WHAT WE'RE WEARING: Wellies

WHAT WE'RE WEARING: Wellies

You've got the raincoat, the umbrella, the water resistant bag, and even a pancho for your pup. The final touch for a rainy spring day? It's the boots.

 Here I am at the Bayfield Apple Festival armed with a dessert, some cider, and my favorite boots. These are a few of my absolute favorite things.  Photo by Derek Gallagher.

Here I am at the Bayfield Apple Festival armed with a dessert, some cider, and my favorite boots. These are a few of my absolute favorite things. Photo by Derek Gallagher.

Admittedly, rainboots are some of my favorite kind of footwear. I find that they are simply a fun excuse to wear outlandish colors and patterns that stand out even more due to the gloomy weather that brings them out. And while, for me at least, that's my favorite thing about rainboots, another huge bonus: you will absolutely wear them much more than you think--especially if you find the perfect pair.

 Wearing my Chooka rain boots while giving my F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tour. We've been through so much together!  Photo by Maria Kennedy.

Wearing my Chooka rain boots while giving my F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tour. We've been through so much together! Photo by Maria Kennedy.

This article comes at the perfect time for me, actually. My favorite pair of galoshes, after four years of puddle stomping, F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tours, Apple Festivals, and even a few nights out in uptown (hey, I like to be prepared), I finally need to replace my good old Chooka boots. They really put in their time, clearly, and have finally started to show it.

 Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington.  Image courtesy of wkimedia.org.

Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington. Image courtesy of wkimedia.org.

Although not considered the most fashionable of footwear, wellies were actually originally designed with just that in mind. Wanting a modification of the 18th-century Hessian boot, Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, commissioned his shoe-maker to create a boot that looked good with the new trouser trend (knee-britches were so 1815). The new mid-calf boots, named "wellies" were constructed of soft leather and fit snugly around the leg, were remiss of any trim and tassels, and had a low cut heel. Whether you were riding or going to a more casual dinner, these boots were were both fashionable and functionable to handle it all.

When WWI began, the British government commissioned North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Ltd) to fashion a boot that would hold up against European muddy and often flooded trenches. 1,185,036 pairs of wellies were made for the British Army. By 1945, the boot had transformed from a snug soft leather to the roomier, rubber galoshes that we still wear today.

There are many options out there for you when it comes to rainboots. With a variety of heights, formality, and colors there is absolutely a perfect pair out there for you.

Ankle

Mid-Calf

Tall

A more formal approach

A more fun approach

Clearly, I emphasize the fun approach. But in all honesty, these boots can brighten any gloomy day. And just the fact that your other shoes won't suffer the weather makes them a necessity in any climate that gets a little drizzly.

I've found that I wear my wellies almost year round. Many are available with warm liners you can add in the fall and early winter to add a little bit of warmth. To keep them looking great, store them upright and be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight or very warm temperature (they are rubber after all and can warp). Take care of your galoshes and your galoshes will take care of you.

Now the tough part: picking just one (or two).

THE DESIGN STUDIO: Gabardine

THE DESIGN STUDIO: Gabardine

WEEKLY WRAPUP: April 16 - 22

WEEKLY WRAPUP: April 16 - 22