Everyone in their lives will do it; past, present or future. They will use many different methods to do it, commuting is part of life we, accept that. Recently my car ‘passed away’ a head gasket malfunction has declared it dead, now about as much use as one of those kids toys in a supermarket you see, parents strewn with shopping bags, and a child aimlessly moving back and forth on the spot serenaded by terrible tv theme tunes. So I must board the train to get me to work. This could easily be a rant about ‘ticket prices’ and ‘delays’ . Both of these brought tears to my eyes this morning. This however is about the the things you may not have considered.
When you commute by a mode of transport you naturally dress for the part. If you cycle you don Lycra and layers of the stuff, in a car you can almost wear what you will when you arrive at the office. However public transport, for me anyway, dictates a little more forward thinking.
Predicting weather conditions or storage of items about oneself. In most cases I fear I speak of a majority here, they just don’t care what they wear. The suit with the well coordinated tan brogues with the matching satchel is then ‘murded’ by the ‘Super-dry’esque coat, toggles and all. Or the guy who has fixed his motorbike, walked the dog and wiped both the aforementioned all down the coat he’s wearing. I fear I’ve missed too many here.
So what is the correct attire to commute via public transport? Well for the British, that’s what I am, then it must be weather appropriate as the weather is as unpredictable as the train times…. I apologise, I promised I know. Also it must be coordinated with the outfit underneath, would you walk into a meeting with the boss for the promotion you’ve been waiting for, wearing what you are? Then don’t wear it on the train, for most this may not enter their morning routine, however it should. It starts in mine the previous evening, already running through my head is what am I wearing and how will it work with the outer wear I have at my disposal?
I always find a good pea coat is a safe bet , both warm and easily styled with smart and casual outfits, it’s a staple wardrobe piece. The colour should work with most outfits so I would say navy blue, I tend to steer from black as most gentlemen I see wearing them look like Pall bearers. However if black is what you like, then team it with a colourful scarf in the colder months. If you do wear a pea coat please bear in mind that yes they have a fantastic array of pockets, and nice deep ones at that, this does not mean you should fill them with the contents of your bag. There’s nothing worse than bulging pockets on a smart jacket. Get the right size: remember it’s an “overcoat” hence to go over your outfit, this means when you try it on you must make sure you try it with something the same thickness as say, your thickest chunky knitwear, that way you’ll be comfortable when you wear them together.
To travel lighter or maybe in a warmer season, I find a good trench or mac is perfect, especially if you’re suited up for work. In cases of the more casual, denim or a leather is a good bet, just remember the double denim needs addressing before you just grab the jacket and leave. Bottoms darker than the jacket always works well. The mac is a good all rounder with the lightweight durability that means you can stow it when you need to, also it will protect you in those summer showers; however this may not offer full protection from a storm but it will hold you on to seek shelter. Colour for me is a lot easier with a trench or mac. For starters they come in an array of colours and that way you can choose a few, maybe to work with the suits you wear? Why not go for a more colourful one show everyone on the train you don’t suffer from the Monday blues.
Travelling on a bus, train or tram is one of the only times you are sat and analysed by all around you, you’re all huddled in together and all are eyes are on you at one time or another. Make sure you look good for them, after all it’s only fair.
Words by Matt Harrower
Illustration by woodandwolf woodandwolf.blogspot.co.uk