It has though, allowed me copious hours of surfing the internet for research purposes. As much as I tried to get excited about sandals, wedding/christening ensembles (oh that's a real special one I'm waiting to share with you!), maxi dresses and general summery loveliness, the lashing of rain on the window and the fact that I felt generally as rough as a badger's arse, didn't lend itself to looking at jolly sunkissed outfits.
It did make me realise though, as I had a squizz through my wardrobe at the distinct lack of anything waterproof, that it wouldn't be beyond the realms of sensible to buy something that is vaguely weather appropriate. My thinking, up until now, has been that if it's raining that heavily, I simply won't go out in it. I will admit, this has bitten me on the arse and made me look like a complete tool a number of times on the school run, but not so many that it's forced me into Millets. I'm sorted for the winter. I have a perfectly functional (ok so you wouldn't want to go for a swim in it and Kate Humble would roll her eyes in disgust at it's lack of practicality - I think it's called "showerproof") rather lovely parka that is now 4 years old. It's warm. Very very warm which is a big improvement on any previous garment in my wardrobe that has purported to be even slightly functional. Huzzah.
However if you leave the house in it when the temperature is even hovering above freezing, you do risk a Boil in the Bag scenario. Think furlined duvet with a zip and hood. Not for venturing out in if you haven't got to scrape the car. (or leave the ignition running for 20 minutes as we do chez lazy cow household).
So I have been making do with either an umbrella (a rediscovered piece of beloved kit now that I'm no longer buggy lady) or one of two trenches that I have. In the interests of research (I barely wear either) I went to get them out today and with fresh eyes could see that they are Old. And not just my version of Old (which, as The Husband says, merely means you didn't buy it this week. Git.) but proper Old. The stone one is from Principles. Hah! Says it all - how long is it since Principles went under? And I bought it a long time before then as well. "Swings hair in a told you so stylee". The other is a navy one from Zara which I actually bought before the stone one. Positively vintage.
More importantly, neither are remotely waterproof. Why on earth anyone would make a fashion Trench is beyond me. Actually the more moot point should probably be why would any moron buy a non waterproof Trench. I was pregnant or had baby hormones cruising around my body for around 5 years. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.
Needless to say both are on the tatty side and could be replaced. Which gave me something to do for an hour or two, search Trenches on t'internet. And here are my pick of the bunch.
First of all I must point out that I haven't felt the quality of these in real life and am completely unable to vouch for any level of waterproofing. (or style or fit for that matter) In my experience though, I would say that a classic Trench is one of those things, especially if you are at that bumcurdling age of late 30's plus, that you would do well to invest in and spend as much as you can afford, finding something that's perfect. (you can see where this is going, can't you?.....)
When I started looking, I was thinking I wanted a really classic Trench. Which, by definition, was to me, light beige colour, epaulettes, storm flaps (no I'm not a complete Trench nerd/expert. Extensive googling thank you. Before that I was ready to call them little flappy cape bits), collar and belt. Not too A-line, and contrasting buttons methinks. But I was a bit stuck on length...... Hmmmm ok so longer than bum length definitely, but whereabouts on the knee? Above the knee? Or just below? In the end after looking at pictures till I had Inspector Gadget images tattooed on my eyeballs, I came to the conclusion that just above the knee is the way forward.
On further investigation, I realised that these days, there were so many takes on the classic Trench that I really liked, it's probably better to not have such a specific checklist in mind and go with the best fit and quality.
So here are a selection of my favourites.
First, I'm going to start at the cheaper end of the scale even thought I'm pretty sure it would score zero on the practicality charts. Bugger that, it looks gorgeous. Length wise, again, I'm not sure that this wouldn't hoist me unhelpfully up the Frumperella Scale but I love the styling of the storm flaps with the contrast colour.
Premium Contrast Trench Coat from Topshop
Again not on brief, as this one is without stormflaps at all, and a more military take on the Trench but I am drawn to it, is the Trench Coat with double button detail from Zara However given that she's wearing it with sandals, I think we can safely say you'd need an umbrella.
Another totally not on brief Trench (I promise there will be at least one - eventually. Much harder to find that I initially thought!) is this one from Hobbs. I absolutely love the styling of it and especially adore the price. I would hope from Hobbs as well, that the quality would at least be showerproof. I always imagine the Hobbs customer to be far more sensible than I'm ever given credit for (for good reason) and that they would expect a raincoat to be appropriate for errrrrrr the rain. If you are looking for a "pecan brown" raincoat then this has your name written all over it. Snap it up!
The Adele Rainmac from Hobbs
Now I haven't lost leave of my senses as my next number is from Viyella. I expected to be shopping in Viyella when I hit 80 but I honestly think that this Trench looks fantastic. I have absolutely no qualms about where I shop - it's definitely about the clothes as opposed to the retail outlet but I will admit to harbouring prejudgements on the general customer base of a shop. The quality looks great from the photo and if I thought that the Hobbs average customer was on the slightly sensible side, then the Viyella customer is probably up there for a sainthood. I would guarantee this one would keep you dry. And an amazing bargain.
Viyella Trench Coat in Honey from John Lewis
John Lewis actually have a great selection on sale which could well be worth a trawl through if you're in the market for a new coat. DItto, it would be worth looking at the Hobbs site. Some great bargains and lots of different styles and colours on offer.
On a more expensive note, I think the styling of this Aubin & Wills one is perfect. This is an appalling photo of it, better images and details can be found here The Colson Mac from Aubin & Wills The fact it's been "crafted by premium outwear masters, Cooper & Stollbrand" (no I've never heard of them either, but I'm assuming they're proper coat makers and therefore it's a proper coat?) makes me think it might be worth the money. The back detail of the coat is just heavenly.
And then of course, there is the master of all Trench makers. Burberry. I think, in terms of the Classic Trench, there is no other contender to the crown. There are just so many fabulous ones to choose from. Here are a couple - both from Net-a-Porter, either of which I would be happy as larry to take ownership of.
Of course, I did manage to find some spectacularly off piste numbers which do not fill the bill in the slightest bar the fact they fall under the heading :"coat". But I have to say, I am so unbelievably tempted by this Totley Mac from Hobbs
A slight assault on the eyes (to put it mildly) if animal print is not your thing. But I have fallen head over heels in love with this. At the start of the article, I had not intended to buy it. By the end, I may have convinced myself I have to have it.
Finally a quick round up as to the rest of our Easter weekend. As I alluded to earlier, it has been, what one would politely term, an unmitigated disaster. Friday was a write off with me and Rugrat Three being loo buddies all day. Saturday offered a brief moment of respite. I woke up feeling better. By lunchtime there had been no puking or pooing from anyone in the camp and so we ventured into town. We then got brave and thought, sod it, let's throw caution to the wind, go on a quick train jaunt into London and whizz to the Imperial War Museum which is only a hop skip and a jump from where the train stops. Result. Slightly on the chaotic side - at 7, 5 and 3, the Rugrats were only interested (obviously) in climbing on the exhibits as opposed to learning the history behind them. On the upside, Rugrat Two can now read "Do Not Touch" in 5 different languages. Pitstop in Giraffe (one of the best kids chains in the country. And apparently, people even go there without children. Who knew?) and then train back. All done and dusted in a matter of hours.
Which was handy as later that night, I started being sick. And spend most of Easter Sunday being sick. By the evening I was fine (no chocolate eggs for me - the only positive I can take at the moment - I haven't put on a lb this Easter which is a miracle), handily just in time to put on my Florence Nightingale mantle as it was Rugrat One's turn to throw up. All night. Today, has therefore been spent at home looking after her until Rugrat Two decided he wanted a piece of the action. Not content with just being a small poo monster on Thursday/Friday, he decided he wanted to shout House and needed to be sick as well. Everywhere.
I had planned on leaving the house tomorrow. I need to leave the house tomorrow. The Husband has just declared he has to go back to work tomorrow. Funny that. We will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. Chances of me rocking in a corner? High.
Leaving you with what my spectacular array of outfits from the weekend. That will be one. The rest of the time has been in jamas and trackie bums.
White longsleeved tee - Isabella Oliver
Grey Baxter jeans - Topshop
Grey and beige tweed blazer - Zara
Nude and fuchsia Camel scarf - Virginia Johnson
Tan Rockafella ankle boots - Russell & Bromley
Chestnut cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo
Hope everyone else had a more successful weekend!