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The Best Day to Night Outfits for All Occasions

Ru Scott

Posted on September 30 2018

Here are the best day to night outfit ideas for all occasions.

Picture this: you have an important meeting with a client at 10am, after-work drinks with friends, and then an 8pm date. That doesn’t leave much time to change, primp, and refresh. How can you do it all and have it all? It’s no small feat to transform your daytime outfit for your night out, but with some advice from your favorite local style gurus, we can make it happen.

Day to night outfits sound like an incredible amount of work at first, but with a few simple tweaks and a little planning ahead, you can quickly make your outfits work regardless of the event or time of day. All it takes is learning how to break things down to basics and make a few small changes that alter the entire look of an outfit.

Have you ever stopped to really think about the anatomy of your outfit? How do you put on clothes every single day and why do you make the choices that you do? Consider it. You likely have staples that you reach for time and time again before work because you know they’re professional and reasonably stylish. Depending on your line of work, you may have more or less room for personal flair. A buttoned-up office job may require you to always look polished and professional while a position as a bookseller at an indie store may give you more leeway for wearing bright colors or a funky jacket. This will affect your nighttime look, too.

The best day to night outfits are built at the beginning of the day (or the night before, if you’re a mega-planner!) and involve only small changes to take them to a completely different level. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t, honest! You don’t have to stuff an entirely different dress in your workout duffle and change in the office bathroom at the end of your shift. You just have to know how to spin the look you’re already working with!

Free People Chess Blazer in Garnet

Here are some recommendations for the building blocks of your day to night outfits:

  • Solid colored dress with clean lines
  • Professional blouse with a bold blazer
  • Practical shoes
  • Sweater and a flowing skirt that hits at the knee or calf
  • A fun, flirty top covered with a work-friendly shirt or sweater
  • Black pants and a drape-y top or long shirt
  • Jumpsuit
  • Pant suit and/or business jacket with a bright top underneath
  • Layers, layers, layers
  • Jeans paired with a simple top

Obviously some of these suggestions will work better with certain jobs rather than others – law clerks or corporate professionals aren’t going to be able to get away with several of these looks, but most people can. Ultimately the key is to build yourself an outfit that checks every box for being work appropriate but still incorporates a fun element you can amp up later.

After you have your main outfit planned, you can start figuring out how you’re going to take it from day to night. This involves considering what you’re going to be doing for the entire day and not choosing something that’s going to leave you miserable by the time dinner rolls around. These aren’t outfits you’re going to be able to shed at home to make a quick change – the idea is that you’re going to be on the go without any downtime for changing.

What does this mean? It means opt for something that you’ll be comfortable in all day. Avoid materials that are going to leave you overheated and miserable, or too cold. Layer wisely so that you can maintain a professional look but shed your outerwear later for a more casual style. Pick shoes that won’t leave your feet blistered and broken after a solid 10+ hours of wear. Dress for the activity you’ll be doing, whether it’s grabbing drinks during Happy Hour, going bowling, or heading to a winery event.

When it comes down to it, creating your daytime outfit is the easy part. You already know what’s work appropriate and likely have staples that you reach for frequently. The harder part is figuring out how to transform those staples into something that doesn’t feel out of place in a more casual setting.

Jessica Matrasko Jewelry Custom Wasteland Earrings 2.5" Hammered Hoop with Geode Circle

This requires the introduction of “statement pieces,” or accessories and additional clothing that will stand out and take an outfit from drab office wear to sleek ‘n stylish. Here are a few of our suggestions for ways to elevate daytime clothing for the night:

  • Large chunky jewelry, like a lariat necklace or statement earrings
  • Printed clutch or leather wristlet
  • Shed the sweater or switch up the jacket
  • Untuck that button-down shirt and tie it at the waist to create a crop top look
  • A leather jacket
  • A change of shoes if you can swing it!

The gist we’re going for here is that you pick one or two noticeable accessories that will show people you’re here to unwind and have a good time off the clock. There are dozens of ways to let your personality shine through with a favorite purse or bright red shoes. Now’s the time to let loose!

Remember that the goal is to keep things as simple as possible so you don’t have to duck into the bathroom for 30 minutes to change. However, it doesn’t really hurt to keep a few select pieces in your car for a quick switch. Maybe you want to throw on that killer new pair of heels or you have a jacket that will work better for the cooler evening. Keep it on hand and make the change in less than five minutes!

There are plenty of other ways to loosen your outfit up a bit. If you were wearing a work-friendly jacket over a less-work-friendly top, now’s the time to shed the jacket. Feel free to undo an extra button, cuff your sleeves, or bring your skirt up a few inches if you have the option. Whatever makes you feel comfortable in your skin and ready for a night out!

There are a few other ways to bring your look from day to night as well. For a quick and easy makeup update, simply throw a darker or bolder lipstick in your bag for the evening hours. Red lips always look classic and beautiful! Fix your hair into a high ponytail or messy bun for a casual up-do. These are all small style tricks you can do in ten minutes or less, and you can do them anywhere – at your desk, in the restroom, or even in your car.

Need more style ideas? Come visit us at PUNCH! We love figuring out day-to-night outfits and have to do it plenty for our own plans each week. We not only feature plenty of clothing staples that will become your new favorite work clothes, we also have tons of accessories to help you make the switch from day to play.

What are your favorite day to night looks? Any tricks we missed? Please let us know!

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