We all have those days – it’s 50 degrees out, it’s drizzling, and you have to spend the next 45 minutes shuffling your way to work on an over-crowded train/bus/car/insert transport here, made especially crowded by the change in weather.
And on top of that, you have to look like you’re ready to go to work, when all you really want to do is throw on your Uggs and an old college sweatshirt under your classic fleece parka.
Luckily, you have me! Here are a few tips on how to dress professionally in all kinds of weather:
1. Plan easy hair
Unfortunately, this is not really the time to look your best. What we have to do is figure out how you can look almost your best and still be in keeping with a) your office dress code, and b) the reality of the weather. This is the perfect time to learn how to do a side-braid to keep your bangs from curling, a neatly pulled back sock bun, or loose waves. Whatever your hair texture, figure out a few “easy” hairstyles that will look like you tried, but will not take the effort of blow drying or straightening, only to be ruined by humidity or a torrential downpour. I would also keep some extra bobby pins and hairbands on hand in your purse on these days.
2. Put on your plain(er) face
Likewise, this is not the time for precision eyeliner that may be washed right off your face by a sudden storm. Choose eyeshadow (paired with an eyeshadow primer - my favorite is by Urban Decay) that will have staying power and won’t smudge or wash off between your car and your office door. Dark shadow can make an impact like eyeliner without offering up the risk of smearing! I would also stick to lip glosses or balms at this time – lipsticks will be more prone to smear and then look sloppy in wet weather. Either way, keep your “face” on the plainer side – less makeup means less to smudge, smear, or simply wash away if confronted with a rainy day! If you're going to an event, things are different - this is just your everyday look, and the goal is to look neat and pulled together.
3. Accept sensible shoes
Want to know a secret? No one on the bus cares about your shoes when it’s raining out. No one on the subway does either. The only thing that matters is what shoes you’re wearing when you step inside your office, and those puppies can be pulled out of your purse at the last minute. When it’s raining out, and you have to wear nice footwear for client meetings or to meet your office dress code, just accept that you have to wear sensible (not necessarily the cutest) shoes to work. However, there are some compromises – get a pair of simple, but stylish, rainboots to carry you from home to office if you really can’t stand the idea of sneakers. Or, if your office allows it, wear a pair of nice knee high riding boots with your skirts or dress pants. The point is, your feet have to be warm and dry, and sometimes adulthood means accepting that this may not match the rest of your outfit for the duration of your commute. You can do it though, I just know it!
4. Invest in your jacket
Finally, a great way to dress professionally while it’s raining out is to invest in a great jacket. Wearing casual and practical shoes on the way to work may be fine, but it feels a lot nicer to be wearing a classic black trench coat all the way to work than a bright blue snow parka, just because the parka was the first thing you saw on the rack that worked. Do your research – know your location, your average weather, your budget, etc. The type of coat that will be best for New York in January is different than the one in California; however, you can still find something that fits you well and makes you feel pulled together every morning. Do yourself a favor and invest in a jacket you will love for years and through several seasons of bad weather.