23rd September 2014

Why does it always rain on me?

Is Manchester’s maddening meteorology wreaking havoc on your wardrobe? Aimée Grant Cumberbatch explains how to survive the city in style.

Rainy walk to bus, sweaty journey on bus, rainy walk from bus to lecture theatre, equatorial heat or subarctic temperatures in lecture theatre, rainy walk back to bus, repeat. If you aren’t already familiar with this gruelling cycle then you soon will be. This epic voyage through desert-worthy extremes of temperature and meteorological madness is what we call getting to uni. Yes, it’s fair to say that Manchester presents a clothing conundrum that takes a fair few drowned-rat moments to surmount. So “how to do it?” I hear you cry from beneath that barrage of broken brollies. Well first of all the key is layering. Yes people, it sounds obvious but good layers are a subtle art. Invest in high quality knitwear, well-fitting shirts and jackets that you can keep cracking out every winter until you graduate.

Now to the tricky subject that is the umbrella, unless it’s made from reinforced steel and industrial-grade tarpaulin, it won’t be long before Manchester’s made mincemeat out of yours. For the days when drizzle is as dire as it’ll get, then a small black umbrella is both chic and practical. However, when the grumpy old northerner’s in a stormier mood, it will laugh in the face of your feeble Accessorize offering. On days like this you want a raincoat with a hood, yes I said it, raincoat. But fear not fellow fashionistas, dispel those visions of macs in sacks and school trips to forsaken corners of the country, I don’t mean that kind of raincoat! Look out for navy blue duffle styles or a classic trench coat.

Right, let’s not wander around the issue, footwear presents a bit of a problem in the veritable washing-up basin that Manchester frequently resembles. Now being something of a wellington purist (that is to say festivals only), I don’t advocate that you take the wellie route, I can’t deny their practicality but they will never scream chic. However, nor do I condone the nonsensical sporting of flip flops, you know who you are, stop it. The sight of hairy toes on the morning bus is not a hangover cure. Instead I’ll level with you, last year I put my boots on in October and didn’t take them off till March; this means that your pair need to be delectable, or else you’ll just be depressed. Also, it’s wise to invest in an array of cosy wool socks which provide warmth but also a cheeky bit of decoration when left peeking out over the top.

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