There is no single dress code for a night out – it truly depends on where the night takes you. In many cases, a good pair of jeans is all you need. However, there are some instances when your trusty Rock & Republic’s won’t cut it. Here are a few of them.
Girly
Thanks to SATC, the girls’ night out has an almost iconic status. It comes, to some extent, with certain expectations – there will be high heels, there will be colourful martinis, and there will be lots of juicy girls’ talk. [Of course, there will be times when you will be kicking back with your girlfriends over some pizza and beer, but those nights are a different kettle of fish.] Let me be clear, though, on what girls’ nights out are not about: men. Men might be part of the décor of your girls’ night out, they might even be a coincidental perk, but they are not the reason why you have a girls’ night out. The people you’re really wooing on your girls’ night out are your friends, so it makes sense to dress accordingly.
In many ways, dressing to impress other women is much harder than dressing for the opposite sex. Women are, for the most part, bigger consumers of fashion than men, so they have a different palate when it comes to style. That’s why Sarah Jessica Parker is a fashion icon and, say, Megan Fox is not. Women are generally much more likely to be impressed by how well (and inventively) someone can pull off a new trend (especially a fashion risk), and will pay much closer attention to details like accessories. So, go ahead, skip the ultra-tight hotpants and express your inner fashionista.
These pants are definitely more “fashion risk” than “every day”. I think I wore them
once, maybe. Nonetheless, thanks to stores like H&M,
everyone can try out risky trends with minimal investment (the pants
set me back about $30). Total cost: $250.
Artsy
Whether you are going to the theatre or the opera, this kind of night out requires that you set aside your jeans in favour of something a little dressier. Deciding what is the right degree of “dressy” can be its own challenge sometimes. In middle-of-the-spectrum situations, one easy option is to stick with separates (as opposed to, say, a cocktail dress) but pick “evening” fabrics (like silk that has a bit of shine to it) and pieces with embellishments (like ruffles or beading).
As Sharon Stone demonstrated eons ago at the Oscars,
a turtleneck really does go with everything. It’s a good counter-balance
for a more elaborate piece, like the skirt. Total cost: $175.
Business
Depending on the type of job that you have, you may be required from time to time to attend an evening business function. Generally, your attire for such events will have to straddle the line between “office-appropriate” (whatever that may be in your case) and “dinner/cocktail party”. A plain black dress is probably one of the safest bets; throw a (non-suit) jacket on top, and you’re good to go. If you feel like being adventurous, reverse the colour scheme – go for a black jacket and a colourful dress. If it’s a dressier event, you can always use a shawl instead of a jacket as a cover-up. [This is one type of situation in which a cardigan won’t cut it.] There’s a good chance that you’ll be on your feet for most of the night, so comfortable shoes are a good idea (but nothing lower than a kitten heel).
A classic black dress is one item worth investing a little more money, 
provided that it’s perfectly tailored to your body (and body type). 
This dress was $150 on super clearance at Holt’s, but it’s worth
every penny– it’s a simple, versatile style and it fits me like a glove
(also, it’s lined, which is a definite plus). Total cost: $280.

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