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Dressing For The Conference Room Into Cocktail Hour

While choosing my outfit in the morning is undoubtedly a fun activity, it requires strategic thinking.

The “look” I choose has to have longevity. In this moment, I’m not thinking about maximizing my “cost per wear” which I agonize over at time of purchase, but I’m contemplating how my outfit can bring me from the conference room to cocktails. If you asked me five years ago how I went about this, it would be a much more challenging task because in those days, I preferred bandage skirts and backless tops during off-hours (gasp). Now I can do it without stopping home or bringing an entirely new outfit to change into in the work bathroom, not only because my style has evolved (for the better), but most importantly, because I’ve become more tactful. I will preface the following by saying I know I work in an industry and for a company that has a lenient dress policy compared to others. So for those of you that are required to wear “business professional” each day, I’m sorry in advance for being unrelatable!


My tricks of the trade (summer edition):


Kitten heels! You’ll rarely find me in a flat at the office, but regardless of my gravitation towards the style, they make me feel professional yet confident at work. Once it’s time to head into the evening, there’s no reason to change because I feel understated with a touch of glamour.

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…or if I have a rare Thursday night birthday party which requires a slightly more forward approach, I’ll throw a pair of higher heels in my bag (a block heel if I’m smart). These transform my look in a moment’s notice.

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Midi-length skirts and dresses are key. They are appropriate both for the office and when evening hours strike. I can even pair them back to the high heel sandals I packed and feel like a new woman. Not to mention, mid-length silhouettes are ultra-feminine and sophisticated which is my universal, all-hours-of-the-day preference!

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While this may be stating the obvious, a BLAZER! A blazer is likely the highest ranked “professional” looking item of clothing, so I think we can all relate to this one. While I rarely wear a head to toe suit (unless it’s by Something Navy, of course), I often wear blazers over a t-shirt or casual tank, and back to denim or one of those beloved midi skirts. Come time when I don’t want to feel so serious for my work event or personal date night, I drape the blazer over my shoulders or take it off entirely.

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Accessories are a painless and invigorating way to spice up your work outfit. A bold pair of earrings are my go-to.

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Finally, lipstick! I admire women who will wear a bold, red lip to the office. Unfortunately, I rarely have that courage, but my fear relinquishes once the sun goes down. A red lip is another great, and for all intents and purposes of this list, the quickest way to spice up your look.

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If you’re anything like me in the morning, the snooze button is hit far too many times. Choosing my outfit as I rush to get ready for work becomes increasingly more overwhelming when it’s compounded with having to think about my evening schedule. Follow this guide, engrain it in your mind, so that it becomes a seamless task to get dressed prepared for the conference room AND cocktails!

By Tara Foley

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