There’s something about the phrase “desk to dinner” that I just love. It probably has something to do with the fact that I love to go out to dinner! If you’ve not heard the saying before, what it’s referring to literally is being able to be dressed professionally for the office and then go to dinner after work without a complete change of clothes.
There truly are so many circumstances where being dressed in a desk to dinner outfit can come in handy. For example…
- you have a long commute home, but have dinner plans in the city
- you’re meeting friends or colleagues for cocktails
- you’re at an out of town conference and don’t have time to change clothes before your colleagues head out to dinner.
- you’re entertaining clients.
In all of the scenarios, you want to look professional for the office but want to look a bit more glamorous, sexy* and fun-loving for drinks and dinner. (*Proceed with a bit more caution if you’re with associates or clients.)
In almost all cases, the easiest desk to dinner outfit you can put together is a dress with a jacket.
For “desk”: wear a dress with a jacket, work appropriate shoes and professional accessories. Wearing a jacket over a dress is not only more professional than a cardigan, but it’s a fresh stylish option that allows you to wear a more sophisticated or dressy dress that looks fabulous later in the evening. Plus, even though there are more dresses on the market with sleeves than there used to be, most dresses are sleeveless.
For dinner: shed the jacket, and consider changing your shoes and accessories…perhaps showing a bit more skin and adding a little more bling. You might want to swap your day tote for a small bag for the evening as well.
A current look that works well for desk to dinner is the cold shoulder trend. Baring your shoulders during work hours isn’t exactly the standard, but when you put a jacket over the cold shoulder dress, it’s perfectly professional. You could get the same look with a lace-sleeved dress as well. The lace is totally covered by the jacket but oh so pretty at dinner.
Clearly there is a ton of room for personal style both at “desk” and “dinner.” And that’s the other perk of desk to dinner dressing. You have the ability to transform a “work” dress with a jacket over it for day into a more festive evening look by simply changing shoes and accessories.
You may also find that instead of dressing up your look for after work, you want to dress it down. Again, this is where a simple day dress comes in handy. Yes, you’ll take your blazer off after work, but perhaps you’ll trade it for a cardigan or jean jacket. And instead of adding strappy heels, slip into comfortable flat sandals.
I encourage you to try desk to dinner dressing, especially now that the weather is warm. Even if you’re simply meeting friends to delay a long commute in traffic, it’s a fun change of pace, and I’m betting you already have all of the pieces in your closet!
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