El Niño Shopping Guide: Upgrade Your Rainwear

El Niño has officially arrived in California. More rain fell in the first six days of January than the past three Januaries (2013, 2014, 2015) combined. In fact, no rain fell in San Francisco last January, which may explain why we’ve forgotten how to dress for the wet weather. (Pro tip: sneakers and hoodies are not well suited for a torrential downpour.)

Whether you like it or not, 2016 is shaping up to be a wet and wild year, and it’s time to gear up with some proper rainwear.

The Breaker is the outdoor, sport jacket solution – it has the classic cuts of the RAINS Jacket, but has been added functions making the style more flexible for exploring the outdoor. The mat surface of the fabric adds the sporty style an elegant look. Photo: AzaleaSF.com.
The Breaker is the ultimate El Niño solution — it enjoys RAINS’ classic cuts with added functions, making the style more flexible for exploring the great outdoors. The matte surface of the fabric adds a sporty style and elegant look. Photo: AzaleaSF.com.


Azalea is a trendy boutique located in the heart of Hayes Valley offering upscale clothing items, accessories and shoes. Azalea currently has a stock of RAINS Anorak and Breaker raincoats for men, and several waterproof bags to protect documents and technology during your commute. If anybody knows rainwear, it’s RAINS. RAINS is based out of Denmark, where it rains 121 days annually on average. These modern raincoats are made out from 50% polyester and 50% polyurethane, making them an essential part of El Niño wardrobe. Azalea is not currently carrying rainwear for women.

RAINS Anorak Jacket$115
RAINS Breaker Jacket$115

Shop Online at www.azaleasf.com.

Azalea‘s Hayes Valley location is located at 411 Hayes Street, near the corner of Hayes and Gough Streets. Open daily: 11:00am–7:00pm.


gather is a trendy independent retailer based in Hayes Valley that aims to connect local designers and consumers through its curated inventory of handcrafted apparel, jewelry, housewares and more. gather‘s current online offerings include the Erie Waxed Cotton Jacket, a classic black women’s rain parka lined with red flannel with small white polka dots, and Alamere’s Puff Jacket, a lightweight, water-resistant women’s puff jacket in sage featuring wooden buttons and Primaloft filling (the same material The North Face and Patagonia use in their puff jackets).

Erie Waxed Cotton Jacket$245
Alamere’s Puff Jacket in Sage$179

Shop Online at www.gathersf.com.

gather is located at 541 Octavia Street, between Grove & Ivy Streets. Open Monday–Saturday: 11:00am–7:00pm, Sunday: 12:00–6:00pm.

Knee-high, black lace-up rain boots by Ilse Jacobsen. Made from natural rubber with hook and eye lacing, these rain boots feature faux shearling lining and a rubber sole. Photo: GimmeShoes.com.
Knee-high, black lace-up rain boots by Ilse Jacobsen. Made from natural rubber with hook and eye lacing, these rain boots feature faux shearling lining and a rubber sole. Photo: GimmeShoes.com.

Gimme Shoes

Gimme Shoes is the go-to shoe store in San Francisco. This Hayes Valley establishment is known for its wide variety of designer men’s and women’s footwear and accessories. This low-key shop is prepared to keep your feet warm and dry throughout the El Niño season with a wide variety of rain boots. Women will find a selection of 13 designer rain boots at Gimme Shoes, with lace-up boots from Ilse Jacobsen, and pull-on boots from both Ilse Jacobsen and Aigle Rainboots. Gimme Shoes’ selection men’s rain boots are limited to three styles but cover the essentials with Aigle Rainboot’s classic jodhpur and pull-on rain boots.

Women’s Rain Boots$160–$225
Men’s Rain Boots$160–$185

Shop Online at www.gimmeshoes.com.

Gimme Shoes is located at 416 Hayes Street, between Gough and Octavia Streets. Open Monday–Saturday: 11:00am–7:00pm, Sunday: 12:00–6:00pm.

Flight 001

While Flight 001 is known as a travel goods and accessories store, it has some great items that will have you ready for El Niño in no time. First of all, they typically have a wide variety of durable, compact umbrellas in many colors. Flight 001 also has waterproof backpacks and bags for your muddy boots.

Super Slim Auto Umbrella in Pink$29
Flip and Tumble Backpack in Grey and Blue$34
F1 Go Clean Boots Bag in Grey$36

Shop Online at www.flight001.com.

Flight 001 is located at 525 Hayes Street, between Octavia and Laguna Streets. Open: Monday–Saturday: 11:00am–7:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am–6:00pm.

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