How to Dress For Hellish Commutes

If you so happen to live in a city where you are able to take public transportation, you know that it can be a perilous thing. Between delays, broken down buses, trains stuck underground, and all the interesting characters you meet along the way, it can feel like work just to get to your job. Fortunately, your outfit can make it just a little bit easier on you.

2908473034_70084b2fde_bFirst off, unless you possess the finesse of RuPaul, heels are probably not your friend. There’s no guarantee that the subway will have seats open or that you won’t be running for the bus only to have your stiletto heel snag in a grate making you faceplant in front of a construction site—ahem, not that I know anything about that. So, it’s always smart to rock some comfy shoes for the trip. Bonus: If you’re planning on going to the gym straight away after work you can just wear your gym or running shoes on the commute.

If you’ve ever ridden an underground train, you know that you can get whiplash just from the temperature changes you experience. In the summer, the street can be warm, the underground platform can be just unbearable heat, and the train itself can be a frozen tundra. That’s why layers are your friend. Keep a sweater handy just in case your ride is a bit longer than expected: the worst that can happen is you don’t need it.


The one item that I never ever leave the house without when I commute is a scarf. It has nearly endless uses whether it’s a quick cover up for a coffee spill on your shirt, a cozy blanket-like material for a drafty train or a makeshift babushka when there’s a sudden rainstorm.

I have learned a few big no-nos about commuting, too. One is skater skirts. I tried it once and the whole of Chinatown was treated to a nice view of my ass when the train whizzed past. If you’re gonna try to rock it, wear leggings or hold on the trim for dear life.

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flatlay photo of a cute outfit

Another no-no is maxi skirts. Have you seen the bottom of a subway train or bus lately? You don’t want that crap on your outfit. Plus, trying to pop through the turnstile and not trip over yourself while wearing one of these babies means you have to possess a certain level of grace that I do not. If you’re going to be brave, take your time and pull up the hem so you’re not turning into a human broom.


Finally, quarters are going to be cramped so you don’t want to be that person with 15 large bags, her dog in a carrier and an Oxford dictionary. Only bring what you need and make sure it’s in a nice sturdy bag. This is the one thing I will splurge on, a bag that will fit my laptop and gym clothes at once. This way you’re not flaunting your belongings to randos on the train and you won’t need to take up two seats on the bus and make everyone hate you.

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