The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Metrosexual - Style Up in the Rain

It is official, the rains are here:

And they have been for a while now, but what do I see? I see men stepping out in light cotton shirts, without vests, running in the shower to catch a taxi or cross the road. By the time they are out of my view, their shirts are sticking to their backs like a second skin.

Nothing is as awkward as failure to dress for the occasion or worse, the weather. Practicality is a very important function of clothing, style and outlook, and should always remain.

Well, beyond having a cardigan or jacket to keep you warm in cold weather, how about being rainproof? You have to move away from the belief that work comes to a halt because it's drizzling. You should be able to cross the street from one office to another and honour your appointments or make your deliveries.

As such, you don't want to show up at another office dripping and in need of a hairdryer. An umbrella is the universal rainproof accessory, but since we don't have to worry a bit about our hair, something over the shoulders will do.

A three-quarter-waterproofed cotton overcoat or trench coat (commonly called kabuuti) may be the perfect coat. It can be worn on any outfit for just about any occasion in the rainy season, especially if it is a neutral colour.

Some come with a removable wool/cashmere lining for colder times. They can either be single or double-breasted coats; the choice is largely upon the wearer or their availability, but they are quite expensive.

The single-breasted coat allows you to leave the coat open and show the layers underneath, like your suit, creating a visually interesting ensemble. If you ask me, I prefer the single-breast ones.

With it, I leave the overcoat unbuttoned and button up the suit - this creates a better silhouette and shows the different pieces. Then there is the anorak, which many call the raincoat (don't ask me why).

The nylon one is the best in the rains. This paper-thin waterproof layer is perfect for staying dry and casually adds a dose of colour to your outfit. This obviously looks queer over a suit, and looks better on a casual look.

It is similar to the retro poncho and that 'raincoat' soldiers and police officers wear that almost looks like a tent over them. There is no doubt it will keep you ultra dry in the rain.

Well, you have shielded the upper body from the rain, but what about your expensive leather shoes? Do I need to ask what water does to leather, more so if the sole is leather too? A 'shoe condom' or rubber galoshes wouldn't be a bad idea - the question is their availability. Well, if you so badly need a pair, you won't fail to find one.

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