Spring showers aren't limited to the month of April, so take inventory and replace your worn-out rainy-day essentials now. We've gathered our favorite (and stylish!) wet-weather finds and included some great bargains too! Find more great rain boots, trench coats, and more here.
The basic L.L.Bean Wellie ($59) aced our water-resistance tests and won fans with its easy-on, easy-off style and comfy contoured footbed. Consumer testers also complimented the softness of the lining fabric, but be aware: It could take a day or so to dry if it gets wet. In five colors and prints, and whole sizes 6 to 11.
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The novelty prints of the Western Chief Rain Boot ($40) are sure to brighten a gray day. Another reason to smile: They're a good deal. The side buckle allows a roomy fit for larger legs or tucked-in trousers. And although the lining isn't as plush as those of our other picks, it dries out more quickly. In 20 prints, and whole sizes 6 to 11.
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Polished Yet Practical
The nylon L.L.Bean West End Trench ($139) aced performance tests and packs beautifully. It has five pockets, including one for an MP3 player with a slot to accommodate the headphone cord - so you'll really be singing in the rain. In four colors, and sizes XS to XL. Machine-washable
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The fully lined, double-seamed Lands' End SunShower Parka ($79.50) stood up to our simulated storm with ease. Hidden drawstrings at the waist and hood and Velcro straps at the wrists customize the look and fit. In five colors, and sizes XS to XL. Machine-washable.
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Splashy Good Looks
Lightweight and fast-drying, Totes Fashion Auto Open Close ($22) comes in a slew of cheery prints and solid colors to chase away the gloom. A press of the button and a quick push on the top collapses the 38-inch-diameter canopy down to 11 inches.
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Wind gussets and a strong frame make ShedRain Windjammer Vented Auto Open & Close ($26) our go-to for particularly inclement weather. The roomy 39-inch diameter easily folds down to 12 inches. In navy, black, and navy/white.
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Oldie but Goodie
AquaNet Professional Hair Spray Extra Super Hold ($3) has been a mainstay since the '50s, and now we know why: Our test's overall winner, it held hairstyles for up to six hours in 90 percent humidity. Testers raved about the product, saying it left their hair feeling soft, not stiff, and that they liked its scent.
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If even a hint of crunch makes you cringe, Redken Workforce 09 Flexible Volumizing Spray ($15) is worth a spritz. Testers' styles (from curls to blowouts) stayed put all day long, yet were still run-your-fingers-through soft. In our lab tests, the spray's frizz control also proved to be admirable.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.