It’s the season for going from work to parties. But wearing a sparkly top and chandelier earrings is going to draw the wrong kind of attention at the morning staff meeting, so what do you wear — or change into later — to make a seamless transition from the boardroom to the ballroom?
It takes a little planning and packing, says Rachel Lefort, a personal fashion stylist who helps clients edit their closets, shops and build a wardrobe. She also is a menswear style consultant with J.Hilburn. Here are some of her ideas.
1. Make your day dress work for the evening, too.
Wear a sheath or simple sleeveless or short-sleeved dress to the office, but stay covered all day with a blazer. Then after work, remove your jacket for a sexier look, and switch out your accessories.
2. Cover up with a cardigan.
Wear an embellished or shimmery blouse, which would be perfect for cocktails, with a sleek pencil skirt to work. But cover your festive blouse with a cardigan, and even a scarf for the office. Then after work, remove the cardigan and scarf, and add evening accessories.
3. The tuxedo
Don a simple but great-fitting black suit (or trouser and tuxedo jacket) to work in the morning. If your office is casual, leave your jacket hanging in the coat closet and wear a sweater over your blouse or top. Then when it’s time to go to your evening event, change your daytime blouse for a sequined tank to go under your tux jacket and add high heels. Make sure the items you wear with your suiting separates are very dressy or you’ll risk looking like a waiter at a dressy function.
The little extras will make or break your evening look. Trade the simple earrings, pearls and pumps for some bold, glamorous statement jewels, sexy evening shoes and a small clutch bag and you’ll be ready for dinner, the theater or a party.
5. Makeup mastery
Cosmetics should also be more dramatic for evening. Put a red or burgundy lipstick in your bag, wear a smoky eye or try colored eye shadow and reapply foundation or blush as needed.
Guys can also take their look up a notch or two for night. Even if it is OK to wear jeans at the office, add a sportcoat for your after-hours occasions. Go a little darker for fall and winter, with gray, navy or black, Lefort says. “The color doesn’t matter as long as it’s a good fit.” Dark jeans and dark leather shoes will go just about anywhere. And for a special touch, put a pocket square in the breast pocket of the coat. “Add a fun paisley pattern,” Lefort says. “It doesn’t have to 100 percent match.”