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Rain check Yes, they keep your feet dry but wellies also add a splash of style

Kate Moss has long favored them with short-shorts. Jennifer Aniston dons them in an ad for Glaceau's smartwater brand. And Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley wear them -- rolled down -- with floral dresses in the British film "The Edge of Love."

Rain boots have been making a stylish statement for several years now, but celebrities have not been the only ones jumping on the wellies wagon.

Rubber footwear in a wide array of stylish colors and fashionable patterns shows up these days everywhere from Target to Talbots. Department and specialty stores sell them, as do some college bookstores.

We're talking polka dots, bold stripes, argyle patterns, animal prints, animal motifs and, of course, solid colors ranging from muted to bright. This fall, houndstooth, in particular, is huge.

And for those who want to leave the bright hues or ladybug patterns to the kids, rain boots also come in sophisticated navy, dark green, black, olive or deep red.

While most rain boots are rather affordable -- $24.99 for a pair of black boots with white dots at Target, for example -- there are upscale versions.

The "Hearts" rain boot from Marc by Marc Jacobs -- think pink with all-over heart pattern and 2-inch rubber heels -- sells for more than $200.

Coach makes rubber boots, as does Madden Girl. And Hunter wellies -- the brand you often see on celebs -- are a style classic. Wellies is short for the Wellington boot, which is named for the Duke of Wellington (you can read the whole story at

Fashionable, indeed.

Last year, the British Guardian newspaper wrote: "Hunters are the Rolls-Royce of wellies: expensive, comfortable, classy. Pucci wellies are the equivalent of a Hummer."

Urban women have been wearing wellies of all sorts over skinny jeans for years now, and they were the footwear of choice for festivalgoers everywhere this summer who wouldn't let a little -- or a lot -- of rain stand in their way.

This fall, the look continues to evolve.

In its October catalog, J. Crew shows a pair of burnished rubber boots in a color described as deep indigo. The style resembles a riding boot. The model wears a pair of knee socks clearly visible above the boot; a black miniskirt and turtleneck; a belted, heather-gray cable-knit vest with shawl collar; gray gloves, and a bevy of bangles.

And Lands' End coordinates its rain boots to its sportswear, jackets and coats. You can pick a pair of wellies in light cove blue, for example, and wear them with a matching turtleneck, T-shirt, quilted jacket, microfiber coat and more.

The other good news about rain boots? You may find some on sale right about now. Not all of them, mind you, but some of them.

Some rain boots also come lined. Lands' End sells its lined wellie boot for $49.50.

Style-wise, there are people who may argue that the wellie look has been way overdone in recent seasons and that this season's booties and riding boots are more of the moment.

Still, trends aside, doesn't a pair of rain boots make sense in Western New York?

Williamsville Mayor Mary Lowther thinks so. "I have a pair in bright red rubber that I bought last year at Talbots. They're a little bit shorter, and I wear them for gardening and to walk the dog," she said.

Other women might even desire a small wardrobe of rain boots. A pair of J. Crew navy wellies with bassett hounds printed on them for walking the dog. A pair of Talbots black-and-white houndstooth rubber boots for hightailing it into the office during rainstorms.

A pair of jazzy stripes from any number of manufacturers for kicking things up at a football game.

After all, don't let a little rain get you down.


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