Wear After Work: One Dress, Two Ways

Wear After Work One Dress Two WaysKey Piece: Dress, $130; Plus size option ,Outfit One: Heel, $80; Clutch, $80; Earrings, $128; Outfit Two: Heel, $84; Clutch, $80; Necklace, $78; Earrings, $8

When you have an event at the end of a long day of work, the last thing you want to deal with is standing in your closet, staring into the abyss, wondering what to wear. It’s happening; the season is upon us. I try my best to avoid as many weeknight events as possible, but sometimes they are unavoidable (read: mandatory).

These sort of events pose a few problems. First, you probably would rather not go. Second, what are you suppose to wear? You don’t want to wear what you wore all day to the office, and you don’t want to be that lady in the overly embellished cocktail dress. The good news is there are a few great options; they’re just hard to find in the sea of mini sequin dresses hanging in stores this time of year.

What you need is a great dress. Something with a little stretch, so you can move, but also so it doesn’t come across as too formal. When I came across this red dress by Lauren Ralph Lauren, I knew I had a dress that would work on so many occasions, especially ambiguous work-related ones. Over the next few weeks we’ll feature a few well priced options in an array of sizes to help you get dressed for the busy holiday season.

I like everything about this dress. (Need plus size? Calvin Klein as a similar version here.) The neckline is elegant and allows for either a necklace or bold earring. The sleeves add drama, but not too much. The waist has a subtle ruched detail that pulls the line of the body to the side, creating a slimming effect (so you can eat all the appetizers, why else are you out on a Wednesday?). The hem of the dress hits the model at just the right point of her leg, so have it hemmed similarly. And the red is classic yet festive. For $130 you have a whole outfit.

We were able to create two different looks just by changing out the accessories – not always possible when working with a dress. The first look is slightly more casual. I found these earrings at our Henri Bendel event last Sunday. They’re such a great accessory for the holiday season; not too much, but they don’t disappear either. I would wear them with a dress or use them to jazz up a black suit.  This black and white clutch from Sole Society is so versatile. You can use it for a formal occasion, or just with jeans and a blazer. Finally, the pumps are simple You don’t need to buy a new pair if you have something similar, you can wear whatever basic black pumps you already have. Need a new pair?  I love this black suede option from INC.

For the second outfit, I used all goldtone accessories, and it’s incredible how much it elevates the look. Let’s start from the feet up. I love a gold shoe, but sometimes they can look gaudy. I love these by Sam Edelman. Because the sleeves are soft and full, I like how the structure of the bag brings in some contrast. Finally, a sparkly statement necklace from Banana Republic and a button earring from Target  bring a lady like a vibe to this simple look.

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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