Monsoon Style Guide: Work Wear

Monsoons are here and while we’re all super-happy to get away from the burning summer heat… the rains (especially in Mumbai) come with their own set of issues! Excessive humidity, frizzy hair and irritable skin … being just a few of them! And what to wear (and what not to wear) is simply an added headache!

Sure the monsoon is all romantic and makes us wanna either stay home n laze or head out to a hill station…, but we don’t always get what we want! Sigh… And so we gotta make the best of what we have… Work days!

Going to work shouldn’t always have to mean dressing the same way… the monsoon gives you a chance to funk up your formal look, and get away with the ‘it’s raining’ excuse, just in case someone raises an eyebrow 😉

Here are 5 of my personal favorite style tips that’ll make sure you arrive at work in style, in spite of the monsoons.

#1: Go Shorter than Usual:

Shed the full pants and jeans (the wet edges at the bottom don’t just look but also make you feel yukkk!) and instead go with ankle length or shorter pants, capris, culottes or formal shorts. Jeans especially get all sticky and take much longer to dry… and I hate that feeling!

This season, stores are lined with trousers in more styles, prints and colours than ever before… and while culottes have been in fashion since the last year, I think they do make for the most comfortable monsoon trousers ever! You can easily find some classy, formal looking chinos which can be paired with a formal button down shirt and heels.

Formal shorts are making a huge come-back and all you have to do is team it with a blazer when headed out for a meeting, to make it look all formal and acceptable 😉

picture courtesy: pinterest


picture courtesy: pinterest


#2: Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are back from the 70’s (have been for a while now, and seem to be here to stay) in all the cuts and styles that you’d see in a 70’s classic Hollywood movie! Personally, I love them. They make for perfect formal wear and also look great as evening wear. On a rainy day though, I’d prefer a jumpsuit with midi leg. The ones with wide legs, collars or a button-down upper are my favorite for work-wear.

If you choose one in monochrome (single colour from top to bottom), you may want to use a belt to break the monotony… or opt for the ones with distinct colours. For a more formal look, I’d go for solid colours (Black being my all time favorite), but the monsoon calls for different colours and prints!

Jumpsuits in Ikats and linens are wonderful not just for summer… they’re great in monsoons too, coz they dry up easy and look breezy and breathable!

How you accessorize your jumpsuit can give it a very different look… a pair of heels, an oversized tote and a belt with your hair up in a bun, can make for the ultimate power outfit for that all important presentation!

And in case you still wanna wear full length jumpsuit, simply roll up the hems (the brooch trick works wonders to hold the flow-y trouser fabric in place) and accessorize your foot with a delicate anklet to give you that all-rainy look!

PinkPepper Tip: If you are broad around your waist, wear a belt or a sash to give your body definition and proportion.


picture courtesy:


#3: Skirts

Monsoons are the perfect season for getting all your skirts out and wear them to work! I prefer knee-length, mini or midi skirts, in darker colours during the rains, so that even if they get wet, the wet-patch doesn’t show.

Choose a fabric that enables the water to slide off and can dry quickly (polyester, poly-cot, linen blends, etc). Avoid wool blends and other thick fabrics that tend to stay wet longer… A-line cuts, straight cuts and pencil cuts are the best for formal wear.

But wrinkled cotton skirts (knee length or ankle length) and pleated skirts also look great on a semi-casual monsoon work day.

Team it up with a button down shirt (tucked in or knotted in the front), a waistcoat, an oversized bag and sneakers. (Keep a pair of heels in office for those meetings!) Accessorize!



picture courtesy: pinterest

#5: Removable Layers to avoid going transparent

One tip that never fails you during monsoons – Layers.

In terms of practicality, wearing a camisole under your shirts / tops, makes sure that you never go transparent or clingy, in case you end up getting caught in that sudden downpour.  (of course, bralettes work wonderfully too ;))

However, wearing layers can become way too uncomfortable and bearable in the heat… so much so, that sometimes going transparent may seem like the better option! Well worry not… Go for the removable, summer layers!

Simply throw on an additional loose shirt, unbuttoned over your clothes while you’re traveling… a soft chambray works best here and will look great over anything… trousers, denims, skirts and even dresses… If it doesn’t get wet, simply remove it once you reach your workplace or keep it on for that additional style statement… and if it does end up getting wet… remove it and just spread it on your chair… it’ll dry up quickly, ready for you to dawn it again when you leave for home!

Layers also enable you to style in different ways… for example, you could tie your shirt into a front knot to wear it like a cropped shirt… or tie it higher to turn your shirt into a formal shrug over your camisole / tank top! Or just leave it open and loose for that effortless, unkempt look!



#5: Scarves & Stolls

Bright coloured scarves and stolls can add so much to your outfit… not just in terms of colour… but also funk! They have the ability to brighten up and stylize your whole outfit. Added to that, in the monsoon, they are also of great functional value…

They can work like a stylish head wrap if you wanna protect your hair or if you’ve gone frizzy coz of the rain-water… like a shawl to keep your top from directly getting wet… like a protection for your bag since you don’t want those water droplets falling on the leather, and also to simply dry you up once you’ve reached your destination. Plus they dry up pretty quickly which is simply an added advantage!


Here is a tutorial on 3 ways of tying a head-wrap:




#6: Stock your Office Drawer:

During the monsoons, leave a small portable hair dryer in your office desk… not just for your hair… but your clothes, shoes, bag, mobile phone… anything and everything that may get caught up in d rain on your way to work… simple, handy and an absolute savior! 😉

And unless you travel by your own car, wear a pair of Crocs / gum boots when travelling in the Mumbai rains. (If possible do avoid the ugly, holed ones.. there are a host of pretty Crocs too, you know!) And keep a pair of black heels (to match with most outfits) and a blazer, always handy in office.




Hope this helps and you find these tips useful!


Love you loads,


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About Me

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry.

She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.