As someone who spent the past five years in Southern California, where it's always 75 degrees and sunny, I never had to dress with the assumption that the blue-skied morning would be wet and gray by noon. So when I arrived in New York in the spring, I was at a bit of a loss. How is anyone supposed to leave the house in clothes they actually like and care about if they're inevitably going to get drenched, either by their own sweat while trekking to the subway or by a surprise thunderstorm?
Indeed, when the rain was pouring down, and my new, now-soggy suede boots were soaked from heel to toe and back again, there wasn't much that could cheer me up. Don't get me wrong, I actually love gloomy weather—but as someone who considers my wardrobe one of my most prized possessions, I faced a conundrum. But it turns out, there's a lot I can do to prevent the aforementioned rain cloud from hanging over any future wet dog of a day.
The solution: some sartorial inspiration and guidance for rainy work days. Lucky for me—though probably super inconvenient for everyone who ran around attending the shows—New York Fashion Week was particularly rainy that year. After scouring street style photos, I found just what I was looking for: stylish, put-together outfits that also happen serve as armor against a downpour. Below are eight stylish rainy-day outfits for the office and beyond.
Silver can tarnish easily from extended exposure to water and cheaper metals will almost certainly rust in wet conditions. Leather goods (especially suede) will also get damaged in the rain. Plastic and PVC accessories are your best friends on a rainy day!
Rainy Outfit: Day One
Here are three solid rainy day outfits that speak to different types of office environments and styles. If you're someone who prefers pantsuits, just pair your matching set with comfortable closed-toed shoes with a little heel to avoid dragging your trousers through the mud. And of course, consider materials. For example, opt for patent leather instead of suede and swap out your delicate leather bags for something a little more water-resistant.
Rainy Outfit: Day Two
Rainy days tend to bring out the cuddler in everyone. If you resonate with that statement, you'd probably feel like cozying up in a warm, comfortable sweater and a simple pair of booties to keep your toes warm. To make the ensemble feel a little more polished and interesting, opt for a wrap skirt or a pencil skirt in a bold color or fun print, accessorize with a pair of earrings, and don't forget to pack your umbrella in the morning.
Rainy Outfit: Day Three
This bag was practically made for people who love the sophisticated, stylish feel of croc effect top-handles but also live in a place that rains a lot. It's the best of both worlds. A long, fashionable raincoat disguised as a trench will protect your formal look underneath, so if you're headed to an event or have an important meeting that day, take note from the look above.
Rainy Outfit: Day Four
The rule of thumb seems to be that you should make like Noah running from the flood at the arc. Translation: Stick to cropped pants, skirts, and dresses. These cropped flairs are stylish, flattering, and just high enough to miss the puddles in the gutter. It's also wise to bring a pair of sneakers if you have room in your bag, so can change into your more formal slides or heels when you get to the office.
Rainy Outfit: Day Five
Speaking of stylish raincoats, we're obsessed with this one. It basically makes the outfit, though you can have fun with the layers underneath to make a statement once you get to your destination and take it off. Moral of the story, if you're going to wear delicate pieces rain or shine, at least hide them underneath a cool, long raincoat for safekeeping while you're out and about.
Rainy Outfit: Day Six
Sneakers paired with a long-sleeve shirtdress will strike the perfect balance between buttoned-up formality and casual practicality. The key is to wear a dress with a more traditional style and print to dress up the sneakers.
Rainy Outfit: Day Seven
A Canadian tux is probably the easiest way to look cool and put together without actually wearing your more special, delicate pieces that probably shouldn't be parading around in the rain. Dress things up with accessories and a pair of heels (just make sure they have rubber soles so you don't slip on the slick streets).
Rainy Outfit: Day Eight
When in doubt, opt for water-resistant bottoms and anything that mimics a blanket on top. Not only is it super utilitarian on rainy days, but the different materials will also create an interesting contrast in texture. This is especially a good styling trick for those who want to keep things interesting while still sticking to a neutral color palette.