We've all stepped out in the perfect outfit, only to discover that a downpour is in the forecast and our shoes aren't waterproof. There's definitely a way to dress for the rain without looking like a college student in sweats and Hunter Boots (not that there's anything wrong with tall wellingtons!). Here's how to do it.
Do... wear waterproof leather boots or booties.
Real leather should be waterproof or easily made waterproof with spray or polish. Tucking your skinny jeans into tall leather boots looks so much more professional than chunky wellington boots or lace-up Hunters. If your office is more traditional and requires a suit or knee-length skirt, pairing your pencil skirt with leather booties will look much better than rainboots.
Do ... wear short rain booties and a dress.
If you don't have waterproof leather boots, or it's raining too hard to take a chance on non-rainboots, opt for a shorter rainboot, like a chelsea boot. Rainboots don't have to go all the way up to your knees to work, and shorter booties will look less clunky in the office than Hunters. Pair the booties with a short dress and tights to avoid getting denim soaked through- tights will dry much quicker than heavy pants.
If you only have tall rainboots... hide them under wide-leg pants or pair with a short dress.
Tall rainboots are tricky because they can easily look cute, but not necessarily professional. If your office is on the casual side, follow the previous instructions and pair your tall rainboots with dark tights and a short dress. If rubber rainboots just won't look right in the workplace, wear wide-leg trousers that mostly cover the boots. You can tuck them in out in the rain, and then untuck in the office. If your boots are too clunky even for this, tuck a pair of flats in your bag and change in the office.
Don't... wear a casual rain jacket.
A good trench coat, or even a leather or pleather jacket, should keep the rain off your back. While Pategonia and North Face rain jackets are awesome, they never look professional. A trench coat always looks polished and classic, and if you're lacking a hood, make sure to carry a sturdy umbrella that won't flip inside out.
If your jacket doesn't have a hood... wear a hat.
And no, I'm not giving you an excuse to wear that old trucker hat that you save for the laziest days. A wide-brimmed felt hat or fedora will keep your hair and face dry and still look both stylish and professional. You can obviously take off a hat when you get to the office, but you can't fix drenched hair.
* Keep an umbrella that's small enough to fit in your purse or tote by the front door so you won't forget it. You can wear almost anything in the rain if you have a good umbrella!
* Wear lots of layers! If you don't have a waterproof trench, layering a leather jacket over a sweater over a light blouse will make it easy to keep warm if your outer layer gets a bit wet.
* Don't forget that you can always change in the office! If it's such a crazy downpour that your oversized rain jacket and chunky Hunter boots are a must, just bring a sweater and flats in your bag and change as soon as you walk in the door.