproof zipper. The Hunter boots are made in Edinburgh, are sold in more of a hunter green (makes sense given the company name) & have had frequent collaborations with Jimmy Choo (crocodile wellies!).

The Duchess of Cambridge & Prince Harry in Le Chameau

Both the Le Chameau & the Hunter rain boots have the royal stamp of approval. Although the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge wear Le Chameau, the Royal family has worn Hunter rain boots for decades. In 1977, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh awarded Hunter Boots with a Royal Warrant since they had been the chosen boot of the family for years.  The resulting "wellie war" reminds me of the Jack Rogers v. Stephen Bonnano feud over whose sandal Jackie Kennedy Onassis actually wore (both are very Palm Beach-y colorful sandals that claim to be the sandal of choice for Jackie O.). In the end, both Jack Rogers & Stephen Bonnano make an attractive & high quality sandal and both Hunter & Le Chameau make a rain boot that is chic & keeps one's feet dry in the rain. 

Ultimately, of course, it is a matter of preference. Both boots go with nearly everything one could hope to wear to brighten a rainy day. The Hunter boots are sold in a wider array of colors & the brand places equal emphasis on fashion & practicality. The Le Chameau is more of an outdoor shoe, a brand focused on classic lines & impeccable quality. Living in New York City where I walk through all types of weather, a boot that is a match for snow & rain might be worth the double investment. Either choice will almost certainly have you splashing through puddles & singin' in the rain as you thank the fashion gods for the gray & rainy day.


 Midnight in Paris: Owen Wilson espouses the joys of a rain storm in Midnight in Paris 

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