There’s one question that regularly its way into my inbox. What I can wear to work in my reasonably conservative office before heading out to dinner/the movies/a bar with friends/family/my other half.
Recently the how to take your outfit from day to night question came to me via a reader who is reentering the workforce in a conservative office environment. Add to that she is often required at after-hours functions. Add to this a relationship to maintain and friends who seemed to be drifting away. Madame reader wants to be ready to head out on the town at a moment’s notice. From her office to out on the town, that is what she wants.
Madame Reader in her new fancy job needs:
- Clothes appropriate for a conservative office environment
- Clothes that would easily transition to an evening look without look too business
- Clothes that could be utilised in a number of ways to minimise total spend
- Clothes that were classic and not too trendy
The what to wear from the office to an evening out is one of those questions that seems easy to answer in theory but when it comes down to it is tricky. It’s almost like pulling off an entire costume which given the need to pack and carry all the things you need is annoying at very least.
First I recommend getting to know your office environment, learn what’s acceptable in terms of dress and start to replicate that in your own style. Then once you’ve nailed the office style down, start adding pieces that will work for the office and where you want to go after. Incorporate colours and a bit of shimmer and shine.
Finally when putting your outfit together for the day consider what you’ll need to dress it up, will you be adding or subtracting items of clothes or jewellery. A good quality overnight bag of a reasonable size might be something you could consider if this office swap happens for you on a regular basis. Pack everything you need and be prepared to stow the excess later on.
There are a few keys ideas behind the office to out transition:
- Pack a simple makeup bag including a bold lip
- Add statement jewellery after hours
- Avoid the full shoe swap, wear something that works for day & night
- Leave unneeded items in your office or car
- Wear uncrushable fabric to keep you looking great well into the night
Now let’s take a look at some outfits I’ve put together to help you out in your office to out transition.
Built around these stylish and versatile pants, this look combines the softness of the blouse with the evening glam of a studded tote and drop earrings. Great for dinner for two in your favourite restaurant, cocktails or even a movie. Add the geometric jacket for work if your office allows or keep it for later to amp up the fun factor.
With this look the pop of colour from the shoes is going to be amped up at night with the addition of the clutch. Add to this a fun tailored leather jacket and you’re all set for ladies night. This dress is such a stylish and unique piece that during the day, especially for the warmer months, it will work beautifully for the office. Yet it is fun enough to head out on the town no matter where the night leads …
I adore this look, simply wear the longline tuxedo jacket throughout the day and remove it for evening to reveal this gorgeous cross over blouse with a peek of skin at the back. Great for dinner, cocktails and more. The simplicity of monochrome and classic lines makes this an easy transition. Keep the heel simple, the purse classic and you’ll be set to go anywhere.
Those are my tips for creating a look to take you from the outfit to out on the town using items that are versatile and conservative during office hours. I think whatever the dress code of your office you’re most likely to amp things up a bit to head out in the evening. Use this transition to add a bit more punch and personality to your existing look. Have some fun. And don’t forget to either check those excess items at the door, or leave them behind.
Tell me YOUR best tips for getting out of the office and out on the town in style. What’s your go-to look?
Melissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog about living the sweet life. Known as Suger, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread and anything with stripes on it. She created the Confident You series and shares her love of fashion, the gym and cooking most days of the week on her blog or via her weekly newsletter. A social media addict and consultant, you will find Melissa anywhere you search for Suger with an e.