Spring, for me, signifies hope. After a Great British winter, in which I spend my life in the thickest black tights I can find (in public) and novelty fleece pyjamas (in private. Mostly), the frost melts away to make room for longer, sunnier days. Bare branches hang heavy with blossom and fields are scattered with tiny lambs.
Well, that’s the spring idyll in my mind, anyway. Because at present, spring (late spring at that) actually looks more like this: rain-drenched, chilly, humid and grey – all at once. This makes getting dressed problematic, to say the least. In the past week alone, I’ve sought to out-smart the weather, fervently checking forecasts before I open the doors of my wardrobe, only to find that, with only one foot out of the door, clouds form, rain falls and I arrive at work with small puddles of rainwater in my shoes.
But I’m pleased to tell you that I have made an important discovery. It happened quite by accident, after one particularly heavy downpour. Looking at my soggy wool coat, I realised I had no sort of waterproof to protect me from this changeable weather. So, I started (virtually) shopping around, only to find that Warehouse has lots of anoraks, windbreakers and rain coats in the "new in" section.
Forget any pac-a-mac flashbacks you may be having; Warehouse’s offering of waterproof jackets comes in bright colours, floral prints, oversized fits and light fabrics. The sort of coats you’d actually want to wear even if it weren't raining. You can roll the sleeves up and chuck them on with jeans and ankle boots or just as easily wear them over midi dresses and skirts. They actually look – dare I say it – cool.
Spurred on by my initial success, I started scouring the rest of the high street and found that, despite my own perception that waterproof is almost always synonymous with unfashionable, there are loads of styles currently in the shops that actually look really great. From M&S’s belted coat to Topshop’s pale yellow jacket, to Benetton's blue quilted cover-up, we're spoilt for choice.
My favourite (apart from Warehouse's lot) is Mango's two-tone, funnel neck, belted parka, which is so lovely, I almost wouldn't mind walking to work in a downpour... almost.