Five tips to take your look from office to evening

12/03/2012 6:47 AM

12/03/2012 6:48 AM

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.

4. Accessories

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.”

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