A few weeks ago I got an email from an out-of-towner who’s about to become local; she wanted to know where she should go to prepare for what she’s heard can be a pretty bleak season. Pretty bleak? It’s been all blue skies and sunshine. I can’t remember the last time I had to water my garden in October. Weird. Yet despite the unseasonably warm and dry month, there’s every chance that one of these days it’s going to start raining again and … never stop.
Therefore: this shopping map. Use it now, or, you know … save it for a rainy day.
You’ll want to start at Filson of course, because without the locally based, globally beloved outfitters, who knows where the outerwear industry would be — or what it would look like. In the same vein, both Field House and Blackbird are aficionados of the utilitarian, Americana look — and the pieces within that aesthetic that’ll keep you warm and dry. Similarly, downtown’s Federal Army and Navy Surplus is a veritable goldmine. Tell me you couldn’t put together a pretty bad-ass Issey Miyake-esque military/Parisian-street-style look by starting with one of these flight suits. And I’d love to see you one-up this season’s ubiquitous camel cape with a camo one — for about 1/100 the price.
Not your thing? Last year around this time, the fellas at Oslo’s pointed out Aether’s all-weather gear as key to the season; the Queen Anne mens’ shop can always be counted on for functional pieces with just a touch of flair.
Now how about shoes? We love these Ilsa Jacobsen rainboots from Lambs Ear. and these United Nude puffer boots at Clementine in West Seattle, which put me in the mind of Norma Kamali’s sleeping bag coats.
But I love that wet-weather shoes are no longer just knee-high pull-on things with a somewhat ironic sense of style. Cases in point: Kartell’s black recycled-plastic wedges at Pulp Lab’s weekend pop-up, the Alexander Herchcovitch-designed capsule collection for Melissa, also in totally recycled plastic at Clementine.
They say real Seattleites don’t use umbrellas, but who are they anyway and what do they know? Peter Miller sells umbrellas that win design competitions, and nearby at Fancy they stock cute ones. And then, we’ve always loved the rain hats, coats, and colorful umbrellas at Tuuli.
Good luck to you out there. Stay dry.