Have you ever fancied going out for some after-work drinks but couldn’t face trekking all the way home to change first? Me too – although to be fair, it’s slightly less of a problem these days as a freelancer who mainly works from home! But when I do work away, finding the perfect office outfit that can also take me out for drinks afterwards is still tricky. Luckily, UK retailer, River Island *, has put together this helpful desk-to-drinks guide with a few tips and tricks to help us move easily from office to bar this season. Here are a few of my favourites from their women’s dresses range, inspired by AW18 fashion trends.
One top tip is to wear an outfit that you don’t have to do much to when it’s time to clock off. This midi shirt dress with three-quarter sleeves is the perfect blend of work-ready formal and post-office style. The collar is naturally connected to workwear – like blouses and shirts. And the glimpse of leg and bold colour makes an impact when you’re out with your colleagues.
Just before you go out, you could accessorise your outfit with some rose gold jewellery and switch your flats to strappy heeled court shoes.
What if you want more of a change? If you don’t fancy wearing the same outfit for both office and party time? Another option is to add layers in the morning and remove them when it’s time to head out for the evening. Personally, I adore leopard print, which never goes out of style. I think this print dress would look amazing on a night out with work friends.
Toning it down for work is quite simple though. Try a plain, long-sleeve black t-shirt on top, then add some tights and black pumps. Then just pop a pair of heels in your bag for going out afterwards and you’re sorted.
Not all dress styles are appropriate for the office. What I wear for a night out with friends might not look quite right in a business meeting. However, dresses today offer a huge variety of lengths, colours, necklines and cuts for both social scenarios. If you like wearing loud-print dresses on nights out, there’s no reason you can’t in the office too. Just opt for midi hemlines and high necklines to make them more suitable for business. And tone down the volume with some neutral accessories and a long-sleeve jacket.
Then, at the end of the working day, simply swap your flats for some strappy wedges, a chic clutch, and plenty of jewellery.
With after-work drinks, I’ve learned the hard way that you might only have a few minutes to spruce up. Here’s where maxi hemlines and buttoned-up, collared necks make an ideal outfit. They’re both formal and comfortable for important meetings and busy days. And when it’s time for drinks, you can add a belt and throw on your tallest pair of heels for a fun night out.
Don’t forget some statement jewellery either – think chunky necklaces, bangles, and big hoop earrings.
Strappy patterned dresses may not be typical workplace attire, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them work. All you need to do is cover up when appropriate! Pull on a maxi, waterfall cardigan in a complementary shade and wear with a pair of loafers to keep your look business-focused. At the end of the day, leave your cardi behind and strap on a pair metallic heels instead.
Don’t forget to swap your work bag too – maybe for a petite, glitter cross-body handbag that can (just about!) hold any essentials for the evening.
As a brunette, I love wearing deep red or green and I’ve never shied away from wearing my favourite shades both day and night. You can always make a bold colour more formal by wearing a tailored blazer and mid-heel court shoes. Then, when it’s time to go out, take off the blazer and swap your courts for some block-heel mules or studded suede heeled sandals instead. And then you can show off your favourite colour that’s been under wraps all day 🙂
Good to go?
I read somewhere recently that we spend something like 80% of our waking lives at work so why not enjoy some socialising time afterwards too? During my 20+ years in the workplace, I’ve learned the value of anything that makes life easier and saves me time. Help and tips for striking the balance between work-ready and off-duty outfits for after work get-togethers is definitely one of those things! I know which of these looks is my top choice but which one is your favourite? How do you adapt your work wear for nights out? Have you got any top tips to share?
* This is a sponsored post.