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Style Advice

Style SOS: How to make wet-weather clothes look smart

Style SOS: How to make wet-weather clothes look smart

"It rains a lot where I live, and I always feel like a classic yellow rain jacket and wellies don't fit in with my sense of style. How can I dress for the weather without looking silly?" Max via Facebook.

It’s official – we’ve moved from big coat weather into raincoat weather, and while winter is almost over, it’s not quite time to start unpacking your summer wardrobe. Knowing what to wear for work in transitional seasons can be particularly tricky, and like you said Max, a cool and colourful raincoat doesn’t always do the job when you need to be displaying more professionalism than personality.

Where the key elements of your smart look probably don’t offer much leeway for waterproofing, there are more options available when it comes to your shoes and outerwear. The best option to keep it covered and dry on rainy days?  A mac or trench coat.

A double-breasted trench tends to lean more formal, and offers full protection from wind and rain to keep you extra when it’s still a little nippy outside. If you wear a full suit, a trench coat is long enough to cover the jacket and the top half of your trousers, so you won’t look like you’ve been splashed by a passing bus. 

Designed for wet British weather, a mac is the ultimate gentleman’s raincoat and another great option for transitional weather. More traditional versions are made with a rubberised outer layer to protect you against downpours, and are lightweight enough that you won’t feel too warm as the weather starts to shift. The versatility of a mac means it will go with both formal and more relaxed outfits without looking out of place. The minimal, single-breasted style will serve you all year round (and for years to come), whether you go for classic stone, or more modern black or navy. 

When it comes to footwear, a pair of lace-up or Chelsea boots offer more coverage than regular leather shoes, which will keep your feet and ankles dry. If these aren’t elevated enough for your sense of style, a pair of chunky-soled derbies will help to protect your trousers against puddles, keeping you prepared for rainy days without sacrificing your smart aesthetic. 

Words: Ella White
Illustration: Ryan Gillett