The OxStu on… April showers in May


Today the rain returned. And when it rains I don’t feel free and happy like little Bambi prancing around while those showers drip and drop. I feel like crap. I look like it too. Never have I been worse dressed than in the wet weather, but wait for my justification. I feel that donning my disgusting, pale pink raincoat (think DofE expedition rather than misty weekend in Paris) for ten minutes while on the move is a small price to pay to keep my tweed jacket dry. An obvious advantage is the hood, which also keeps my hair dry (never ever should a wet fringe be seen – literally instantly creepy). An obvious disadvantage is the hood, which completes the look of small child on a bike. I think it’s about time I found a fashionable alternative to the coat which provides my housemates with so many hours of laughter. So here are some tips on how to stay dry and fashionable in between sporadic heat waves and hosepipe bans.



Unless your boyfriend has just dumped you, there is absolutely no excuse for mascara streaming down your face. It will horrify small children, repel sexy men, repel unsexy men and it bloody hurts your eyes. This is definitely an occasion where less is much, much more. The best way to go about make-up is to keep mascara minimal and waterproof, wear a touch of blusher and a subtle lip colour. No foundation allowed! The pink raincoat I should never have admitted to is made all the more tragic by the orange foundation marks around the hood – too bleak. However, a shiny face from the rain is not radiant, don’t kid yourself. Instead of covering it up with foundation which will later melt down your face, use Kleenex shine absorbing wipes. At around £3 for 50, they are a relatively cheap way to keep your face (and dignity) in tact.



When deciding how to look fashionable the obvious place to start is with the French. The classic combination of trench coat and chic hat has two problems though. Firstly, who wants to ruin le beau manteau with muddy English rain and secondly, are you really a hat person? It’s a life choice.  

Moving closer to home, even Topshop slaves will have their loyalty tested by their latest answer to rainwear. There is an offensive range of options, from Paddington bear inspired macs to sports-luxe bomber jackets in an array of glaringly neon shades. In fact, a quick perusal of their website has made me feel a lot better about my poor pink coat. At least I’m channeling pastels!  


My solutions

Perhaps we just have to admit that no matter what, unless you are Scarlett Johansson romping in the mist (with the help of expert makeup and lighting), we look terrible in the rain. Here are some real-life ways I like to escape the torrent… and a disclaimer: I am really not the most sensible person. Continue reading with care and suspicion. 

1. I find cycling with your hand over your eyes like an improvised cap very successfully prevents eye makeup from running and fringes from getting wet. Warning: may result in death.

2. Alternatively, you can ditch the bike and invest in a lovely umbrella. Or try cycling while holding an umbrella. Again, potential death is a drawback of this plan.

3. At least wear clothes that dry quickly, so jeans are a definite no. I like to wear quick-drying tights instead and stare hypothermia in the face.

In fact, after all of this, I think I am content to throw fashion (very briefly, and only while in transit) into the rainy wind and continue wearing my pink raincoat, while praying that the bullying stops. 


By Arpita Ashok

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