Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From Day to Night: Party Essentials by Jaime

We wear many hats in a given day, figuratively and sometimes quite literally as we try to properly costume ourselves for social and professional obligations. Many times these experience overlap resulting in a wardrobe dilemma. How do you go from day to night, from the office to the party?

Being sensitive to current recessionary measures, it is important to be creative, using things already in your closet to create updated looks. Here are a few tips on how to transform an outfit to meet all your needs for the day and night (without having to maintain two wardrobes.)

I work in a midtown office that mandates corporate “business” casual attire. Often this means button down shirts, cardigans, sensible pumps. Often, by simply adding different shoes, accessories, applying more dramatic makeup, and/or replacing one article you can transform a boring day look into an exciting “ready for anything” ensemble.

1. Accessories
By simply adding colored tights, bold necklace or energetic earrings, belting a dress or a sweater, changing into boots/booties/high heels you can create an exciting new look. For example you can convert a simple black dress into a “downtown party dress” by adding a plaid scarf and brown belt (see below.)

Below are some examples of the effect of colored tights/ Shoes/ Scarf/ Belt modifications.

2. Make up
I think that this is the most powerful statement when going from day to night; it should read all over your face. Darker or smoky makeup can give an entire outfit a dramatic new feel. It’s dark out, so go crazy. A day look should be more natural, subdued. A night look can be anything (with in the confines of personal taste.) Feel free to darken the eyes and/or lips and use daring colors. Below is a before and after picture taken from my secret hidden work camera i.e. my cell phone in the ladies washroom. I was headed to a party in Brooklyn. I went from natural soft browns to charcoal/black Smokey eyes.

3. Shorten it up
At my office, I have in my desk drawer allocated to Emergency party essentials. In said drawer is an “emergency skirt.” It’s denim, short, looks good with black tights and instantly dresses down an office look. Of course, it does not have to be a denim skirt (baring the late 80’s and 90’s) it is not for everyone. The same affect can be accomplished by swapping out a pair of dress pants or a moderate length skirt with something considerably shorter. Please see below.

I removed the cardigan, kept the button down shirt, shortened the skirt, and added fun suspenders and booties. I didn’t have to change my tights since my skirt was long enough to make them passable for the work place.

4. Convertible outfits: The best solution is to wear something that could pass in either situation. For example a fun cotton dress can be corporate with the right shoes and a conservative cardigan. Remove the cardigan, add colorful tights, boots/ or booties, night time make up and you’ve got a look that can take you out for the night.

Possible pit falls: The outfit is slightly inappropriate in both situations. You may need to make minor changes to improve on the same concept. For example, removing the cloth belt (if there is one), that is the same material as the dress, and adding one or one that is more thrilling. See Exhibit A in the “Emergency Party Drawer.”

Emergency Party Drawer contents:
A black, elastic belt with silver buckle, short skirt, tights, earrings, dark lip gloss, Black Eyeliner, kicky shoes, crazy necklace. Sometimes I need to empty the drawer to accomplish my look other times I can pick and choose my best weapon.

My best advice is to be creative and have fun. The rest will sort itself out.

1 comment:

audrita said...

i love the before and after photos! perfectly illustrate jaime's fine points.