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The Commuter’s Guide to Style

Whether you’re hopping on a train or taking the healthier route and going by foot or bike, we’ve got your sartorial needs covered.

By Foot

Skipping a crowded bus and walking to work? We salute you! Not only will this help burn off some of those weekend adult beverages, but it’ll also save you a penny or two.

That said, weather is unpredictable, meaning you could arrive at the office either drenched in rain or sweat.

Rain Coat

When those unavoidable spring showers kick in, you’ll definitely need to wrap up in something water-resistant for your trek to work. We’d suggest a raincoat or trench coat as these will not only keep you dry, but they’re also lightweight enough to stop you sweating if you need to pick up the pace for that early morning all-hands.

Sunglasses

It’s almost spring and it’ll pay to have a decent pair of sunglasses to shield against the low-sitting sun’s glare.

Wayfarers and aviators are indispensable on this count; both silhouettes are timeless and transcend trends. Go for matte black or tortoiseshell frames to maintain a sense of sophistication and always check they offer 100 per cent protection from both UVA and UVB rays before you buy.

Sneakers

Last but definitely not least, when it comes to your walk-to-work style essentials, you’ll want to invest in comfortable footwear. Probably the most important purchase of all, we’d suggest slipping into a pair of well-crafted sneakers which you can swap for your stilettos once you reach the office.

There are so many styles out there that it can be hard to know where to start, but you can’t go wrong with a pair from New Balance. The brand’s 420 model comes in a wide range of colors and is just as stylish as it is practical. Crafted with a suede leather upper and breathable textile panels, it’s the perfect choice for pacing the pavement. Alternatively, consider adidas’ Stan Smith or Nike’s Air Pegasus – both of which strike that elusive balance between comfort and style.

By Bike

Another way of skipping the crows and staying fit is by cycling to work. It might not be an option for everyone, but provided you can complete the journey within an hour and have a shower at the office, it’s arguably the ideal way to commute. Here’s how to do it in style.

The Right Pant

If you’re biking to the boardroom, it’s important to wear jeans or trousers with a little stretch. This will allow your legs to move freely as you cycle, preventing them from overheating and ensuring your seams don’t burst.

Try a pair of dark straight- or slim-leg jeans with a small percentage of elastane in the mix –Levi’s Commuter Skinny jeans.

For those of you who can’t quite get away with something as laid-back as denim in your office, then either pack your suit trousers in your bag or swap jeans for a pair of tailored trousers that aren’t restrictively tight, or have a touch of elastane included.

Nordstrom offers formal trousers with cycle-ready stretch, like these by Halogen.

Backpacks

Messenger bags can be impossibly awkward to carry while cycling, so it’s a good thing backpacks are as practical as they are on-trend right now. Perfect for throwing on over your shoulder as you jump on your bike, choices currently on the market range from rugged canvas designs to luxe leather options.

Whatever your profession, it’s best to stick to smarter backpacks given that the silhouette itself is inherently casual. Choose a structured style with a squarish shape crafted from a hard-wearing material such as leather, coated cotton or cotton twill. And most high street retailers offer genuine leather or leather look options these days. Here are few favorites.

By Public Transport

Alas, we’re not all lucky enough to be able to walk or cycle to work. Plus, let’s face it, even if we can, we don’t always feel like it – particularly when the weather’s acting up.

Here’s how to navigate your metropolitan network in style.

Breathe Easy

Cramped bus rides and subway carriages can be a sweaty business, which is why it’s crucial to opt for pieces that allow your skin to breathe easily when needed.

Lightweight cotton is perfect for this, so keep an eye out for shirts in Egyptian cotton blends.

When the weather turns colder but your train or bus ride is just as muggy, small changes can make all the difference: slip off your blazer and unbutton your shirt a bit – after all, nobody wants to see sweaty underarms in a meeting.

Scents

While it’s unfortunately not possible to avoid all offensive body odors when commuting to work on overcrowded public transport, you can minimize your own – which is why it’s important to keep a decent deodorant in your bag at all times.

A quality antiperspirant spray is ideal for this, although you might want to invest in a roll-on deodorant if you have sensitive skin or need stronger protection.

A quick spray of your signature fragrance before leaving home will also overpower those unpleasant smells communing can create, and it’s not a bad idea to keep a travel size fragrance with you for top-ups when needed throughout the day.

Totes Finally, we’d suggest splurging on a timeless tote – the bag that shows you mean business. Whether it’s a traditional design or a contemporary soft-leather, you’ll be able to keep all your documents and tech accessories safe in style during your journey to the office. We love this Whip Stitch tote by Topshop.

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