A few weeks ago Francesca, a very nice reader of the blog, asked me this question: how to dress for commuting and when you have to use public transport on a daily basis? But how to combine, in short, the desire to be stylish and fashionable, perhaps with a job that requires a certain style and formal and elegant clothing, with practicality?
Well, I found the subject very interesting and made some reflections. Also because I am among those who use public transport to go to work, even if in my case it is usually only a few bus stops. But I know all the challenges we face every day, in dressing up if we use public transport to go to work, too.
Anyway, here I would like to offer you some hopefully useful suggestions on how to dress on your commute, and/or if you use public transport, to be chic and stylish all day long!
1 – IF YOU HAVE TO DRESS FOR COMMUTING, CHOOSE THE RIGHT COAT OR JACKET
It’s not always easy to find suitable ones for the job: ideally, they’ll be elegant and formal enough for the kind of professional role we play, but also practical enough to allow us to move freely.
For me, this category includes, for example:
- short coats in linear shapes for winter
- blazer for the mildest months of the year
- light down coat or jacket for the mid-season, to be worn even on more formal looks
- fashionable leather jacket
2 -COMFORTABLE BUT NOT (NECESSARILY) SPORTY SHOES
Here the list is long and certainly also very personal and subjective: many women, however, walk well all day with a moderate and not too thin heel (7-8 cm at most) and this greatly expands the choice.
Among my preferred options are:
- medium heel ankle boots for winter and mid-season (I have the ones from the link)
- sock heels, very practical because they are comfortable, soft and enveloping
- chelsea boots with big heels, I have a pair from Sam Edelman who proved to be fabulous for this purpose
- combat boots, also very fashionable this year
- if you need to dress in a very formal way for work, a great pair of pumps with a moderate heel of 6-7 cm, like these
- Gucci-style mocassins and other elegant flat shoes, if you like them: everything goes!
Also, a good alternative is to do as we were taught by career women in the 90s: go to work in sneakers (also very current in combination with the suit, another great fashion must-have this year) and then, if you really must, switch to a great pair of pumps that you can keep in your office.
3 – TRY A LAYERED LOOK
Dressing in layers has become a fashion, but it is also an intelligent choice and often a necessity, given the oddities of the climate in recent years. But in the case of women who commute and use public transport to get to work, dressing in layers is even more important, because the climate is often changing even during the same day. In addition, in the metro, on trains, etc., there are often very different weather conditions than outside, not to mention the air conditioning in many offices.
4 – THE RIGHT BAG IS A LIFE CHANGER
Now, as you may have guessed, I’m a bag lover. I love them all, of any kind. Even if they are uncomfortable. And yet, over the years, even taking the bus for a few stops to get home from the office, I realized how important it is to have at least a couple (ideally, one black and one in a light color, preferably in a shade that ties well with almost everything you wear) of large, capacious handbags with a great shoulder strap.
The “hands-free” aspect, in fact, is essential (as well as anti-snatching in train stations and other risky places…) when you need to have your hands free to do other things: hold heavy shopping bags, or even your well-deserved shopping, but also laptops, your umbrella if it’s raining or simply a foothold on public transport if you have not found a seat.
Another fundamental detail for a great bag if you have to dress for commuting is a nice zipper and, if possible, a minimum of internal structure, which you can also add with this type of item:
5 – LOOK AT THE WEATHER FORECAST, ALWAYS
Having an idea of the weather you will find the next day is always useful. But it becomes essential to dress properly for commuting or if you are using public transport. In this case, in fact, you are simply more exposed to the elements. Also, it generally means that you stay away from home a considerable number of hours. And this means that the weather can also change, as well as temperatures.
Even if you’re not the super-organized type who prepares an outfit the night before, you’ll still have an idea of how to dress in the morning!
6 – AN EYE FOR THE RIGHT FABRICS
Better to opt for fabrics that are breathable and do not crumple too much to dress if you are commuting or using public transport. This is a good rule in general (working days are long for everyone), but if you are commuter it is absolutely essential!
The list certainly includes cotton, wool, viscose, but also some synthetic fabrics (which are less breathable). In recent years, you can also find many “mixed” fabrics that are really useful and also suitable for work. Like for example cashmere-silk, cashmere-modal and so on. Try them out!
7 – EQUIP YOURSELVES WITH THE RIGHT GADGETS FOR SURVIVAL
The last point is also one of the most important: there are things that save our lives and or outfit when we have to dress for commuting. For me, it’s mostly about:
- a small, light and comfortable umbrella, easy to open/close
- make-up clutch bag that “replicates” in a simplified form the one I have at home
- a recyclable shopping bag you can roll up and keep in your handbag
- handbag organizer
- a little handbag mirror
What about you? What are your favorite pieces for commuting to work?
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