How to Dress for Work and After-Work Socializing

Updated on June 5, 2017

Professional dress

When the work ends and the party begins, changing from workplace sophistication to dinner-chic is simple. Switching up a few things, such as shoes or accessories, can make your look glamorous for after five socializing or comfy-chic for a casual date. If you already have a few basics, switch up a few mix-and-match pieces for a different style. For example, you can lose the cardigan and go for the sexy satin top underneath with a pair of platform stilettos. These quick changes can easily take you from desk to dinner.

Make sure that your wardrobe offers some basic quick style change options. A nice jacket or cardigan, a simple sheath dress, fashion leggings, a pair of sexy heels, and a nice handbag like a silver clutch for an evening out are essential. While a pair of fly feather earrings may be inappropriate for the office, they are perfect for happy hour. So, don’t be afraid to let your inner diva loose. Jewelry can make the outfit. Adding just a little bling with a cool flowered cocktail ring will glam up your look for after five.

Start with hidden gems. Build your outfit around the main piece you want to transition with from desk to dinner. A pair of wide leg dress pants can easily be dressed up for work with a nice blouse or down with a fitted t-shirt for after work socializing. Choose mix and match pieces with the easiest transfer like slacks and skirts that can be paired with other items in your wardrobe.

Go classic

For a simple work or dinner look, add a wide belt to a button-down shirt. This adds an air of sophistication to the look. Change out of your work pumps into some sexy stilettos. Don’t forget the jewelry. Add trendy accessories like chunky bracelets and a little edge with a funky handbag. For a hipper look, lose the workplace trousers in favor of a pair of leggings.

Dress down

If your workplace is ultra conservative, going from suit to casual date is simple. Underneath your suit wear a shimmery satin or sequin tank. Switch your suit jacket for a stylish casual jacket or cardigan. Change from your workplace pumps to a pair of cute ballet flats. Add a pair of cool hoop earrings and you’re good to go.

Keep it simple

Dresses are a great way to go from work to after-work socializing. Wear a nice sheath dress with a simple cardigan for work. After work, dump the cardigan and add a funky faux leather jacket or even a pair of leggings underneath.

Quick change do’s and don’ts. Do use a wrap dress as cardigan for after work transition. Sleek office number by day, ultimate casual comfort by night, a wrap dress can double as a cardigan when paired with a t-shirt and leggings for example. Do rock a pair of peep toe pumps. They easily transfer from work to cocktail hour. Don’t over-accessorize.

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