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The Styled Side: How to dress for El Niño




KPCC staffers outside the Mohn Broadcast Center, decked out to face one of the first El Niño storms of the season.
KPCC staffers outside the Mohn Broadcast Center, decked out to face one of the first El Niño storms of the season.
Jason Georges / KPCC

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SoCal style isn't really built for rainy weather.

Sundresses and hoodies, sneakers and sandals – they tend not to hold up well in storms.

For the Styled Side, Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily has advice on what to wear and where to get it.

Get some rubbers

Rubber rain boots and galoshes, that is. They are obvious additions to your wardrobe, but don't cheap out: poorly made ones can eventually leak, soaking your socks.

"Pairs that are $80 to $200 are perfect for the rain and possibly a muddy situation," says Tyree.

One of most popular and fashionable brands of the past decade is Hunter, which sells rubber boots.

"They are so classic and timeless," says stylist Leslie Christen.

Originally worn by fisherman, Hunter boots come in fashionable colors and styles. There are even unique designs in collaboration with luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo and more.

Hunters are sold in stores like REI, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.

If you want a more rugged shoe, LL Bean's duck boots are super iconic. They're made in limited supplies, however, and have sold out every year since 2011. 

Order a pair now in advance if you want to wear them before winter ends.

KPCC staffers all show off their El Niño and rainy day fashion gear. Clockwise from top left: Kristen Lepore, Maya Sugarman, Austin Cross, Michelle Lanz, Sanden Totten, Andrea Gardner-Bernstein, Evelyn Larrubia, Leo Duran and Becca Murphy.
KPCC staffers all show off their El Niño and rainy day fashion gear. Clockwise from top left: Kristen Lepore, Maya Sugarman, Austin Cross, Michelle Lanz, Sanden Totten, Andrea Gardner-Bernstein, Evelyn Larrubia, Leo Duran and Becca Murphy.
Leo Duran/KPCC

Never bought rain boots before?

Tyree advises that you try them on and walk around the store.

Check for height because some people might find higher shafted boots hit them at the wrong part of the leg or even too high at the knee. That will make them hard to walk in.

Remember that taller boots should also feel comfortable with your pants or jeans tucked in, keeping the pant legs dry.

If you have a wider calf, however, you'll want to go for a shorter boot or one with elastic at the top.

Finding the right umbrella-ella-ella

The other important fashion accessory when dealing with the rain: an umbrella!

Don't cheap out on one of these, either.

"You don't have to go crazy," says Tyree, "but you should at least be in the $30 range if you don't want people laughing at you as your umbrella turns upside-down"

Find an umbrella with a large, domed canopy that's at least 10-11 inches long to keep your whole body covered.

Plus, picking one with a vented canopy will keep your umbrella from turning inside-out and causing you to be umbrella shamed.

Oh, the humidity!

Rain storms also mean that humidity is in the air, which isn't good for keeping your hair styled intact.

"Embrace the humidity," says Alli Webb, founder of Drybar. "Go with a style that has a little more texture and movement."

"The trick to rainy weather hair is to not strive for perfection," adds Edward Tedeschi, creative director of the Sassoon Salon in Costa Mesa. "Rather, enhance a more textured, slightly disheveled feel. Go for the 'lived-in look,' but try to avoid the 'I accidentally slept in look.'"

If you want to find salvation in a bottle, look for anti-frizz products. Tedeschi recommends the Discipline Line by Kérastase Paris.

Why you need a raincoat...for your dog

Buying a raincoat for yourself is obvious, but you might not know your dog needs one, too.

"Many dogs, especially here in Southern California, aren't used to the weather so when it rains," says Tyree. "Many refuse to go outside, and that's where one comes in handy."

A good local store to check out is Pussy & Pooch, which as four locations in Southern California.

"When a cold snap or bad weather hits, people come in for sweaters, jackets and rain gear," says co-founder Janene Zakrajsex. "They sell out quickly."