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Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

rochester, michigan
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Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Am thinking about waiting until I get to London to buy rainboots and coat, as I think they will have a much better selection there than we have here. I'd like to get something I can keep for a long time, which will always remind me of my first trip there. Are there shops which specialize in foul weather attire? Or is my best bet a major department store? Either way, what shops do those of you familiar with the city recommend?

Many thanks in advance, as always.

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London, UK
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1. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Londoners only use one item for the rain - an umbrella - we're not about to change our attire because it might rain for 15 minutes today. As such if you really want to buy these things you may be better of buying in Michigan, but wearing them in London will mark you as a tourist.

Derbyshire, United...
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2. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Umbrellas, especially the big ones, can be a nuisance on busy streets, plus you need a plastic bag or somehere to stow it when you go indoors. A hooded waterproof jacket is easier to manage.

Blacks have shops all over London. They sell good quality outdoor gear including boots. Department stores won' t have as good a range. There is a store locator on their website:

http://www.blacks.co.uk/blacks.storefront/

Millets is a bit cheaper, but I don' t think they have a store in central London. The nearest one is in Kensington High Street. There used to be one in Windsor too but I'm not sure if its still there.

Ipswich, United...
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3. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Many Londoners don't even bother with umbrellas. I'm one of them. Unless there has been a gale warning, it seems absurd that anyone should carry this burden around with them on the offchance that it might rain. Not only are there plenty of places to duck into, those travelling on bus or tube won't need one anyway. They really are a pain, both for the users and those who have the misfortune to pass them on the pavement.

london
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4. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Well, London women certainly wear rainwear. The fashion chains pretty much all have raincoats - often in great styles and colours. I have a friend who adores them and has silver, turquoise, shocking pink - you name it. I like the classic Aquascutums but you'll find a lot of choice, especially as the autumn clothes come in.

Wellies aren't my thing but the classic ones are green Hunters, which are made in Scotland. (They do waxed jackets, too if you like that English country look.) But you can get funky ones too - people buy them to go to mud-laden festivals.

I think a dept store is a good place to start - which one depends on what sort of styles you're after.

Derbyshire, United...
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5. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

I guess where you shop (and what you intending doing) depends on whether you mean serious outdoor foul-weather waterproof gear or just a raincoat and wellies. Barbour jackets are popular (and expensive) for town and country but you won't see many people wearing wellies in central London. A raincoat is fine for around town but if you are venturing further afield you might need something more substantial.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

I've been out and about today and don't have an umbrella. I did, however, bring my rain jacket from home (Vancouver is known for rain!) and wore it when it showered.

For the 5 or 10 minutes it's raining I personally don't care if I look like a tourist in such a busy city. I suspect most people around me were tourists as well.

Once it stopped raining I'd take it off and put my sunglasses back on and.. voila.. I looked like I belonged again! Another suggestion to avoid the short showers is to step into a store and take a look around.

London, UK
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7. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Well, I certainly always take an umbrella unless it really does look like no rain or just a drizzle or if it looks very windy (in which case pointless and danger of impersonating Mary Poppins). I have a strong, small automatic umbrella bought years ago from Boots - the ones one can buy now are worse than useless and turn inside out in a breeze. I am very skilled and careful about politely manouevering along a pavement: the problem with jackets with rainhoods is that when you turn your head to cross the road etc., the hood is in the way - unless you go in for the pulled in tight anorak look which I think is best reserved for hiking :)

Really, we don't dress up much for the rain here - in a deluge you duck into a doorway and the pavements tend not to form huge puddles. The best place to buy serious (but not hiking style) rainwear and funky boots is in shops in the country, unfortunately.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

If you get a chance, stop-by Smith & Son's umbrella shop.

http://www.james-smith.co.uk/

Bingley, United...
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9. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

For decent - ie reasonable quality & not too expensive - rainwear try Marks & Spencer. They also do quite strong umbrellas but PLEASE don't buy the golf variety as they take up a lot of pavement when you use them

rochester, michigan
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10. Re: Best Shops To Buy Rain Gear?

Well thanks all for the wide variety of responses. I really don't have any sort of waterproof jacket and the type that hickney's friend wears sounds like what I had in mind. Not so much for London, but we are doing 3 to 4 day trips in our 9 days there, including heading up to the Lake District, so we may be mucking about a bit. I realize I didn't elaborate that we'd be outside the city in my original post.

What I didn't expect was the controversy over to brolly or not to brolly. Now, that *is* the question. I certainly don't want to appear to be the quintessential "ugly American" tourist by annoying some local with my umbrella. lol