Fashion, ESQ.- Much Ado About Commuting

For the vast majority of us who commute into the office and/or court on a daily basis, we spend a lot of time and frustration getting place to place while attempting to look presentable. Men, it seems, have more socially acceptable professional attire for cold weather and rainy commutes than their female colleagues. I’ve always said, if someone could engineer galoshes for pumps, they would be a millionaire. Since those do not yet exist, here are some tips for chic and comfortable commuting:

Go with monochromatic outerwear. If your coat matches your gloves, scarf and hat, your commuting attire will automatically look more intentional and put-together. If you wear a lot of black, go with that. If earth tones are more you, go with browns and beiges. Olive greens, deep maroons, and navy are also a great choice.

Look for belted coats. I love coats with a belted waist, because they automatically look more tailored and fitted than a more shapeless silhouette. As a bonus, they’re usually quick and easy to put on and off, as opposed to numerous snaps or buttons.

Invest in a classic trench coat. A trench coat is timeless and the perfect antidote to a rainy day. Consider one in black or tan for maximum mix and match-ability.

Equip yourself with a long scarf. Scarfs help transition your commuting attire from fall to winter and when they’re long enough, they can provide cover for your head as well as your neck and chest. I love wrapping a scarf around my head as an alternative to a hat because it prevents hat hair and I can unwrap myself in seconds when entering my office building or the courthouse. And it’s one less piece to keep track of throughout the day.

Consider booties instead of gym shoes. Although there are plenty of sleek gym shoes being made these days, if you want something even more versatile and heavy-duty, consider a simple suede bootie.

Keep that umbrella bag. When you buy a new umbrella, look for one that comes in a bag. Keep that bag so that after use, you can slide the umbrella back into the bag and put it in your briefcase without dampening the other items you’re carrying.

Aim for textured rubber soles. When it gets cold and icy, leather soles are a nightmare. Whatever shoe you choose for your commute, look for one with a rubber sole, preferably with some texture.

Lined leather gloves are where it’s at. Leather gloves look so much more polished than large, knit mittens. They’re also more functional – from working with your iProducts to allowing you to easily grab your train ticket or ID pass. Best of all, leather gloves that are lined with wool are just as warm as those chunky mittens. Bonus: a nice pair of lined leather gloves makes a great gift for your colleagues and friends.

What are your favorite tricks for commuting? Share with us on social media at We welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions for future columns. Please email me at to make topic suggestions or to submit an article you have written on a professional fashion topic.

Kathryn “Kate” Conway is a trial lawyers with the law firm of Power Rogers & Smith where she represents injured people and their families in cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, automobile and trucking collisions. She is also a fashion lover and member of the WBAI Board of Directors.