with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
It is now OFFICIALLY the holidays, which means that holiday parties are right around the corner. More and more offices are forgoing the traditional weekend night party in favor of an end-of-the-day cocktail outing; this is often easier for employees to attend, as it typically takes place near the office, and it doesn’t eat into family time or take up precious baby sitter hours. It also gets spouses off the hook, which is sometimes a blessing.
For me, at least.
But it DOES leave you with the dilemma of what to wear. How do you go from work day to evening out without running home to change? Simple.
Let’s start with some basic rules: the office cocktail hour may be an after-hours function but it’s STILL work. Do not wear anything that you wouldn’t wear to the office; keep your cleavage covered and your underwear under there. This is not the time to bring out your favorite Date Night slip dress; start with an outfit that is work-appropriate. A nice skirt or pair of trousers, with a beautiful blouse or sweater (no holiday sweaters, though, I’m begging you). Or a dress, for something a little more festive, but again, a dress that you would actually GO TO WORK in any way.
In other words, don’t go to the office in the morning anticipating that you will change your clothes at the end of the work day. Build an outfit that is both a little festive and still office friendly. Are you usually a pants kind of girl? Toss on a skirt. Do you typically go for a tee under your jacket? Put on a blouse instead.
The key to making office work for evening is what you wear WITH your work-appropriate clothes. Pack the following in your tote when you head out in the morning:
Small evening bag, so you don’t have to haul the big tote to happy hour.
Jewelry that you wouldn’t wear to work –big earrings, jangly bracelet, cocktail ring — no more than two pieces, though; more isn’t better, it’s just more.
Brighter lipstick. If you normally wear something neutral for day, think about a great red for evening. Not a lipstick girl? How about a shiny gloss? Something festive and a little more made up than your everyday look.
Want a SPECIFIC outfit suggestion? Start with a basic black (or some other neutral) silhouette — dress or sweater and pants/skirt — with the coolest shoes you’ve got. Add a pair of sparkly earrings and a cocktail ring, or a couple of long, dramatic necklaces. Brush your hair, powder your nose, put on some lipstick and order up your favorite after-five drink.
But only one (or two, at most). This is a work function, after all.
So what will YOU be wearing to the office happy hour?
Coming Friday: what to wear to the office holiday party (the one that happens on the weekend and DOES require a sitter).
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