Office to Party Dressing

Fashion clothesFor women in corporate careers, entertaining clients and socialising with business colleagues is a big part of the job, and this month more so than at any time of year.

One of the most common causes of frustration among my female clients is the need to be able to leave the house in the morning dressed appropriately for a day of meetings, and then seamlessly head straight from the office to a bar or restaurant for the evening.

So here are a few tips to help you go from understated office attire to looking elegant and dressy, all with minimum effort and without the need for a complete change of clothes.

The Foundation

The first most important item to invest in is a great office dress with a plain round or scoop neckline. It will serve dividends. It needs to fit you well, have some man-made fibre to allow you to wear it all day with minimum creasing, and to feel comfortable. It should almost be too plain, cut to suit your shape and be the best quality you can afford. Try Max Mara, DVF, Gerard Darel, or Banana Republic. This is your foundation and in the day can be worn with a fitted cardi or jacket in the office.


Invest in some great heels that you can manage an evening in. Buy patent, or metallic, or a colour - something different than you would wear in the day. Changing your shoes will make you feel totally different, and can bring a simple dress to life.


You'll also need some costume jewellery, such as a statement necklace or earrings. This is the key to your day to night transformation, and it's a great way to inject some of your personality into your image. It doesn't have to be sparkly, just make a statement, and again be the best quality you can afford. Buy either silver or gold as a base colour depending on your own colouring, and choose a size depending on your frame. Great places to find some are Zara, Stella and Dot, and Banana Republic. For really cheap but fun pieces try H&M or Forever 21. Never wear earrings and a necklace together, one or the other. If you want more, add a cocktail ring or bracelet.


Another way to transform your day dress is an evening jacket either in a dull metallic sequin, such as old gold or pewter, in coloured velvet, or even a fine knit with metallic thread running through. These will work for years and won't go out of style if you buy a simple classic shape. Less is more.

Once you have a few go-to pieces in the wardrobe, you have options that you can confidently mix and match and put together with minimum effort, which will take the stress out of the work party season. However, if you find getting the right styles for you, and pulling together an outfit a stress you can do without, take a look at my website at, and get in touch to find out how I can help.

Lizzie Edwards is a Personal Stylist and Image Consultant, who works with male and female executives and professionals, enabling them to stylishly and authentically represent themselves at their best.