Ever fancied after-work drinks but don’t want to go all the way home to change? Finding the perfect office-appropriate outfit that looks amazing for a few sociable drinks with your colleagues straight from the workplace is tricky — but achievable.

Autumn is finally upon us and with it, invitations to cozy after work drinks – but that chill in the air makes it all too tempting to stay indoors after you’ve gone home to change. The solution – finding the perfect outfit that works for both in-office meetings and sociable drinks.

We’ve put together the ultimate desk-to-drinks guide, inspired by the latest trends from River Island’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, to take you through everything from casual shirt dresses to bold block colours.

Block colours

Our number one top is to choose something that you have to do very little to when the clock hits 5pm. This midi shirt dress with three-quarter sleeves is the perfect blend of work-ready formal and post-office style. The collar is naturally connected to workwear — like blouses and shirts — while the elegant show of leg and bold colour makes it an outfit that will stand-out for all the right reasons when you’re out with your colleagues. At the end of your shift, simply accessorise with rose gold jewellery and switch your flats to strappy heeled court shoes.

Bold prints

If you’re looking for more of a dramatic change and you don’t fancy wearing the same outfit for both office and party time, work layers into your outfit in the morning and remove them when it’s time to head out for the evening. A striking leopard print dress would look amazing on a night out with work friends — but how do you wear it comfortably for work without it being too ‘out there’? Easy. Just pull on a plain, long-sleeve black tee underneath to make the outfit office-appropriate and wear tights to enhance the outfit transformation!

There are some dress styles that won’t be 100% office appropriate and our outfit choices for a night out may not fit in to the office environment. However, dresses today offer such a huge variety of lengths, colours, necklines and cuts that it’s easy to find the ideal design for both social scenarios. If you like wearing loud-print dresses on nights out, there’s no reason you can’t in the office too — just make sure you opt for midi hemlines and high necklines to make them more suitable for business.

You can tone down your printed dress by pairing it with neutral colours and a jacket. When it’s time to clock off, put your flats under the desk and go for strappy wedges, a chic clutch, and plenty of jewellery.

Keep it simple

After you finish work, you might only have a few minutes to change your outfit, which can prove challenging. No problem — just keep your daytime outfit simple to customise. A maxi hemline and buttoned-up, collared neck is ideal office-ready fashion, both formal and comfortable for important meetings and busy days. But what do you do in the evening? When it’s time for drinks, use a belt to cinch in your waist and create a gorgeous, party-ready silhouette. Then, throw on your tallest pair of heels to get you in the mood for a fun night out. Dress up your look with statement jewellery — think chunky necklaces, bangles, and big hoop earrings — then quickly slick on an extra layer of mascara and eyeliner and you’re good to go for a big night out in minutes.

Smart layering

When you picture typical business attire, a strappy pattered dress may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work. All you need to do, is cover-up and de-layer when appropriate! Pull on a maxi, waterfall cardigan in a complementary shade to your cami dress so you have the perfect coverage and wear with a pair of loafers to keep your look business-focused. At the end of the day, leave your cardi on the back of your office chair and strap on a pair metallic heels to prepare your look for out-of-office socialising. Make sure you ditch your work bag, too — swap it for a petite, glitter cross-body handbag that complements your shoes and pack only your essentials for the evening.

Formal to fancy

Do we also have to keep our colour choices simple for post-work drinks? Don’t shy away from rocking you favourite shades both day and night. You can always make an outfit more formal by wearing a tailored blazer and mid-heel court shoes, and even tweaks to your look like wearing your hair in a neat bun can exude a work-ready vibe. Once you’re out-of-office has been switched on, remove your blazer and throw on a pair of block-heel mules or studded suede heeled sandals to give the illusion of beautifully elongated legs. Forget jackets and kimonos — now’s the time to show off that gorgeous colour you’ve been keeping elegantly under wraps all day…

* This is a collaborative post


  1. The ultimate desk to drinks guide: How to move flawlessly from office to bar this season * — – Ellustar Fashion says:

    […] via The ultimate desk to drinks guide: How to move flawlessly from office to bar this season * — […]

  2. Can I be honest?

    I work in an office and get along pretty well with my colleagues. That said, never once have we met up after work for dinner or drinks. These ladies got kids and families and yoga classes and night school to get to.

    But! If I did have a group to meet up with – you can bet I’m wearing whatever I had on that day to drinks. Who am I looking to impress, haha? These ladies have already seen me at my worst (crying in the office bathroom with a hangover – check!)

    So here’s my question: Do people really meet for happy hour with their work crew or is this some kind of corporate urban legend? 🙂

    On The Cusp | https://on-th3-cusp.blogspot.com/

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