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Q&A: What should I wear when it’s both rainy and hot?

Q&A: What should I wear when it’s both rainy and hot?

While most Brits are adept at dressing for grey, rainy weather—and we know to switch from shirts to t-shirts when it occasionally warms up—the combination of rainy plus hot is a rare and tricky one.

"When it's hot and rainy, it can be close to impossible to maintain any sort of style," says Thread’s style director, Shaunie Brett. "Trains are hot, tubes are saunas, and your raincoat adds more insulation to make you overheat."

Here, Shaunie shares four ways to survive rainy-but-hot weather (i.e., much of this summer thus far).

Rainy-but-hot solution 1. Go for your usual top and a cooler bottom

Photographed: Gant shorts (£70)

"When it warms up, your first move is typically to wear your usual trousers (like jeans or chinos) and switch to something lighter on top (like a light shirt or a t-shirt). But when it's rainy, it's better to do the opposite: if you pair your usual shirt and jacket with shorts or thinner trousers, you won't overheat when you add a raincoat on top."

Rainy-but-hot solution 2. An umbrella 

A bit obvious, this, but still: "An umbrella is better than a raincoat when it’s warm out because it keeps you dry without adding insulation," Shaunie says. "And because walking umbrellas can look sharp, they're particularly good if you work in a smart office. Go for a plain black walking umbrella, which will match all your clothes and won't blow inside-out."

Rainy-but-hot solution 3. Choose a cool raincoat

Photographed: Elka raincoat (£75)

If you chronically lose umbrellas, here are the four things to look for in a raincoat that won't leave you clammy.

  1. Certain words in the product description. "Unlined," "nylon" and "mesh lining" suggest a cooler construction.
  2. A zip rather than buttons. So you can quickly unzip if you're feeling hot.
  3. Ventilated areas around the armpits. Even a button-sized hole helps with airflow.
  4. A storm flap on the back. Lets air in to prevent dreaded back sweat.

Rainy-but-hot solution 4. Layers that are easy to peel off

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: layering is always an answer to weather woes. "Go for jackets and sweatshirts with zip closures, which are easier to take off quickly than crew-neck sweaters or sweatshirts," Shaunie says.