Read the title of this article again. I’m pretty proud of the rhyme. *pats self on back* Now the real question: after work, will your outfit hold up?
I don’t know many people who aren’t busy. Most of my friends work long hours or have more than one job or make a valiant attempt to have both a job and a social life. In every case, we’re all on the go.
This means that having an outfit that can translate fluidly from work to after-hours events or from casual Friday to the weekend is essential. Here’s how you do it.
Step 1: START WITH WORK IN MIND
No matter how badly you would like to wear that cute, low-cut, tight black dress to the date you have after work, you should not try to wear it to the office first.
Priority number one should be making sure you look appropriate for work—the place that pays your bills. Therefore, when you’re thinking about a transitional outfit, your first thought should be, “Is this appropriate for work?”
For each of the three looks I have below, I started with a versatile and comfortable garment. I began with a shirt dress from the Brooks Brothers Women’s Collection by Creative Director, Zac Posen. It has a small dot-print pattern on it and comes with a wide cloth belt. Most importantly, it isn’t too tight, too low-cut, or otherwise inappropriate for the office. I started with this dress and added heels for work and a lightweight coat.
Beginning with a work-appropriate base for my outfit made my office to after-hours endeavor much easier than it would have been otherwise. Another great base dress is in this article.
Step 2: CHANGE ACCESSORIES AND SHOES
Obviously, you don’t always need to change accessories and shoes to go to after-hours events. This is especially true if you’re wearing a versatile pair of shoes like pumps.
I added this step to remind you that you should add as much personality and fun into your outfits as possible. Typically, I leave for work around 8AM each day and sometimes attend an after-hours event until around 8PM. I could easily spend more than twelve hours in work clothes every day of the week. This adds up to 60 hours in a five-day workweek. You need a bit of fun wearing the clothes you have on for work. Otherwise, it’s easy to start feeling frustrated and constrained by work attire and the rules it comes with.
I suggest avoiding this feeling by changing into fun accessories and shoes every chance you get. There’s no reason you can’t change into those strappy red stilettos that are collecting dust at the top of your closet to go to a celebratory dinner for your friends after work. The same goes for those chandelier earrings you’ve been dying to wear.
Clearly, the two examples above would not be appropriate for a networking function or business event, but you get my point. Add a touch of excitement, color, sparkle, and fun each chance you get. Having a versatile base and transitioning into fun accessories is a good way to achieve that goal.
Step 3: THINK COMFORT FOR AFTER WORK OUTFIT
It is torturous to endure a 14-hour day in tight, scratchy clothes or rigid heels. If you have a long day ahead of you, seriously consider how well your clothes can survive the day with you.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot for the look below: I actually shot all three of these looks in the same day. What made this adventure enjoyable was how soft and breathable my shirt dress was! It was about 70 degrees outside on shoot day. What could’ve been an unbearable day filled with sweaty frustration turned out to be an enjoyable opportunity to see some fun parts of Charlotte that I don’t often get to visit. Plus, the dress has pockets. Nuff said.
Check out the shirt dress below and send me a message here if you have questions about where to buy more clothing and put together outfits that transition easily from work to play for your after-work events.
Pictured below: dress (Brooks Brothers, here) casual shoes (Converse Chuck Taylor All Star low top, here), jean t-shirt (old), business casual pumps (INC Women’s Kenjay D’Orsay Pumps, here), black overcoat (H&M, old), black slingbacks (Limelight, old).