Slipping on wet stairs in heels. Unconsciously entering a wet white blouse competition on the way to a meeting. Resembling a mad scientist or dirty mop after exiting the elements. Losing hats, scarves and dignity from laughable gusts of wind.
Experiencing all of the above has left me with some tips to share concerning weather and professional wear. Alabama weather is unpredictable and being professionally prepared for the worst is wise.
This should go without saying, but check the weather before even considering an outfit. Getting emotionally invested in a flowy skirt before realizing a tornado warning is expected will only leave you blushing, mortified for the rest of the day or longer depending on who gets a front-row seat.
Messy or clean, clumsy or careful: When you wear white, expect the worst. Stains are the least of your problem when it comes to what the weather could do to your credibility. With every raindrop, you transform from boss to self-conscious pool-goer. Having an extra blouse in your office, car or bag for emergencies will save you more than once if you remember to replace it.
Relyinh solely on umbrellas will turn you into Mary Poppins faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Or even faster, because that's one heck of a word, am I right? Invest in a quality hooded rain jacket and an umbrella you can trust. Don't go without one or the other. Relying on an umbrella alone does not stop horizontal rain. Jackets have the tendency to stop resisting the water at a certain level of saturation.
No matter how late you are, take a moment to gather and secure yourself before running out in the elements. Showing up late and damp, frazzled or wind-blown will add to the trouble. Showing up late and flawless, on the other hand, might just seal a decent fate. Button up, prepare that umbrella, change into weather-appropriate shoes and get going. If you've got a long walk, think ahead as to which route is the dryest or most covered.
For windy days, wear bloomers, pack long jackets or wear leggings. All of these options give you the opportunity to put on and take off these precautions when you are finished with them. Don't assume your skirt is just long enough and won't fly up. With the right gust of wind, it will.
Overestimating your grace in heels may lead you to broken ankles and hurt pride. If it's storming, windy or generally unpleasant outside, leave the platforms at home. Let people judge you for your black flats, who cares. As long as you look professional and put together, you have nothing to worry about. They might regret judging you when they lose a heel to Auburn's brick concourses.
The most crucial caveat to looking good is feeling good. Anything and everything can be high-fashion if you feel like a million bucks. Confidence is key and I stand firmly behind that. When you mess up and slip or walk into a meeting with nutjob hair, work it and don't back down. The moment you let other's think you don't know what you're doing, they will. Pick yourself up and get back out there with a charming smile.
Gaining other's respect comes when they witness you beating life's curve balls.