By Ella Riley-Adams
You’re sitting at your desk at 5:30 on a slow Thursday, when you get a message from MeetMoi. A guy who could be Channing Tatum (the Magic Mike edition, of course) is close by, and you could use an after work pick-me-up. You two start chatting, and he asks if you want to meet. You’re up for it, but will your button-down and navy work skirt make the right impression?
Whether you find an impromptu date through MeetMoi or schedule a happy hour meet-up because it’s convenient and affordable, transitioning your outfit from professional to nighttime chic is a crucial dating tactic.
To save you from crumpling a cocktail dress in your purse or showing up at the office in an overly glam ensemble, we have a few tips so you can be confident and stylish in every situation.
Layer wisely If you’re wearing a short or low-cut dress, cover up for work with a button-down man’s shirt, belted at the waist. Roll up the sleeves and put your hair in a bun or ponytail for work. On your way to your date, put the belt in your purse and unbutton your shirt, revealing the entirety of your dress. Let down your hair. When you arrive at the destination restaurant or café, treat your shirt like it’s a cardigan and sling it over the back of your chair. It’s fun to reveal some skin at the beginning of a summer flirtation.
Try a trouser This summer, patterned trousers are everywhere. We’re stoked, because they’re the perfect work-to-date staple item. They’re work-appropriate, yet airy and colorful, unlike traditional wool trousers or jeans. Wear them with flats and a blazer at the office, then slip on some neutral wedges and show your shoulders for happy hour tapas and an ice-cold mojito.
Color splash While your office might feel like a sea of black, white and navy, date night calls for brighter fashions. No need to look like you’re ready for a rave, but know that small pieces of color can work wonders on a basic work ensemble. Keep a red or fuchsia lipstick in your bag, along with a couple of colorful bangles. Make a 2-minute stop in the bathroom on your way out the office door, and add some “pop” to professional. For even less effort, stick your wallet in a creamsicle-inspired envelope clutch and instantly brighten your night.
Add smoke and sparkle If you’re not excited about summer colors, indulge the workplace color palette by amping it up for the evening. Keep your blazer on, but take the shirt off underneath. Button it up all the way, of course, but let a little bit of your bra peek out. Leave your pants or skirt and shoes as they are. Then, thicken your daily eyeliner by making into a cat-eye or smoky eye. Uncoil your hair from its bun or braid, fluff, and pin it on one side with a sparkly barrette. This is ideal if you’re meeting your date somewhere with candles and curtains—at first you’ll fit right in with the shadows, but then he’ll notice you sparkle in the lowlight. Though it’s simply done, this look gets dramatic results.