Picture the scenario: You’re in the office and your friends all want to grab a drink after work, but you don’t want to travel all the way home for an outfit change. Finding the perfect outfit for office work and social activities can be challenging. You need to strike the balance between on and off-duty fashion, which is no easy task.
Luckily, we’ve teamed up with leading retailer River Island to give you a helping hand with everything from floral dresses to bodycon – so you can make the transition from desk to drinks with ease.
One of the smartest options is to select an outfit that you won’t have to make a lot of changes to at the end of the working day. 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 — while the elegant show of leg and bold colour makes it an outfit that will stand-out for all the right reasons when you’re out with your colleagues. At the end of your shift, simply accessorise with rose gold jewellery and switch your flats to strappy heeled court shoes.
If you feel like adding a bit of extra glamour to your outfit and don’t fancy wearing the same dress at work and out, you could work some layers into your outfit in the morning and remove them when it’s time to go out. A striking leopard print dress would look amazing on a night out with work friends — but how do you wear it comfortably for work without it being too ‘out there’? Easy. Just pull on a plain, long-sleeve black tee underneath to make the outfit office-appropriate and wear tights to enhance the outfit transformation! Make sure you pair with black pumps — save the black patent heels for post-5pm…
Of course, not all dresses are appropriate for an office setting and what we wear to the bar might not be suitable for a day of business meetings. However, dresses today offer such a huge variety of lengths, colours, necklines and cuts that it’s easy to find the ideal design 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 make sure you opt for midi hemlines and high necklines to make them more suitable for business. Tone the volume of your printed dress down with neutral accessories and a long-sleeve jacket. When it’s time to clock off, put your flats under the desk and go for strappy wedges, a chic clutch, and plenty of jewellery.
If you’re heading out straight after work, you may only have a limited amount of time to get ready. No problem — just keep your daytime outfit simple to customise. A maxi hemline and buttoned-up, collared neck is ideal office-ready fashion, both formal and comfortable for important meetings and busy days. But what do you do in the evening? When it’s time for drinks, use a belt to cinch in your waist and create a gorgeous, party-ready silhouette. Then, throw on your tallest pair of heels to get you in the mood for a fun night out. Dress up your look with statement jewellery — think chunky necklaces, bangles, and big hoop earrings — then quickly slick on an extra layer of mascara and eyeliner and you’re good to go for a big night out in minutes.
A strappy, printed midi-dress might not be the first thing you think of when considering office fashion, but that’s not to day you can’t work one into your in and out-of-office plans. All you need to do, is cover-up and de-layer when appropriate! Pull on a maxi, waterfall cardigan in a complementary shade to your cami dress so you have the perfect coverage and wear with a pair of loafers to keep your look business-focused. At the end of the day, leave your cardi on the back of your office chair and strap on a pair metallic heels to prepare your look for out-of-office socialising. Make sure you ditch your work bag, too — swap it for a petite, glitter cross-body handbag that complements your shoes and pack only your essentials for the evening.
You might think that you also have to limit your colour choices when it comes to desk to drinks fashion – but this is a misconception. Don’t shy away from rocking you favourite shades both day and night. You can always make an outfit more formal by wearing a tailored blazer and mid-heel court shoes, and even tweaks to your look like wearing your hair in a neat bun can exude a work-ready vibe. Once you’re out-of-office has been switched on, remove your blazer and throw on a pair of block-heel mules or studded suede heeled sandals to give the illusion of beautifully elongated legs. Forget jackets and kimonos — now’s the time to show off that gorgeous colour you’ve been keeping elegantly under wraps all day…
** Note: This is a collaborative post.