7 Easy Tips to Take Your Workwear From Day to Night

In a town with as high a cocktail-party-per-capita ratio as Washington, having your day to night wardrobe transition on lock is important. No one wants to tote a complete change of clothes to the office, however, so it’s best to have a work wardrobe that translate seamlessly into cocktail attire.

To find out the best way to go from day to night, we got in touch with Rosana Vollmerhausen of DC Style Factory to get her top tips for a quick change.

Lose the jacket.

“If you are wearing a suit blazer or blazer jacket, remove it for cocktail hour. Most jackets you wear to the office, by nature, have a daytime office look,” says Vollmerhausen. “If you want to keep your jacket on, loosen up your look by pushing up the sleeves.”

Make it monochromatic.

“Wear monochromatic separates as the pieces under your suit jacket,” says Vollmerhausen. “When you are wearing monochromatic separates–navy pencil skirt, navy blouse; oxblood trousers, oxblood silk blouse–it gives this illusion of the outfit being one piece. It streamlines your silhouette and feels ‘night out.’”

Go back to black.

“Black never fails to work when you are transitioning from office to an evening work event,” says Vollmerhausen. “You can always create a dressy LBD effect by, again, removing the blazer jacket that you layered over a simple black sheath. Then, add shine/sparkle or texture with your shoes and accessories.”

Embrace animal prints.

“Invest in a pair of pointy-toe cheetah print pumps,” says Vollmerhausen. “You can wear them to work, but they add interest and texture to an all-black look that is totally appropriate for cocktail hour.”

Bring a belt.

“Try adding a black obi belt or a wider-width embellished belt to your look once you have removed your blazer,” says Vollmerhausen.

Keep a clutch–in your car, your office, or your bigger bag.

“A metallic envelope clutch is an essential in your handbag wardrobe,” says Vollmerhausen. “Simply switch out your work tote for this clutch and your look is transformed from daytime office to off-duty professional.”

Make a statement with studs.

“I have been favoring statement earrings over a statement necklace for several seasons now,” says Vollmerhausen. “There is no reason you can’t do an oversize sparkly stud for work. It frames the face and transitions great to evening.”

On September 9, Vollmerhausen and DC Style Factory is partnering with PopNod to bring work wear style to the runway in an evening of “Fashion With an Impact” on the rooftop of The Embassy Row Hotel. The event will benefit Urban Alliance, which helps connect under-resourced youth with paid internships, mentors, and training, and include a fall work wear fashion show at 7:45 PM. Swing by for fall styles, the launch of the clothing campaign in support of Urban Alliance, $1 beer and wine, and giveaways from Bonobos, Cava Grill, Matchbox, and more. Interested attendees can purchase tickets here.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.