Three of the four big events that happened to me this past weekend — a graduation party, work, and going to an amusement park — are three events that occur quite often for virtually all young adults throughout the summer months. And because of that, they are deemed as very, very important and thus, from a societal standpoint, require lots of thought regarding the art of one’s outfit (especially if you work in retail). I mean, if everyone you know (as well as everyone else who you don’t) is going to be there, you’ve got to look good, right?
Well, whether or not you agree here, I must say that, as a fashion lover, the answer to that question for me is: Right!
But here’s where the fourth big event of my weekend comes into play: Rain, which meant that I now needed to plan my outfits entirely around said watery friend coming out to play.
Now, this may seem like an easy fix at first (I even thought it was), but the more and more you look at your wardrobe — as well as the more and more you think about what happens when it rains: humidity, damp clothes, frizzy hair, chilly air, sweat, runny makeup — the harder and harder it really becomes.
But, luckily, I’ve grown up in an area where rain is more common than sun, and so, by this point in my life, picking out outfits that make it easy to survive outdoors on a rainy day is cake. Chocolate with vanilla buttercream, to be exact.
With that being said, I figured I would share my outfits from this past weekend in order to give a bit of inspiration for others needing to look nice in the rain this summertime, too. For a rain on your parade is bound to happen eventually this season; why not get prepared early?
Outfit 1: Grad Party
One of my very best friends had her graduation party this past Friday. Now, Friday was lovely; the day was hot and sunny with a nice, cool breeze every few minutes —
It’s just too bad that that was the day and her party was at night.
Yes, that evening, it poured very unexpectedly, as does often in the summer months, and none of us were really that prepared, myself included.
But, wait, Leah! Weren’t you supposed to be telling us how to avoid that? How can you be showing us how to dress for the rain if you weren’t even dressed for it yourself?
Well, lucky for me, summer days that start beautifully and end in rain all have one thing in common: The rain never lasts; it’s just from a build up of heat and moisture and humidity in the atmosphere due to the sun, and because clouds can only handle it for so long, they simply briefly relieve themselves at the end of the day. And since that only takes an hour or two, when the clouds are done, a cool and beautiful night is left awaiting you.
And so, because I dressed for the heat of that beautiful day (that I knew would soon be fading due to dusk), I was already prepared for moisture (a.k.a. sweat) and coolness.
(Shouts to my dog ^)
It wasn’t so hot out that I needed to be sleeveless, but it was hot enough where I wanted something short on the bottom. And with it being so windy outside as well as starting to get late (and thus cool off), my solution was this outfit above.
The shirt is cotton and, despite its dark color, incredibly lightweight and breathable. Same with the shorts, so before the storm, I was nice and cool. But, because of the sleeves of the shirt, as well as me being genuinely covered up everywhere else but my limbs, when the rain came, this outfit still kept me warm. Of course, it helped that I was under a pavilion, too, but still; cotton never fails.
Why I like this outfit so much, from a style perspective, is because it follows what (apparently) is cool among young adults these days (looking like a reborn, 90s-child hipster) while still having a more mature, classic, almost 1950s or 60s feel to it.
Said mature, classic feel is entirely due to my handy-dandy shirt-knotting skills.
Tip: If you want to take any outfit up a notch, tie your shirt in a knot so as to accentuate your waist. You can either bunch the end of it to one side and then twist into a knot, or you can grab one side of the bottom of your shirt in one hand, the other side in the other, pretend that they are shirt tails or shoe laces, and then proceed to tie as if you’re doing a shoe. Just make sure you only try to do a knot and not a bow; trust me: Bows seldom work on shirts.
As for a guide to how high up you should knot, aim for the top of your pants. This streamlines your look and accentuates your waist no matter how high of a rise the pants have, for it prevents the shirt from either giving you a boxy torso (and thus making you look wider) or cutting off the tops of your legs (and thus making you look shorter) — or both. It also keeps you from baring midriff and causing scandal.
If you do wish to be scandalous, however, just tie the knot higher than the top of your pants and let that tummy shine!
Now, if you don’t have enough material at the bottom of your shirt to make a knot, either put on a shirt underneath the one you wish to tie, tuck said undershirt into your pants, and then find a place on your midriff where you have enough material from your original shirt gathered in your hands to make the knot, or you can simply change into a longer shirt or higher pants.
For my makeup, because I knew I’d be sweating, I went for a natural look (which I do most days, anyway). This works perfectly for rain because there’s nothing dark on your face to run and smudge (or at least noticeably do so).
Does it look like I’m wearing makeup? Not really, and that’s the perfect look for any rainy day (or any day in general, in my opinion). As Aunt Becky said, the best makeup look is the one where you don’t look like you’re wearing any makeup at all. And, no, that is not a direct quote.
For rainy days, focus on your skin, for overcast lighting really brings forth your complexion. For that reason, on cloudy days in general, I like to put all of my time into foundation and concealer, making sure I moisturize and prime my skin before doing anything else. After that, I use a bit of foundation. Lately, I’ve been choosing a BB cream with SPF in it to make sure that I do not burn (because that happens very, very easily with me), and I use a very dense, rounded foundation brush to blend it across my skin. I recommend blending in a circular motion, starting from the center of your face and working out toward your hair and jawline. This seems to be the best method for avoiding any unsightly foundation lines. But, you know, picking a product color that actually matches your natural skin tone helps a lot, too.
Yes, I’m talking to you, tan-seeker.
Tip: The BB cream I use is incredibly thick, even thicker than most foundations I’ve seen, so if the product you’re using on your skin is on the thinner, runnier side, I suggest either using a blending sponge or your fingers to apply. Buff it into your skin with a gentle, circular tapping motion for the most natural results.
After your foundation, apply concealer. (I use a combination of three because I have horrendous dark circles.) You should always use at least two: one for spots and one for under the eyes, as different formulas and colors are needed for both. Apply them, respectively, onto any blemishes and your dark circles. Make sure to lightly pat in either a circular motion (on blemishes) or in a wide crescent motion (under your eyes, with “crescent” obviously referring to the shape of your under-eye area) to blend the product seamlessly into your skin. I recommend using fingers to apply concealer, but you can use a brush instead if it pleaseth you more. Just try to avoid putting the concealer’s actual applicator directly onto any blemishes, for that can take whatever is causing your breakout and spread it, thus causing your skin to breakout even more.
Finally, finish off your look by setting your foundation and applying other “little things” to add some life back into your complexion. I set my foundation with a spray of Fix+ followed by a light dusting of powder and another spray of Fix+. The other “little things” I apply are some bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, some blush on the apples, a coat or two of mascara (never fake lashes), and something pretty on the lips.
Normally, I keep the rest of my face extremely neutral because I love bright, bold lips, but this time around, because I knew I’d be sweaty and the lipstick would inevetably run, I chose a nice, moisturizing balm. This is what you should do, as well, if you know it is going to rain; rain can easily make lipstick run if there is enough of it (especially if the lipstick has not been properly applied).
Now, I really wasn’t trying to be a hipster. I promise. I just love these sandals to death, and since the rest of my outfit was pretty plain (which always happens since I love to have bold shoes), I wore them. And I must say that they do work very nicely with it. #fakebirksforlife
Also, please excuse my in-need-of-a-new-coat toes.
Anyway, always, always, always wear sandals if it is going to rain (or if you’ll be sweating). Temporarily wet (but easy to dry off) feet sure as heck beat soaked tennis shoes and thus perpetually clammy toes any day. Plus, it’s summer, and since I live in an area where that’s the only season for sandals, I tell anyone to wear them while they can!
To tie the whole thing together, I chose a simple, neutral, cross-body bag. Again, it feels hip, but it also has a bit of a classic twist due to its color, shape, and length of strap.
Tip: You seem a lot more casual (and unique) if you carry a cross-body on only one of your shoulders (like a regular purse) instead of across your body as the name implies. However, if it becomes too difficult to keep on that one shoulder, simply switch the bag to its normal position and carry on; both ways are always incredibly cute.
Cross-bodies are good for any event because they keep your hands free. They’re also small, which means that you won’t weigh yourself down with any excess crap and can actually do stuff. Choose a leathery, not-soft-or-fabricy-or-plushy material for damp weather to avoid thoroughly soaking everything inside.
And here’s what I look like all put together:
Sorry my ridiculous hair is blocking the purse in the second photo.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Shirt: Target (similar)
Purse: Old Navy (no longer available)
BB Cream: Ponds
Concealer 1: Covergirl
Concealer 2: *It’s not really a concealer, but I use it that way because of its luminescence* Ulta
Concealer 3: Pixi
Powder: J. Cat (No longer available)
Setting Spray: MAC
Bronzer: Too Faced
Lip Balm: YSL
Outfit 2: Work
I am a sales associate at a local H&M, and so looking nice at work is a must for me. If I don’t, people won’t take the store seriously and buy things. First impressions, and all.
Well, I worked on Saturday, and even though it cleared up at night on Friday, it was rainy and gross once again that morning when I had to leave. Now, as with most buildings, the weather outside determines the temperature inside, and so I had to pick an outfit that would keep me both cool and warm, for in my store, it’s muggy and then suddenly very cold when it’s even slightly wet outside.
(Sorry for the bad lighting and dirty mirror, but that’s what happens when you can’t find your tripod and there’s no one else around to take your picture with your DSLR.)
So, this outfit.
It’s a lightweight button-down — probably made of some odd combination of polyester and acrylic — with the sleeves rolled to just above my elbows and paired with some over-sized, high-waisted, belted, navy, cotton shorts. Lightweight and adaptable, it’s perfect for having to walk through a rainy parking lot only to spend five hours in a constantly changing climate. And then walk through a rainy parking lot again.
As for style, in my opinion, any button-down tucked into anything high-waisted is never a fail — as long as the two garments don’t clash, of course. Because this outfit is naturally a bit more conservative, I chose my moth shirt instead of one of my other plain or floral or striped button-downs; I mean, not only does it have fun moths all over it, but it has colorful, fun moths all over it. Now, if that doesn’t spice up an outfit, then I don’t know what does.
And here’s an attempt at getting a detailed shot of my shorts. Sorry, but it sucks, I know. I really need to find my tripod; you’d think that after three years, I would have already.
Some may find these dowdy, but I think they’re timeless. But, then again, I’m also not a fan of the booty short — and also definitely cannot wear such a garment to work. So, these bad boys it was! Cute, classy, comfortable — I’ll wear them any day!
I used the same bag and did the same makeup as the day before, so I won’t waste your time showing all that again. As for shoes, I paired this outfit with a pair of plain, black, lace-up oxfords, but that was only for comfort purposes; five hours straight of running around does not call for daring shoes, especially when you’re pigeon-toed. However, if you’re not going to be on your feet for too long, I say choose any shoe you’d like. If it was a dream world, I’d have paired this with the black heeled oxfords I have instead.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Outfit 3: Amusement Park
Then, finally, on Sunday, I went to a local amusement park, and the weather was supposed to be hot and rainy and humid and ew. And, being that I was, again, going to an amusement park, I knew that my hair would be whipped around by high speed coasters and thus become an absolute wreck. So, I did the thing that every human being should and kept it simple.
T-shirt, comfy shorts, and sandals with ankle straps (so as not to lose them on any rides): The guide to every woman’s most successful day at any theme park in the world.
Seriously, going to a place to ride roller coasters and have fun does not call for wedges and statement necklaces. It calls for comfort and simplicity that still doesn’t look awful.
Granted, if there wasn’t a chance of water rides, I would have become Lizzie McGuire, Outfit Repeater, and wore once again the shorts I wore the previous day to work (cause why not?). But if those got soaked, my buttocks and thighs would not have a fun rest of the day, and so I chose the above: cute, comfy fabric shorts that can easily dry and would not chaff me while wet.
I’m sorry, but after years and years and years of experiencing walking around in soaked jean or dress shorts after a water ride, I have to say screw high fashion; it just isn’t worth it.
Another plus: Not wearing anything super gorgeous as pants also helps with the whole rain at amusements park situation. No nice pants means no worries regarding wet seats that may transfer crap onto you when you sit down.
Counter the more athletic bottoms, though, with a fun, bright top, and it instantly makes you “stylish” once again. (I say stylish with quotation marks, though, because, in my opinion, you can be stylish wearing anything, even an old Blackhawks jersey.)
Just make sure that the shirt isn’t too thick or thin for the weather you’ll be experiencing. In my case, the shirt was perfect when it was raining, but when the sun sporadically came out (because the showers were, thankfully, scattered), I was sweltering.
Tip: If you’re unsure as to how hot/cold it will actually be wherever you’re going (rain or shine), wear something with shorter sleeves or straps, and just bring a sweater. You can always put the sweater on or take it off — or cuff/roll the sleeves. It’s better to be safe and make a quick wardrobe change than sorry (and sweaty or shivering)!
Now for hair and makeup:
As you can probably tell, I’m not wearing any makeup at all. Normally, I would have put on my BB cream, concealer, powder, blush, and mascara only, but I just neither had the time nor energy. However, I think not wearing any makeup is totally okay; I mean, you shouldn’t be afraid to bare your bare skin! It’s you, and since we’re all beautiful, you should show it!
Tip: If not wearing any makeup outside the home, put on some moisturizer and sun screen as well as some lip balm before you go. Your non-chapped face will thank me later.
And, just saying, no makeup is the best kind of makeup when you’ll be getting very, very gross or wet (or both).
For the hair, because mine is so long and tends to get incredibly tangled at the drop of a dime, I opted for the only style that keeps my strands sane: a braided ponytail. This is something I only started doing after I spent half of a summer watching all of the rounds of the women’s beach volleyball tournament during the last Summer Olympics, but trust me, it works (while also looking cool).
To do it, simply pull your hair in a high ponytail, secure with a gumband (a.k.a. hair tie for those of you not from Pittsburgh), braid, then secure again with another gumband (again, hair tie). And voila! Cute, easy, and frizz-and-tangle-free! It’s the perfect hairstyle for a busy, active, rainy, humid, muggy, gross day.
And for the third day in a row, I used the same cross-body bag. But who can blame me when it’s so convenient and classic?
So here’s what I looked like all put together:
Add some cute, strappy sandals, and it’s good enough for me!
Tip: When there’s a possibility of getting wet (whether due to water rides or rain) when at a theme park, just wear your bathing suit underneath!
You’ll be comfy and easily dry, and no one will even know!
And that is all!
I guess the moral of this story is that, when you’re going to be outside in the rain at any point during the summer, make sure your clothes are light and airy yet covering your body so as to stay cool in the heat yet warm in the rain. Keep your feet, shoes, and other accessories dry by choosing materials that aren’t absorbent. And if you keep both makeup and hair light, easy, and natural, as well, you’ll find that you always beat the sticky, damp heat, thus being gorgeous from head to toe all day long despite whatever the weather throws in your face. Literally.
Until next time!
Oh, and, PS, it never hurts to take an umbrella!
(Unless there’s lightning, of course. But then you shouldn’t really be outside then, anyway.)