Spring-themed rain gear combines fashion, function

Though many communities throughout the world dread those proverbial April showers, Atlantans welcome them. Not only do they offer a break from this year’s unseasonably hot temperatures and ridiculously high pollen count, they also give fashionable folk a chance to strut their stuff in decorative rain gear.

And while slickers and umbrellas may seem more function less fashion, this season's wet weather getups are all about bright colors, loud patterns and springtime sass. April showers may indeed bring flowers. They just happen to come in a more fashionable form than the old adage would have us believe.

Give Puddles the Boot

While galoshes were once considered nothing more than ugly footwear, good for nothing but keeping socks dry; the rain boot has stomped its way into our hearts as an adorable accessory for drizzly days. Put your most fashionable foot forward with a daring pair of hot-hued Wellington boots. At Target (www.target.com for locations around Atlanta), hot pink and lime green Wellies make tracks as the boots to beat.

Keeping in step with the trend, JCPenney’s Arizona rain boots (www.jcpenney.com) sport wild animal prints, adding a safari splash to a walk through rain-soaked streets. Kids can get in on the action at Kohl’s (www.kohls.com) where Jumping Bean rain boots in girlie pink with butterflies and hearts or sports-themed for the boys keep toddling tots’ tootsies dry.

Meanwhile, masters of the traditional-meets-whimsical Wellington boot J.Crew (www.jcrew.com) have upped the footwear ante with their line of rain-resistant ballet flats. One part delicate, on-trend accessory and one part functional rain boot alternative, the Rainy Day Ballet flats take the extra step in keeping feet dry and stylish.

Button Up Your Overcoat

Covering up a great outfit to avoid embarrassing water spots isn’t a problem when the jacket’s just as fabulous as what is underneath. Colorful coats are all the rage this spring. From patterned ponchos to tropical trench options, the sky is the limit when it comes to these useful accessories. At Kohl’s, bold patterns dominate the coat department. Zebra print, stripes, polka dots and more transform humdrum coats into statement pieces. Ditto at JCPenney where floral frocks take the place of boring beige. At Target (and beyond) trendy trenches are budding in bold and brilliant shades of blue, pink, green and orange.

Under My Umbrella

Umbrellas are funny things: there’s always one under the backseat of your car or occupying space in the hall closet. But no one relishes carrying one, even in the most dire deluge conditions. They’re drippy, cumbersome and remarkably unfashionable. Time to permanently holster those ugly umbrellas and replace them with some stylish stand-ins. At Tory Burch (Phipps Plaza), the signature pattern gets a spring makeover with bold blue and gold hues that keep the rain off but the full fashion ‘on.’ And at J.Crew, the traditional umbrella gets a wild makeover with a fierce animal print pattern.

Totes (www.totes-isotoner.com) offers a fabulous line of function-meets-fashion umbrellas in a series of colors and patterns. From a pop of pastel paisley to fresh florals — and even an American flag — their spring line makes it not only good luck to open an umbrella indoors, but a fashionable must!