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Some things are quintessentially Lancastrian; college rivalry, Pizzetta and The Sugarhouse, to name but a few. However, one element of Lancaster is constantly mystifying; the weather. In Lancaster we appear to have our own micro-climate, where torrential rain lasts for weeks, not days, where gale force winds are the norm and even blinding sunshine is accompanied by sub zero temperatures. So with the gloom comes the doom; do we have no choice but to embrace a wardrobe filled with an array of sensible jumpers and anoraks?
A quick glance at the high street stores is unhelpful. On offer are summery strapless tops and micro mini-hemlines that are beautiful for spring and summer in Barbados, yet entirely inappropriate for Lancaster’s frequent monsoons. Alas, fashion followers, do not be afraid. Simply heed my handy guide to Lancaster dressing and avoid looking like you’re ready for a rain filled excursion to Everest.
Fear not the skirt: In Lancaster wearing anything above the knee will most likely result in frostbite and leave you minus several toes. However, with the 70s boho vibe still raging; invest in a maxi or mid-length skirt. A maxi teamed with lace up boots and last season’s fur coat is effortlessly chic and much less goose bump inducing.
Bit of all white: When reaching for your faithful floral dress and opaque tights combo, banish the wintery black tights in favour of some chunky white tights. They are just as warm but are a brighter, quirkier alternative and look far more appropriate for spring.
Buy a brolly: A sturdy umbrella is an absolute must have. I find that the collapsible ones that fit in your handbag and pop out at the push of a button models just don’t cut the mustard against Lancaster wind, so look for old fashioned crook handled ones. They last much longer and thanks to the vintage aesthetic are perfect for creating your own version of Singing In The Rain.
Perfect the art of layering: It can be depressing and monotonous to have to leave the house in the same duffel coat you wore all through December when we are reportedly in Spring. A long sleeve tee, chunky knit cardigan and floral scarf or snood is just as cosy, but looks much more seasonal.
Brave the April Showers: When the rain storms reign wellies are going to be a necessity. Fortunately there are now many more styles than just farmer green available. There are now wellies that look like biker boots, wellies that come in prints and all sorts of colours. If you needed any more proof that the humble wellington is having a fashion moment part with £255 and you can own a pair of Jimmy Choo wellies and lose a little of your sanity.
So there it is; how to step out stylishly in Lancaster no matter what the often grim forecast throws at you. But remember, there is one final piece of advice every Lancaster girl will need to remember when wrestling with the weather. A combination of winds, long loose hair and sticky lip gloss will equal disaster, every time.