When you think of the British office gentleman, you think of a suave, well-tailored type, walking with purpose up the high street. What you probably don’t imagine is him being soaked to the core in the rain, but that’s unfortunately a very real possibility for us Brits day to day.
If you spend the average working day in formal gear, then hopefully you’ve got your ‘office look’ down to a tee – a good suit, statement pair of shoes, fitted shirt, classy cufflinks and so on. However, knowing our climate, you need to be ready for the rainy days as well, so here’s what will keep your protected, dry and looking good on the damper commutes.
Starting with the obvious, a quality men’s raincoat should be a staple of any good wardrobe, never mind just a formal one. It’s one of those purchases you should be making a solid investment in, as it’s a piece that will last you for years and be used virtually every day.
A trench coat or mac makes the most sense as they offer a smart look and fit whilst offering sturdy water resistance. Stay away from wool or any ‘furrier’ outer layers; materials like this will absorb some of the water, making you feel both wetter and heavier.
The traditional trench coat colourway of beige is a good one to go for, likewise the darker tones of grey, navy and black all provide a universally stylish look.
A good pair of shoes, again, is a quintessential part of any man’s repertoire, and the formal office look dictates that you’ll likely already have a couple of pairs of well-built leather numbers in your wardrobe.
Choosing weather appropriate footwear doesn’t mean you need to be donning a pair of wellies to work then changing at the office, rather you need to think about protecting the shoes you already have.
Pre-treating your shoes with a protective layer is a must before you hit rainy streets. Options range anywhere from a classic oil-based treatment to a modern nano-protector spray – the latter of the two makes particular sense if you’re braving the elements in suede.
You can also choose dress shoes with rubber soles, or invest in some overshoes to cover up on the journey. Overshoes might seem a strange proposition, but you’d be surprised by how smart some of the options out there are.
A Quality Umbrella
They say a man is defined by his umbrella. Well, they don’t, but once you’ve experienced your first proper, quality umbrella, you’ll wonder what you did without it.
For many, the temptation with buying an umbrella is to buy the cheapest one going. After all, you just need it to cover you from the rain, right? In reality, umbrellas tend to be one of those ‘you get what you pay for’ type items, and one that costs a fiver from the local supermarket might end up causing you more trouble than it’s worth.
Instead of taking the cheapest possible route, view a good brolly as an addition to your overall look. A full-length umbrella with a curved wooden handle works just as well as a walking stick as it does a rain protector, and certainly enhances the ‘office gentleman’ appearance of its carrier.
Then, once the rain starts pouring and the wind starts blustering, you’ll appreciate having spent a little more on a sturdier frame – no getting blown inside out, and you aarrive at the office calm and dry.
There’s not too much mystery in nailing your rainy-day office attire. A good coat, some wwell-prepared shoes, and a sturdy but sleek umbrella should be all you need to attack the elements.