While it is common for date nights to take place on weekends, sometimes a weekday date is the most convenient option. Many offices follow a strict dress code and require professional or business formal attire in the workplace. On the other side of the coin, some workplaces cultivate a casual atmosphere. While your everyday look may be appropriate to your work environment, it is not always the best option if you are headed out on the town after work. Here are four style essentials for an after-work date.
Suit Coats, Sweaters, and Blazers
Shift your suit from formal to dapper for a casual date. If you want to keep your coat, unbutton it and remove or loosen your tie. Undo your top shirt button for a more laid-back feel. You can also switch out your coat with a sweater for a less-formal look, or go with no outerwear, weather permitting.
If you are starting from a casual work look, add a blazer or nice wool sweater to look more dressy. Although it was previously considered unstylish, with the emergence of the hipster-chic look, you can now add a blazer to a patterned tee for a trendy-yet-unconventional look. Opt for a more conservative look with a plain T-shirt, colourful or neutral, under your blazer.
If you are starting out formal, switch your footwear to make your outfit more casual. Depending on the venue for your date, change your Oxfords for some wingtips or loafers. On the other hand, a nice pair of shoes does a remarkable amount to shift an outfit from average to stylish. A couple of pairs of fine leather shoes in varying levels of formality are a great staple in any wardrobe. Better yet, for a more natural look, choose boots that can be part of both your work look and function well for date-night.
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Accessories often make an outfit. If you are worried about looking too formal, opt for fun items, such as colourful socks or suspenders. For example, bright or patterned socks take a suit from serious to playful. Nice trimmings, like a fine watch or cufflinks, add flair to an otherwise plain outfit. Depending on your personal style, a hat either dresses up or down an outfit. Choose from a variety of styles, including fedoras, flat caps, or cattleman.
Don’t be afraid to change up your hair for your after-work look. If it has been neatly combed all day, use a little bit of wax or gel to ruffle it up for a more windswept look. If your normal morning routine consists of rubbing your hair with a towel and jogging out the door, try combing and styling your hair more neatly than you normally would. Again, the small details are what finish off how dressy or casual an outfit is.
There are times when it is handy to know how to change over your daily work-wear into a killer night-on-the-town outfit. Whether you are loosening up from professional to laid-back or spiffing up a casual outfit, it only takes a couple minutes of time and a few alterations. By carefully combining formal with casual, you can achieve the sweet spot of “chic with a little bit of rugged” as your look.