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A dozen reasons to make a big splash

The scorching summer heat and the muggy days will soon make way for the monsoon. Before the rain gods strike, The Guide packaged a handy checklist of 12 must buys to gear you for the season, ranging from water proof hair accessories to rain coats for your beloved canine


1 Fly this kite when it rains
Add spunk and colour to a grey, rainy day with these vibrant and waterproof handbags. Funk for Hire's RaIN Glo bags are available in pink, purple and green and have 'pocketful of faces' or caricatures adorning the pockets where you can stuff handy items like your cellphone or excess change for that bus ride. Soar high with the Rang Patang collection of bags by All Things Bright & Beautiful. The collection celebrates kite art and adds a desi twist; it includes designs of moustachioed man and themes from card games. If you prefer a sober look, check out the Dyvour range which includes wallets, laptop sleeves and laptop bags in a colour palette of grey, black and white.
At Bliss, Aram Nagar 1, Fisheries University Road, 7 Bungalows, Versova, Andheri (W).
Call 26332111/ 32095929
Cost Funk for Hire's RaIN-Glo bags: Rs 735; rain-proof laptop bags, sleeves and wallets by Dyvour: Rs 600-Rs 1,500; waterproof bags by All things Bright and Beautiful: Rs 1,200-Rs 2,300


2 Zip up for your trips
If you like sturdy bags that survive the rigours of travel and short trips, check out water-resistant backpacks, laptop bags and sling bags from Basecamp Traveller. It comes with a matte finish and is available in red, green and black. You could also check Avi Industries' range of water-resistant jackets and trousers. On sale are poncho covers to keep your backpack dry as well as T-shirts that dry double fast.
At Basecamp Traveller, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel and Avi Industries, 13, Shriji Sadan, 352, Chandavarkar Road, Matunga (E).
Call 24948880 / 24143810
Cost Backpack:  Rs 3,000, Sling bag: Rs 2,180, Laptop bags: Rs 3,700 onwards; Overcoat: Rs 1,500; Jacket: Rs 2,200; Poncho: Rs 600-Rs 1,800


3 Keep your pet bright and dry
While most pets prefer to remain indoors during the rains, dogs have no such qualms. That's why a raincoat for your dog is a must. At Pet Story, you can buy locally-designed quirky military raincoats or raincoats in shades of blue and red. They also have rain shoes for dogs. These guys will happily alter rain coats and shoes to suit your dog. It also stocks raincoats for cats. "Pet parents face problems when their dog returns wet and dirty after a walk. Besides, they tend to lose fur during the rains. So, we offer a Waterless De-shedding Shampoo so you don't have to wash your dog. Spray it on your dog after the walk, and wipe it away," adds Kay D'Lima, owner of Pet Story.
At Pet Story, Pali Naka, Bandra (W).
Call 9920898813
Cost Rain gear: Rs 350-Rs 2,000; Waterless De-shedding Shampoo: Rs 700-Rs 800 for 236 ml


4 Hair clips that will survive a downpour
If the rains threaten to add to your list of bad hair days, it's time to upgrade your rethink. Online store Ten on Ten offers rain-proof hair bands and clips that dry easily. Made from cotton, crochet, lace and net, these accessories need to be put under a fan and dry within an hour. They also have metal accessories which are water-proof. These clips use special glue to attach its embellishments, so it doesn't get washed away or affected by water.
At Bliss, Andheri (W). 
Call 9821630904 / 9819009565
Email tenontenclothing@gmail.com
Cost Hair clips: Rs 150; Hair bands: Rs 250
Log on to http://www.facebook.com/TenonTen


5 Now, show off your baby bump
Mal offers Fuschia Trench coats made from softened Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with a shimmery, soft, cotton lining, which renders it more comfortable than ordinary raincoats. Though, it serves its purpose as a rain-shield, clearly, this is a design that's been created with trendy teens at heart � Cher (Alicia Silverstone) from Clueless wouldn't be caught dead in anything else. They also offer raincoats with hoods for pregnant women. Now, mums-to-be can skip frumpy, over-sized raincoats or boring plastic ponchos. This trendy maternity raincoat with a sequined hood has been designed to ensure the rains don't dampen their spirits or their style-quotient.
At Mal, JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle (W);
Call 65294224 cost Fuschia coat: Rs 7,200; Maternity Raincoats: Rs 6,975


6 get the Gisele Bundchen look
This monsoon, opt for trendy, water-proof, spool-heeled slippers from Metro. Also available in black and white, these sport a delicate, shimmery glaze, and its heels are made from water-resistant material that doesn't get damaged in the downpour. These brown slippers are hot-sellers across the globe and are from Brazilian super-model Gisele B ndchen's line of slippers. Now available in Mumbai, they are a monsoon-dream-come-true for the fashion-conscious, with an array of water-proof designs in a range of colours. With a heel-strap to provide support, this model is also available in peacock blue, black, grape, peach and white and is extremely comfortable, even when wet.
At Metro Shoes, ground floor, Metro House, Colaba Causeway (and all Metro outlets).
Call 22040969;
Log on to www.metroshoes.net
Cost Wedge-heeled slippers: Rs 1,090; Gisele Bundchen rubber sandals: Rs 1,049


7 Bionic rainwear, anyone?
Cut out of fabric that's woven from a unique, bionic, waterproof yarn, this incredibly stylish jacket (yellow) is tougher than most monsoon gear. Despite its enhanced durability, it is gentle to touch and soft on the skin. One of the outdoor clothing brand's lightest jackets with a water-resistant design can be easily stashed inside a small backpack. Designed for use on hikes and outdoor adventures, the Timberland Mountain Athletic Route Racer Jacket doesn't take up much space when folded and provides protection from rain and wind. Boots are the trademark product of this brand and the item it owes its popularity to. A hit with the hip-hop and rap brigade including 50 Cent, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, Tims are not only known for their than rugged, outdoor style but also for gorgeous laced-up Wellington boots with water-proof cover and SmartWool fabric lining any less efficient. SmartWool, a patented material is especially designed to soak moisture and to keep feet cool and odour-free.
At Timberland has outlets in the Courtyard, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel and at Korum Mall, Thane.
Call 67499258 / 66730684
Log on to www.timberland.com
Cost Bionic Jacket: Rs 16,990; Lightweight Jacket: Rs 7,990; Boots: Rs 9,490


8 Funky gumboots for your technicolour moods
Swati Shah and Anushka Jagtiani, owners of Besos, have recently returned from a business trip with a bunch of monsoon-ready goodies. Drop into their store for chic and affordable rain gear "that won't cramp your style" as Swati puts it. We heart the waterproof, transparent totes (Rs 1,300) and candy-coloured gumboots (Rs 1,500) as well as the umbrellas with doll covers (Rs 500-Rs 800). Swati tells us she's also expecting bright and stylish rain jackets (far from typical raincoats), floral-printed gumboots, transparent ballerinas and keds and more early next week.
At Shop No 5, Advani Chambers, ground floor, Kemps Corner; Shop No 5, Shantivanam, next to Gloria Jeans Cafe, Manuel Gonsalves Road, Bandra (W).
Call 23614553 / 26441488
Price range Rs 500-Rs 1,800


9 It's time to go flip-flop
Worn as traditional footwear by Japanese women since ancient times, introduced as beach essentials in New Zealand in the 1930s and adopted as the humble Hawaii chappal by the average Indian, the flip-flop has traversed time and the length and breadth of the world. It returned to desi shores in a brighter, hip avatar, a la the flip-flop, and remains an affordable and low-maintenance option to weather Mumbai's unpredictable monsoons. Pick from Westside's in-house brands for range of colourful, rubber-soled flip-flops in zany designs across sizes for men, women and kids -- Velcro strap-on options for kids (Rs 249), cutesy heart-shaped icons (Rs 299) to keep you in high spirits on a damp day and surf-in-the-sun themes (Rs 399) for every beach boy who dreams of sunny shores.
At Westside outlets in the city
Price range men: Rs 399 onwards; Women: Rs 299 onwards; Kids: 149 onwards


10 Notch up you glam quotient
Sonya Vaijifdar's latest monsoon collection is cool and trendy and will make for the ideal rainwear for night outs. The neon-coloured designer raincoats are sure to add to your glamour quotient this season. If you're not into raincoats, choose from their rain ponchos instead. The collection has rainwear with sequins and puff sleeves and many of them are transparent, so you can flaunt your figure in the rains. They have a wide range of cute raincoats in different colours for your pet dog as well. There are also dog boots on sale so your pet's paws stay clean during that nasty downpour.
At Sonya Vajifdar workshop, 6, Rajesh Mansion, opposite KC College, Maharshi
Karve Road, Churchgate.
Call 24948880 / 24143810
Cost Adult rainwear: Rs 4,000 onwards; Kids rainwear:  Rs 2,000 onwards; Dog rainwear: Rs 1,200-Rs 2,500


11 Aamchi Mumbai on umbrellas
From nimbu mirchi, taxi meters to the iconic Taj Mahal, different funky designs can be seen on umbrellas at The Bombay Store. Under the brand of The Elephant Company, whose mantra was to be youthful and fun, many unique designs have been created by ace designer Krsna Mehta for the store. Here, you can choose umbrellas with designs that range from vedic mantras, traditional intricate motives, newspaper, rustic Warli art and symbols of Mumbai-like taxis to autorickshaws and Gateway of India. The umbrellas are available in one-fold, two-fold and three-fold options.
At The Bombay Store, Western India House, Sir PM Road, Fort.
Call 40669999
Cost Rs 425 to Rs 750


12 Read poetry when it pours
Get poems, names or portraits on your rainwear. Tadaatma offers customised umbrellas, raincoats and gumboots this season. Designer Rachna Kulkarni reveals that last year many customers had requested for interesting designs. "We had created a person's initials as well as a poem about the rain, for a couple of our customers," she says. This year, they've received an order for a landscape painting on an umbrella. If you wish, they also replicate calligraphy designs and make self-portraits on umbrellas or raincoats. "I'd love to paint a person getting drenched on a raincoat," reveals Rachna..
At 206, Apollo Complex, second floor, RK Singh Marg, off PP Road, Andheri (E).
Call 9619182143
Cost Rs 1,000 to 2,000

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