Channeling PNW Chic

Commodore Park with a view of the Ballard Locks.

I love where I live. I’m a born and raised PNW girl. I belong in Western Washington, sloshing through rain puddles, exploring beaches and keeping cozy on rainy days. This might surprise you, but I actually like the rain and clouds. Seattle is my home, so I started The Haute Raincoat to share with others what PNW style is all about.

I’m a Seattleite, but I’m also a Parisienne at heart. I love Paris style and Paris culture. I call it everyday chic, and I can’t get enough.

So when I combine where my home is and where my heart is, I get Pacific Northwest Chic.

Mix and match with detachable fur trims.

Dressing elegantly for the never-ending rain is a challenge. But I try to make it work one fur-lined hood at a time.

PNW chic is all about livable clothes. I live in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, so I walk everywhere, no matter how chilly and damp. To brief you on what it takes to stay warm and dry, I’ve compiled a list of must-haves for any stylish Seattleite.

Rainy City Must-Haves

  • Waterproof jacket.  The high humidity makes everything damp, even when it’s not raining. But even a pricey waterproof jacket will only keep you dry one or two seasons. Refresh the hydrophobic coating in the offseason. I recommend a slimmer, well-lined jacket to make layering easier.
Spray waterproof outerwear (even shoes!) with a water shield spray once a year.
  • Layers. A good jacket isn’t enough on frigid days, and the weather here fluctuates quite a bit. Prepare to delayer as the day warms up. Think flannel shirts (not just an homage to grunge), lightweight long-sleeve tees and cardigans.
Knee-high is the way to go.
  • Rain boots. Leather boots get soggy after a day in the rain and take a few days to dry out in the humid air. In heavy rain, go for rain boots to save your soles.
  • Hats, gloves and scarves. If you have to wear your winter-ready waterproof jacket every day, you might as well add some color and print with cozy accessories.

Here’s another tip: umbrellas are optional. Umbrellas are “touristy” here, and so a lot of die-hard locals refuse to carry them. Most waterproof jackets have hoods. A hood is more convenient because you don’t need to tote it around, and it won’t drip all over you.

Hope these tips help Seattle newbies stay warm and dry. Being wet and cold is never in style. ☺