Welcome to 9 to 5 Style! The third Monday of every month Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots and I will showcase a theme featuring our individual takes on a professional look. Our aim is to inspire and show professional style does not have to mean boring and without personality. We hope you enjoy our 9 to 5 Style!
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This month I chose “April Showers” as our 9 to 5 style theme. We were each free to choose the direction we wanted to take this post. Today I’m sharing with you how to dress professionally for the rain. You know that feeling right? You wake up and it’s raining and you think, “What am I going to wear to work?” Some things don’t lend themselves well to running around in the rain, or even quickly getting in and out of the building when it’s raining.
Here are my tips for dressing for work in rainy weather- and still looking professional.
1. A good water-resistant jacket or rain coat is a must. It needs to be long enough to provide sufficient coverage.
For most of my working career, I have limped along with a rain jacket. A short, very casual jacket that only comes to my hips. This has left me with soaked thighs many an afternoon leaving the building or even exciting the grocery store after work. I decided it was high time I invest in a proper rain coat.
I recently purchased this London Fog rain coat from Amazon. It love the bright green color. Just because I’m wearing professional attire underneath doesn’t mean the color has to be boring. The clean trench coat like lines still make it a professional coat. I will say it is going to be a bit warm for the summer, so I may keep searching for a lighter weight rain coat.
A hood is a must for me! I’m usually juggling a purse, lunch bag and other items, so I don’t have free hands for an umbrella.
2. Invest in some rain boots or shoes. If you do a lot of walking to work, go for some Hunters or other tall boots. You can change into your professional shoes once you are in the office. Rain boots look cute with dresses and skirts.
My walk from the car to the office isn’t far enough to justify pulling boots on and off, but I do still have to wade in standing water during or just after a rain shower. It’s very common everywhere around town because we live in a low lying coastal area.
I have ruined or had to do repairs to dress shoes before due to getting them wet. I decided that a rain “shoe” would fit the bill for me. Yes, the top of my feet may still get wet, but these loafers are designed to get wet and will hold up to that. And they’re leopard!
If push came to shove, and I didn’t have time to change shoes once at the office, I could wear these around for a while and they would not look odd with professional attire at all. Another good shoe choice for blending with your office attire is a water resistant chelsea boot.
3. Choose your fabrics wisely. Knowing how to dress professionally in the rain has a lot to do with the fabrics you choose to wear. A rainy day is not a good day for white pants, chiffon, light color or somewhat see through fabrics. Once they get wet, everyone is going to see everything underneath.
All rayon does not fair well in rainy weather either. A thick cotton/rayon or polyester blend will do much better. Be careful of 100% polyester too. I had a dry clean only polyester blazer that got all kinds of spotted from getting wet in the rain. I was able to salvage it (and discovered it was machine washable after all) by washing it on delicate and letting it get fully saturated. The dirty rain lines came right out. But let’s not chance it if we don’t have too. I stay away from suede too on rainy days.
The pants I’m wearing in this outfit are a wool blend and they do well in the winter and early spring in the rain. They don’t soak up water like some other fabrics.
4. Choose the cut of your clothing wisely too. I recommend ankle pants (or skinny jeans if your work allows). These will tuck into boots more easily, or if you opt for a rain shoe like mine, you won’t have the extra volume of wide legs pants to get wet or muddy.
Same for skirts. A streamlined pencil skirt will look professional and fair better on a rainy day than a more voluminous skirt. The cut of your garments will be key to dressing professionally in the rain. Keep things streamlined so your clothing will be less likely to get wet.
5. Consider your accessories too. A waterproof tote would be an excellent way to get your belongings indoors and still look stylish and professional. Consider one large enough to throw your purse into, so you can pull it out later and not risk ruining it.
So what’s under my rain coat? The ankle pants I’ve already talked about, a dark top that won’t show through if it gets wet, and a pop of color.
earrings- Kendra Scott
Once you are safely inside, peel off those rain resistant layers and have a super productive day in your carefully considered office attire. If you follow these tips and utilize the right gear, there is no reason you can’t dress stylishly for the office during the rainy season.
ICYMI, last month’s trench theme is here.
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