Denise Grayson is the editor of fashion and interiors blog, The Swelle Life
I tend to choose my work-related wardrobe according to versatility – I hate to spend money on something that can only be worn for work!
But we also want to leave the office behind when we head out after a long work day, so the comfortable work-to-play dress must be something we feel so good wearing that we’re happy to stay in it for 12+hours. Bearing this in mind, my perfect Boardroom to Bar outfit would be a well-cut dress in a classic style, in a smart fabric with a bit of stretch for fit and comfort. This Mono Printed Jersey Dress has everything you want. Its form-fitting shape and side pleat cleverly positioned at the waist flatters slim, boyish and curvy figures; the mono print is modern and won’t look dated after a couple seasons; and jersey is super-comfy yet chic and won’t wrinkle from sitting all day. Tone it down if you need to with a black blazer. And because it does not scream “office!” and looks killer on, it transitions perfectly to evening with minimal accessorising. And it would also make a great date dress.
Make sure the dress has one unique feature like a great print or special detail like beautiful buttons, or an unusual collar. This will have you looking fantastic at the office and feeling very ‘you’ when you hit your favourite haunt with friends later on.
My priority, regardless of how great the dress fits and flatters, is to avoid any direct association to the office. Grey tweed and wool shifts are beautiful but save them for work-only days. Make your work dress look more edgy by adding a multi-chain necklace for the evening –which fits easily in your handbag – and arrive wearing a biker jacket to avoid looking as if you just came from work. You don’t want to be the female equivalent of the ‘business guy’ hanging around the bar in a three-piece-suit – express your personality!
Giving your look a unique focal point will help you separate mentally from the strains of your workday and properly relax. And don’t be shy with the bold lipstick!