Tips For Picking The Perfect Outfit When The Weather Is Unpredictable

We have all checked the weather forecast before getting dressed for the day only to realize that the forecast is all over the place. After all, what do you wear when it's currently sunny, and yet, there's a 40% chance of rain and gloomy weather? While dressing for unpredictable weather can seem overwhelming, it is actually a great way to showcase your creativity and personal style through different types of clothing (via Hangers Cleaners). We're talking layers, colorful accessories, and cute and cozy essentials that are ready to take on sun, rain, sleet, or snow. 


So how do you go about putting together a cute outfit when there's no relying on the weather outside? For starters, you should pick out pieces that could do well in different temperatures. The good news is that this is a lot easier than it sounds and you can probably accomplish it by using just a few items from your closet. To make things even easier for you, we've put together a guide breaking down all the tips you need to know on how to assemble the perfect outfit regardless of the forecast.

Dress in layers

When it comes to unpredictable weather, layering will always be your friend! Think about it, the more articles of clothing that you have on, the better prepared you are to face different types of weather conditions. For instance, having a base layer like a simple tank or tee is a great place to start. You can then add a middle piece such as a sweater and top it off with an insulated outer layer like a winter jacket if the temperature drops, per The Gray Details. Dressing in these three layers will give you the flexibility to slip on and off an item of clothing depending on what it's like outside.


Uncertain weather is also the perfect excuse to experiment with different fabrics and lengths to create unique looks (via 40+Style). For example, a light-weight summer slip dress can be repurposed by adding a cropped wool sweater on top to help you take on the cold.

Reach for your favorite pair of jeans

There's a reason jeans have been a trusted clothing item since the 1800s. Their impeccable versatility and durability makes them the perfect choice to reach for whether the weather says thunderstorms or clear skies. With so many options like distressed denim, bell bottoms, and bootcut jeans, you can get innovative with your outfits by playing around with the style, rise, and color of your jeans, per MasterClass.


What's more is that you can even choose the color of your jeans to reflect the weather conditions. For instance, on a warmer day, you can opt for light-colored jeans to reflect the sunny weather while having your legs covered in case it gets chillier. Other ways to make denim work in warmer weather include rolling your cuffs and opting for lighter blends, like jeans made from primarily cotton fibers rather than polyester to allow for breathing room (via Insider). So even when it's messy outside, you can still look good by dressing up or down your favorite pair of jeans.

Put on a cute pair of socks

Did you know that your feet play a huge role in regulating your body temperature? Science ABC explains that this is because your feet act as sensors that respond to the temperature outside. Putting on some socks is an easy way to ward off chilly temperatures and keep your feet, and in turn, your body nice and cozy.


In addition to keeping you warm, socks can also transform your entire outfit. You may wonder how such a small accessory is capable of doing this. But with a variety of lengths, colors, and patterns, socks are "a tiny but powerful vehicle for personal style," Harling Ross writes for Repeller. When it gets colder outside, knee-high socks are a great option to pair with jeans or a dress. If the weather happens to get warmer, you can opt for a fun ankle sock to wear with a more casual outfit and sneakers.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid matching your socks to the color of your shoes, per Fashion Gone Rogue. Instead, go for a bolder look, like bright or patterned socks with neutral shoes to create contrast and spice up your outfit.


Wear sensible shoes

A comfortable pair of shoes can make all the difference when you don't know if you're in for slush, mud, or snow. After all, the last thing that you want is to be stuck in the most ill-fitting heels that make your feet ache, all while battling stormy weather. So, when you're getting ready for the day think about whether any of your footwear is giving you pain. Uncomfortable shoes can cause excessive pressure and play a role in forming calluses, bunions, or plantar fasciitis (via Biofoot).


When the weather forecast is unpredictable, waterproof shoes are always the way to go in case there is any chance of rain. Ballet flats or Birkenstocks may also be a good option in the summer months, while lace-up boots or weatherproof sneakers may be the way to go in the winter, per BuzzFeed. Just be sure to avoid wearing your extra high heels or favorite pair of non-waterproof shoes as there is a chance that they could get rained on.

Carry a big purse

Leaving your phone in your pant pocket only for it to get drenched is the worst feeling. Luckily, this can easily be avoided if you carry a huge handbag with you when the weather is unpredictable. This is a great way to free up your arms while ensuring that your essentials are safe and sound. What's more is that you can get creative and opt for a bold choice like a large red purse to add a pop of color to your outfits. Best Present Guide explains that you can also customize your bag depending on the occasion, your personal style, or even to compliment your body shape. Just be sure to choose a waterproof purse if there is a chance for rain.


So how do you determine the right handbag for you? According to Lux Exposé, you can start by doing a test fill. This technique involves setting out everything you already carry on the kitchen table and then packing it up securely into large grocery bags and taking them to the nearest purse store. You can then test fill the large handbags in the store with your things in order to see the size of purse that you might need as well as how the purse feels to carry around. Ideally, you'd want a large one that neatly organizes your personal belongings plus emergency items like an umbrella, extra jacket, or anything else that you might need to face all weather conditions. 

Use scarves to elevate your outfit

Scarves are the perfect accessory to experiment with when the weather is hazy, especially since they can be used for warmth. While thick wool scarves are all the hype on snowy winter days, a thin silky scarf can prove to be an elegant touch when the sun is out. 


Simply pay attention to the weight of the scarf to match the weather conditions (via Curated Taste). It can also be fun to try out different colors and even ways to tie the scarf. For instance, you can go for a light green scarf when spring hits to complement the season. As for tying the scarf, who says that it belongs around the neck? On a hotter day, wear your silk square scarf as a belt to make your waist appear smaller and take your outfit to the next level, per Upstyle. You can also wear it as a hair accessory or tie it around your purse for decoration until you need to use it.

Opt for a hat

Let's face it, we've all had a fresh blowout or hairstyle ruined due to some unexpected rain. In order to protect your freshly styled locks or even hide a bad hair day amid turbulent weather, opt for a hat. In fact, the luxury of this garment is that it is super versatile. This means that you can wear a hat to block the sun or shield yourself from the rain. For example, if you're headed to a party or the beach, a fedora can be a great go-to option, while a beret or knit cap may be more appropriate around winter time (via 40+Style). 


While it is a myth that you lose most of your heat through your head, you can still benefit from covering your head in the colder weather. If there is any chance of cold weather on the forecast, it may be best to wear a hat in order to prevent your head from freezing.

Add staple pieces of jewelry

Your staple jewelry pieces are always a good option regardless of the weather. Even the dullest of outfits can be made to feel fancier with the right jewelry. The trick is to find timeless pieces that compliment your skin tone. For cooler skin tones, lighter metals like white gold or silver are the best option, explains Fashion Week Online. Meanwhile, warmer skin tones can enjoy more yellow or gold gems. If you have a neutral skin tone, you lucked out and are able to wear both silver and gold.


Once you've picked out the right type of jewelry for yourself, you can then learn to use it to elevate your outfit. Simply start by layering a few dainty necklaces in matching hues to balance your ensemble (via Society19). You'll want to try to have the necklaces be of different lengths for the best results. Multiple anklets, rings, or even earrings can also be worn for a fancy touch. Other staple items you'll want to have in your closet include pearl earrings, a pendant necklace, and staple hoops, per Q Evon. These fashion accessories are key to a timeless outfit that can be worn year round.

Grab a pair of sunglasses

If there is anything that can single-handedly make any outfit trendy, it's a stylish pair of sunnies. It's no wonder that the Kardashians are always photographed in sunglasses! Plus, you never know when the sun will come out, which is why having a pair of shades on hand is always a safe bet. However, the old sunnies from 2007 may not be exactly what we are talking about. Instead, for a glamorous look, try out some cat-eye frames or turtle-shell aviators (via iDiva). You can also stand out in some oversized sunglasses to give you a mysterious look and also act as a shield that will protect your eyes from the sun or wind.


If the weather forecast brings colder weather, it may also be time to whip out some high-quality protective lenses. Now you may be thinking about why you would need sunglasses in the height of winter? It turns out that ultraviolet rays from the sun are still a real threat in the winter, which is why a pair of shades should be worn regardless of the temperature, per Clearly. Wearing or carrying a pair of sunnies with you at all times ensures that you are protecting your vision and in turn, also fighting off various eye diseases and damage that can occur due to UV exposure, explains John Hopkins Medicine.

Always carry a light jacket or vest

A jacket or light vest is easy enough to bring along if you think the weather will be all over the place. Thus, when it's supposed to be a low of 40 and a high of 70, a jacket is a must. This is even true on calmer days, as there is bound to be a temperature difference in weather from day to night. 


Typically a trusted jean jacket is a good option for when the weather involves some mild chill or wind; however, an oversized blazer can also be a fun game-changer (via The Villanovan). Try pairing an oversized blazer with your summer dress for a stylish look or dress it down with jeans on a cooler day. A cardigan is another classic choice to pair with dresses year-round. You can also opt for a leather jacket in the fall for a bold look.

According to The Capsule Suitcase, planning your travel wardrobe for changing seasons — where you have to bundle up one day and put on sunscreen the next — is tricky. However, the most versatile item is a good piece of outerwear. This can be a classic trench, vest, or cape that you can easily pack or layer on when the temperature drops.


Opt for breathable fabrics

Breathable fabrics are perfect for when the weather is unpredictable as they keep you fresh and dry to protect you from sweat or overheating. This is crucial if the weather suddenly starts getting too hot since you don't want to sweat profusely in a thick and non-breathable fabric.


So how do you go about choosing materials with breathability? Well, let's start with the basics. RefrigiWear explains that this type of item essentially means it is resistant to air movement in and out of the garment's weave construction. A tighter weave will be less breathable as air won't be able to get in or out. This is why for warmer temperatures, linen or cotton may do the trick, while cooler weather fabrics can include open knits that still allow air to flow through.

In addition to the weather, your activity level is also an important factor to consider. For instance, if you are not as active, a cotton shirt or button-up may be perfect for you. However, if you are more active and plan to break out in sweat, polyester fabrics may be a better choice as cotton absorbs moisture, per REI Co-op.


Rely on neutral colored clothing

Neutral colored clothing like a white button down or a plain black dress are the perfect pieces to have in your closet as they can get you through any weather. This is why a handful of nudes are staples to get you through the change in seasons (via The Environmentor). 


Having go-to items that are black, beige, gray, or any other neutral color are easy to style in warmer months and can be layered or paired with thicker fabrics to work in cooler weather. In fact, you can build a whole capsule wardrobe from just a few neutrals, such as a plain tank and a nude blouse or sweater paired with black pants or a white skirt. A solid colored dress is also a great piece to always have in your closet. To be on the safe side, you can choose dark colored neutrals like black or navy blue in order to minimize visible stains and endure extreme weather.