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Desk to Dinner Styling Tips

Posted on 23 October 2018
Desk to Dinner Styling Tips

Research tells us that Australians have a bad habit of staying back at work late. If you're nodding your head because this sounds like you, you probably find yourself running straight from the desk to dinner too. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you get creative with your wardrobe so you can transition from desk to dinner in style.

What is "desk to dinner" styling?

Desk to dinner styling is a day-to-night styling that transitions a professional ensemble to after-hours perfection. It describes what you can do using staples and how accessories can be a late worker's best friend. Let's have a look at some of the staples that are a must.

Staple 1. The little black dress

Just about every woman has a little black dress in their wardrobe, because on its own it's great for just about every occasion and is super easy to style. To make it appropriate for work you can add a tailored blazer with some classic pumps. Carry with you a black tote and chuck on some pearl studs to really nail the professional persona.   Before you leave the office: Gold chandelier earrings add instant drama to a little black dress. Switch your feet into a funky pair of heels and pop your essentials into a clutch bag and you're good to go for the night.    Pick up a little black dress and matching accessories at Savvy Gal.

Staple 2. The pantsuit

If you have a strict dress code at work you probably have a professional-looking pantsuit in your wardrobe. A bluish charcoal colour is a modern approach when paired with a green silk blouse, creating a colour block effect that looks great.   Before you leave the office: Ditch the blazer part of your pantsuit and pop in some brightly coloured drop earrings. Pack your belongings into a resort-style clutch and slip on some lace-up heels.    Pick up a silk blouse at Rockmans.

Staple 3. The button-down shirt

A white button-down shirt is one of the most versatile items you can own. Worn with a pencil skirt, a structured bag and a simple pair of heels, a white button-down shirt looks classic and elegant. Opt for pastel accessories in spring and summer.   Before you leave the office: Unbutton the first two buttons of your shirt and show off a statement necklace. If wearing pastel/nude shoes, choose a piece with an element of mint. Swap the structured bag for a nude clutch, pop your hair in a high top bun and you're good to go.       Pick up a button-down shirt at Millers.

Staple 4. The fabulous blouse

A fabulous blouse with a dramatic detail - think slashed sleeves, ruffle front or jewelled button - can be discreetly hidden under a jacket or knit for the office. Worn with a pair of black pants you'll look ever the professional.   Before you leave the office: Getting ready to go out to dinner doesn't come easier than this. Simply take off your jacket or knit and pop in a pair of statement studs. Let your hair down and give it a ruffle to be ready for the night ahead.    Pick up a fabulous blouse at Savvy Gal.

Staple 5. Tweed skirt

A mini tweed skirt can easily venture into date territory, but it can also be made work appropriate with the right style, tights and low-key flats. Wear with a peplum blouse and an oversized shoulder bag in the day and your hair in a tight bun.   Before you leave the office: Slip on some Converse shoes and your favourite lightweight jumper, and pop your essentials into a small cross-body bag. Let your hair down loose and you're ready for a casual dinner on the coast at Giovanni's Pizza Bar.    Pick up a mini skirt at Black Berrie.

Learning the basic rules

If darting from the office is a regular thing for you, consider these basic rules of desk to dinner styling whenever you get ready for work.

Rule 1. Choose simple

Simple pieces act as a backdrop for the look you're trying to achieve. Items with clean lines, a simple silhouette or somewhat fitted are best. Think of your staples as your blank canvas in which you will layer and load with interchangeable accessories.

Rule 2. Respect office expectations

Sensible shoes and a tailored, well-put-together look is always best for the office. Layer sleek blazers or relaxed cardigans, finish with a headband or tights, and tie everything together with a belt. You can strip all this off when you're ready to go.

Rule 3. Pack for later

Keep a bag in your car that has a playful pair of heels, a clutch or small cross-body purse, bright lipstick and an edgy jacket in the cooler months.

Rule 4. Freshen up

Powder your nose, add a fresh swipe of mascara to your lashes, gloss your lips, roll over some deodorant and give yourself a spritz with perfume. You'll feel so much better for it.

Rule 5. Clock out with ample time

Getting refreshed for dinner is pointless if you're going to run the three blocks to get there. Allow plenty of time to get to your dinner date and if you're lucky you can sneak in a cocktail before the others arrive. Your friends will be impressed that you managed to work late AND arrive early.

Know where to find your staples

The bottom line is - think ahead if you're jumping from desk to dinner. Having certain staples in your wardrobe and understanding the rules will ensure you look great wherever you are.   If you're looking for the perfect clothes and accessories that will help you style from desk to dinner, visit Pialba Place for a range of retail stores.

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