First up, this is my ideal weekend pursuit. Second up, this was a great excuse to search the internet for cute photos of movie stars with dogs. They may have absolutely nothing to do with fashion, or pubs, but to hell with it. Nothing makes one’s heart melt quite like a photo of Ryan Reynolds gazing lovingly at a Labrador and, if that is wrong, then I don’t want to be right (again). Third up, you may have noticed the weather hasn’t been great this week, so it felt like the right time to do dressing for dog walks.
So what I’ve tried to do here is provide you with a few practical, yet stylish, outfit ideas. You will need to be ready for all weathers, but you won’t want to be eating your roast and drinking your nice glass of red all trussed up like Eddie Grundy off of The Archers. Although, saying that, I imagine a rugged old Barbour jacket and some Hunter wellies are probably the order of the day down at The Woolpack, or is that Emmerdale? I’m getting my simple tales of country folk mixed up again…
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what we’ve got.
FAVOURITE WELLIES & WATERPROOF
I’m going to kick off with my personal favourites. I’m sure you’ll have your own that you favour, but I love my Protected Species rain jacket and my short Barbour Wilton wellies. The Protected Species range is 100% waterproof, like the rain literally rolls off them: it feels magic. They are also soft and not stiff at all and they don’t make that scrunchy noise like your standard waterproof gear. Also stylish enough to wear all day, even when it’s not raining. I have two styles, the City Walker (below) and the Tour, which is longer so better when you’re out in the elements instead of in town.
My preferred wellies are short ones by Barbour. They are comfortable enough for a very long walk, true to size and easy to wear. I know some people say you need knee-length wellies for country walks, and maybe that is true if you plan on stomping through foot-deep puddles. For your average mud, short ones are fine.
RUBBERISED GRENSONS YOU SAY?
I mean, why not? If you have the funds, then how cool are these? Made from rubberised leather, they are the same lightweight Nanette style we’ve all come to love but I imagine would withstand a more rigorous and muddy walk. Also, they are green and I love green. Pair with your khaki parka and crossbody bag for an effortless dash around the field followed by a fine glass of ale in the nearest public house.
MATCH YOURSELF TO YOUR DOG
I’m on about Barbour again. I haven’t yet succumbed to buying Thomas Frank his very own waxed jacket, but I’m sure that time will come. The classic Barbour waxed jacket will literally last you a lifetime. If the waterproof coating starts to take a beating, you can send it off to be cleaned, repaired and re-waxed. There is a cost to this but it’s a good price and I love that this company still produces all its coats in South Shields, is family owned and has a Royal Warrant. It basically ticks all my boxes, plus the jackets are timeless. I would recommend the classic Bedale style, and don’t be afraid to buy the men’s version and wear nicely oversized with your chunky knits in the winter. They also have TONS of pockets for all your dog-walk essentials – poo bags, treats, emergency Wispas for snacks en route to your destination.
LEGGINGS AND DR MARTENS
I know this is veering into Max Wall territory (look him up), but rather wear DMs with your leggings than knee-length Hunters. Unless you want to look like you’re off on a pheasant shoot with Rupert Campbell-Black, in which case, go for it. Pheasants have to be some of the most stupid animals in the history of countryside animals. They can barely fly, and they literally hurl themselves into the road without thought of being run over. Luckily, during our time in Dorset, I have narrowly avoided squashing any thus far, but only because I consider myself an excellent driver and always have my wits about me. My passengers may not agree, but they have no choice as I am the only member of my family who actually has a licence. Do not get me started on being married to a 53-year-old man who CANNOT DRIVE…
1. Anine Bing Paris sweatshirt
2. Ganni leopard print cross body bag
3. Sweaty Betty excursion waterproof parka
4. Spanx Look At Me Now leggings
5. Dr Marten Pascale softer leather boots (use code KATE15 for 15% off at Coggles)
FOR NON RAINY BEACH WALKS
For this, you can forgo a rubber boot and stick to your trainers (more on them next week). I prefer a hi-top on the beach as there is less likelihood of sand getting in. No one likes a sand-filled shoe. I don’t really like sand at all, if truth be told. It gets all over the house, it’s hard to walk on and when it’s a windy day it gets stuck in your hair like some kind of hard, grainy dandruff. But I do like beaches, and the sea, so there’s no getting away from it really.
1. Noisy May collarless quilted jacket
2. Scott Samuel yellow leather bum bag
3. Mad brown knitwear embroidered reclaimed Aran jumper
4. ME + EM organic cotton authentic relaxed jeans
5. Nike Blazer mid 77 trainers
IN PRAISE OF THE BUCKET HAT
A nylon, waxed or rubber-coated bucket hat is your friend for really rainy days. Hoods are ‘fine’, but they just don’t cut it if the wind picks up too much. They also don’t keep the rain off and it all goes in your face, so you need a hat with a brim so the rain can roll off it. A baseball cap would also suffice but I just look like a dick in those. I also look like a dick in a bucket hat, to be fair, but maybe less of one and that will do me.
1. & Other Stories striped knit sweater (I have this in another colour and it’s great!)
2. Rains water repellent bucket hat
3. Samsoe Samsoe Stala rain coat
4. H&M vintage slim high ankle jeans
5. Ganni recycled rubber boots (use code KATE15 for 15% off)
Thanks for reading, as ever, I hope that even if you don’t care for dogs or walks that the selection of fine celebrities helped…