If you’ve ever fancied going for a few after work drinks but don’t want the hassle of going home to get changed, you’ll know how tricky it can be to find an outfit that works both in and out of the office.
To strike the perfect balance between office-chic and off-duty, we’ve teamed up with high street dress experts River Island, to bring you the ultimate desk to drinks guide, inspired by all of the latest trends for AW18.
A top tip is to wear an outfit that you have to do very little to when it’s time to clock off. 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.
Want more of a change? If you don’t fancy wearing the same outfit for both office and party time, work layers into your outfit in the morning and remove them when it’s time to head out for the evening. 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…
Not all dress styles are appropriate for the office and what we wear for a night out with friends might not look quite right in a business meeting. 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.
With after-work drinks, you might only have a few minutes to spruce up. 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.
Strappy patterned dresses may not be typical workplace attire, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them work on the occasions that you have out-of-office drinks 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.
Are we also limited when it comes to colour for our work and post-office outfits? 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…