“Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed.” Well, if we transported Andie MacDowell – deliverer of that famously awful line in the otherwise brilliant Four Weddings And A Funeral – to Notting Hill in 2014, surely even she would have noticed by now. Hair-frizzing, shoe-ruining, outfit-confounding rain has been our constant companion for the past month and, unlike MacDowell’s film career, it’s here to stay.

With the Met office issuing 145 flood alerts across the country today, Ladbrokes has slashed the odds of this January being the wettest on UK record. And whether you believe it’s the consequence of climate change or the tears of a vengeful God weeping over gay marriage, it’s bound to be playing havoc with your look. Parkas and Uniqlo puffas may be trusty weekend fallbacks, but the chichest coats rarely feature functional hoods.

Yes, it’s time to invest in a proper umbrella. A high-quality, beautiful brolly is as important an accessory as a great pair of boots, conveying the admirable attitude that you refuse to let something as mundane as weather diminish your style. We’re big fans of new British brand Mr Stanford. Its brollies are designed in Brighton and made by England’s oldest umbrella manufacturers, established in 1805 in Spitalfields – except for the handles, which are produced in a small Vietnamese workshop which layers 13 coats of lacquer resin onto solid maple using an ancient technique. I’m currently coveting their London Citrus model, which combines gentlemanly elegance with a sunshine-bright colour pop.

Prefer print? Crave an understated classic? There’s plenty to choose from right now. From designer to high street, here are nine of the best.

Wet Look | Upgrade Your Umbrella

Burberry umbrella
£285 – harrods.com

Little Marc Jacobs umbrella
£31 – couture.zappos.com

Joules umbrella
£30 – johnlewis.com

Cutie blue umbrella
£15 – modcloth.com

Fendi umbrella
£86 – farfetch.com

£36 – net-a-porter.com

Alexander McQueen umbrella
£285 – matchesfashion.com

Hunter mini umbrella
£18 – theoutnet.com

London Citrus – mr stanford
£115 – mrstanford.com


Words: Molly Flatt

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