Survive the April showers with puddle-proof fashion. Lisa Haynes reveals how to make a splash - stylishly.
April is the month when rain traditionally strikes, turning a stylish look into a soggy mess in 15 seconds flat.
With our wet British climate, rainwear is essential armoury for any time of year. But being prepared doesn't have to mean looking like Paddington Bear.
The high street has puddle-friendly fashion that means you'll arrive at your destination looking more catwalk hot than damp wash-out.
Take cover from the elements in a mac, hat, brolly or wellies, or wear them all at once for extreme outfit protection. Suddenly, rain showers don't seem quite so scary.
Gok Wan declares that the humble mac is "as crucial a part of your wardrobe as your jeans", so invest in a neutral colour like black, stone or navy for longevity. If you want to brighten up grey days, opt for a bold primary colour.
Can't be parted from your favourite coat? Invest in a compact pack-up poncho that fits in your handbag to pull out in downpour emergencies.
:: Don't leave home without a hood; Matalan's Lightweight Jacket has a coated finish for rain or shine, £25 (www.matalan.co.uk)
:: Defend against pesky unexpected showers with Joules' Parisian Pink Printed Poncho, which cleverly folds into its own front pocket, £24.95 (www.joules.com)
:: For a neutral take on a trench, try Marisota's Dannimac Mac, available in stone or navy, £85 (www.marisota.co.uk)
Whatever you're wearing, a good umbrella will offer an element of overall outfit protection.
Opt for prints and colour to brighten up grey skies when you look up. Choose a slim and lightweight style if you're planning to stash your brolly in your bag, or a walker or golf umbrella if you want to make a statement in the showers.
:: Peace out and let the rain wash over you with Topshop's Tie Dye Umbrella, £16 (www.topshop.com)
:: Add a feminine, floral touch to your outfit with Totes' Dahlia Photographic Elegant Walker Umbrella, £25 (www.totes.co.uk)
:: Begrudgingly show the rain showers some love with Accessorize's Tan Heart Super Slim Umbrella, £12 (uk.accessorize.com)
Hats are a tricky game in the rain. Choose the right fabric, or you'll end up with a sodden headpiece that requires wringing out.
If you prefer to be hands-free, ditch the umbrella and pick out a wide brim. A straw floppy hat will look too summery, while woollen materials feel distinctly wintry. Go in between with a water repellent wax fabric that will keep your hairstyle damp-free.
:: Add a splash of rich colour with Joules' Southbury Caramel Wax Bucket Hat, reduced to £14.95 (www.joules.com)
:: Go wild in the showers with Lola Rose's Leopard Heart Rain Hat, reduced to £7.20 at House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk)
Rainy days can render half of your shoe cupboard completely useless, unless you want to risk wet feet. Swerve the sodden socks with sturdy rubber soles that make jumping through puddles a doddle.
If tall wellies aren't for you, experiment with a boot hybrid complete with lace-ups.
:: Inject some spring cheer into your look with Seasalt's Daffs Tall Wellies, £39.95 (www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk)
:: Work a stylish wellie-come-ankle-boot with Ilse Jacobsen's Short Rubberboots, from £70 (www.amazon.co.uk)
:: Wellies can be chic and neutral; look to Hunter's Original Tall in Biscuit, £85 (www.hunter-boot.com)
Get the look
A girl can never have enough LBDs. Coleen Rooney went as far as to design her own, wearing her Coleen for Littlewoods Black Yoke Bead Dress, £60, available April (www.littlewoods.com).
Buy it now
Turn heads with Phase Eight's latest drop of Collection 8 occasionwear. The premium limited edition evening dresses are available to buy online and in stores, from £225. Strictly ballroom, folks (www.phase-eight.co.uk).
:: Foot fetish
Hear that? It's the collective groan of over-stocked shoe racks. The nation's shoe collection is worth £25billion, according to a poll of 1,000 women by footwear retailer, Moda in Pelle. The average British woman owns 19 pairs of shoes, with a value of £881. If UK women's shoe collections were placed next to each other, they'd cover the distance of the Earth's circumference almost three times. In addition, more than half of British women (55%) are choosing to ditch heels in favour of flats for occasional events.
:: Recessionista alert
Give the Virgin Money London Marathon competitors a run for their money. Get training with Aldi's Special Buy running apparel range. Suitable for sometime novices or seasoned sprinters, prices start from £2.99 for socks to £19.99 for trainers, available in stores from April 3.