From desk to drinks: How to take your outfit from office to bar this season

If your colleagues have invited you out for a few after work drinks, going all the way home to get changed can be a bit of an inconvenience – especially with that winter chill in the air. It’s all too tempting to wrap up and stay indoors after you get home – but there is a solution. You’ll need an outfit that works perfectly both in and out-of-office.

To help you strike the balance, we’ve teamed up with River Island on this helpful desk-to-drinks guide inspired Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion trends. So, whether it’s bodycon dresses or bardot, you’ll never be stuck for ideas!


Go bold with prints

If you’re planning a big night out after work and want a more dramatic transformation, you could layer your outfit and remove layers when it’s time to head 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!


Of course, some styles won’t be appropriate for an office setting and what works for a night out on the town may not work as well in a formal 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. You can tone down your printed dress by pairing it with neutral colours and a 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.


Bright block colours

The secret to effortless desk-to-drinks fashion is to choose an outfit that needs very little doing to it when it’s time for you to clock out. 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.

 plus navy print midi slip dress

Patterns and layering

Ok, so a patterned thigh split dress might not be the first thing that people think of when they picture office attire, but you can still make it work. 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.

brown spot print shirt maxi dress

Keeping it simple

It can be a huge challenge to change your outfit and get ready if you only have a few minutes to do so after work. 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.


Formal to fancy

Speaking of keeping it simple, we don’t always have to play it safe with our colour choices at work. 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…

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