6 Tips for Dressing Professionally in Bad Weather

6 tips for dressing professionally in bad weather

tips for dressing professionally when it's raining outside

It’s finally Spring. We weren’t sure if we weren’t going to make it, but we did. But for us Londoners or those ladies living on the East Coast, we know that April doesn’t necessarily mean flowers, sunshine and warmth. April can bring a lot of cold rain and snow, and with it wet pants, cuffs, wet toes, and ruined hair (#firstworldproblems, anyone?).

So, how do you manage to still look professional when the weather is causing you to look like a wet rat? We have a few ideas:

1. Tailor your pants

Investing in a good tailor is something everyone should do to maintain a professional wardrobe. And when the weather is bad, getting the cuffs of your pants hemmed to a non-dragging length will prevent them from getting soaked in wet weather.

2. Wear rain boots

Once reserved for kids on the playground, rain boots have since become quite fashionable, and you can find them in a variety of designs (tall, short, heeled). Kat Griffin, founder of the work attire blog Corporette, says it is fine to commute in Wellies, but to remember that they aren’t office appropriate. They also get quite heavy to walk around in all day. Simple solution: Bring your nice shoes in your bag, or keep a nicer pair under your desk.

3. Get the right trench

We’d all like to look like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when she runs around at the end of the film in the rain, but most of us don’t. We can at least try by purchasing the perfect trench. If you really want to stay dry, go for a trench made of nylon, not cotton.

Or  try a classic raincoat. We don’t have to wear the bright yellow slickers we did as kids; rain coats can look very professional these days. Just make sure your coat has a hood and is made of water-resistant fabric.

Griffin says to make sure the coat is big enough to fit over your blazer. Don’t be that person, especially on a job interview, who thinks it will be easier not to wear a coat just because it doesn’t fit over your blazer. If it’s freezing outside and you walk in coat-less, you’ll look like you lack common sense.

4. Go for simple hair

You  may as well accept it: On a rainy day, it’s going to be really hard to have a good hair day. This is the day to rock the chignon. Then, on your way to work, make sure you either have a good hood and umbrella, or go all retro movie star and wear a head scarf.

5. Rock the right tights

Nothing keeps you warm like a pair of tights, but not every kind of pantyhose is acceptable for work. According to a poll from Corporette, nude/sheer pantyhose are preferred but 23 percent said black tights were acceptable.

6. Invest in a good umbrella

Yes, a £10 umbrella from the local drug store will do in a jam, but consider getting a really good, sturdy umbrella that won’t crumble at the slightest gust of wind. And think of it this way: A beautiful umbrella can double as a cute accessory in the rain.

What tips have you picked up about how to dress for bad weather? Let us know in the comments below!

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth, SheKnows.com, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.